100 books like Out of the Shelter

By David Lodge,

Here are 100 books that Out of the Shelter fans have personally recommended if you like Out of the Shelter. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Last of the Conquerors

Ellen Feldman Author Of The Living and the Lost

From my list on the allied occupation of Germany.

Why am I passionate about this?

Surprisingly little has been written about the postwar Occupation of Germany by the US, UK, France, and USSR. Yet it was a crucial and colorful, one might say lurid, interval in recent history. Berlin, which is the setting of my novel, The Living and the Lost, was a latter day Wild West where drunken soldiers brawled; the desperate preyed on the unsuspecting; spies plied their trade; werewolves, as unrepentant Nazis were called, schemed to rise again; black markets peddled everything from drugs to sex; and forbidden fraternization between American G.Is and Frauleins was rampant. I did a great deal of research on the period and place. Here are five books that bring the world stunningly to life.

Ellen's book list on the allied occupation of Germany

Ellen Feldman Why did Ellen love this book?

The Last of the Conquerors by William Gardner Smith, a Black G.I. who served in Germany after the war, is a beautifully written, with a Hemingwayesque flair, look at the Occupation from someone who was there. This clear indictment of the segregated U.S. Army pretending to spread democracy and equality in a defeated nation that treats Blacks perhaps not well, but better than America does, is honest, painful, and especially relevant to our moment. An interesting footnote to the book is the difficulty of obtaining a copy these days. The one I read came from the New York Public Library, but a quick check of used books online reveals an old paperback that was originally 75 cents now selling for $35 and a hardcover for $475.

By William Gardner Smith, James Avati (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Last of the Conquerors as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Last of the Conquerors' handles the explosive theme of Negro GI's in Occupied Germany--their experiences with the men, women and girls of that defeated country. From inside Front Cover: "Now I know what it is to walk into any place, any place, without worrying about whether the serve colored. You ain't been here long enough to feel that like I do. You know what the hell I learned? That a nigger ain't no different from nobody else....They don't teach that stuff back in the land of the free." In Occupied Berlin, Negro soldiers were treated in a way that they…


Book cover of Deutschland - April 1945

Ellen Feldman Author Of The Living and the Lost

From my list on the allied occupation of Germany.

Why am I passionate about this?

Surprisingly little has been written about the postwar Occupation of Germany by the US, UK, France, and USSR. Yet it was a crucial and colorful, one might say lurid, interval in recent history. Berlin, which is the setting of my novel, The Living and the Lost, was a latter day Wild West where drunken soldiers brawled; the desperate preyed on the unsuspecting; spies plied their trade; werewolves, as unrepentant Nazis were called, schemed to rise again; black markets peddled everything from drugs to sex; and forbidden fraternization between American G.Is and Frauleins was rampant. I did a great deal of research on the period and place. Here are five books that bring the world stunningly to life.

Ellen's book list on the allied occupation of Germany

Ellen Feldman Why did Ellen love this book?

Deutschland by Margaret Bourke-White paints a raw and wrenching portrait of Germany in the immediate aftermath of the war. The photographs of the suffering and destruction are shocking. The first-hand observations are immediate, occasionally wry, and cover everything from the black market; the relative appeal of American, British, and French soldiers to German girls; and social dancing classes.

Book cover of In Search: An autobiography

Ellen Feldman Author Of The Living and the Lost

From my list on the allied occupation of Germany.

Why am I passionate about this?

Surprisingly little has been written about the postwar Occupation of Germany by the US, UK, France, and USSR. Yet it was a crucial and colorful, one might say lurid, interval in recent history. Berlin, which is the setting of my novel, The Living and the Lost, was a latter day Wild West where drunken soldiers brawled; the desperate preyed on the unsuspecting; spies plied their trade; werewolves, as unrepentant Nazis were called, schemed to rise again; black markets peddled everything from drugs to sex; and forbidden fraternization between American G.Is and Frauleins was rampant. I did a great deal of research on the period and place. Here are five books that bring the world stunningly to life.

Ellen's book list on the allied occupation of Germany

Ellen Feldman Why did Ellen love this book?

Meyer Levin’s memoir, In Search, ranges over the years before and after the occupation as well as the period itself. His observations are personal, often searing, and deeply affecting. He tells of Jewish G.I.s who, forbidden to fraternize with Germans, leave matzos on doorsteps of German Jewish organizations on the eve of Passover, of being snubbed by a German Jewish woman with whom he felt an instinctive connection but who found him socially inferior, and of his darkest thoughts about retribution and revenge. As the title of his memoir indicates, Levin was in search of the meaning of his Jewish identity. A few years later, his French wife gave him a copy of the French edition of The Diary of Anne Frank. Deeply moved, he was instrumental in its publication and success in the U.S.

By Meyer Levin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Search as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The acclaimed autobiography of the Chicago journalist and author hailed as “the most significant American Jewish writer” of the mid-twentieth century (Los Angeles Times).

Raised in the notorious Bloody Nineteenth Ward in Chicago, Meyer Levin landed a job at the Chicago Daily News at eighteen. He pursued reporting as a means to support his fiction writing, yet it was as a war correspondent that Levin found his voice. One of the first Americans to enter the concentration camps during World War II and record the horrors there, Levin also helped smuggle Jews from Poland to Palestine, capturing the events in…


Book cover of The Smoking Mountain: Stories of Post-War Germany

Ellen Feldman Author Of The Living and the Lost

From my list on the allied occupation of Germany.

Why am I passionate about this?

Surprisingly little has been written about the postwar Occupation of Germany by the US, UK, France, and USSR. Yet it was a crucial and colorful, one might say lurid, interval in recent history. Berlin, which is the setting of my novel, The Living and the Lost, was a latter day Wild West where drunken soldiers brawled; the desperate preyed on the unsuspecting; spies plied their trade; werewolves, as unrepentant Nazis were called, schemed to rise again; black markets peddled everything from drugs to sex; and forbidden fraternization between American G.Is and Frauleins was rampant. I did a great deal of research on the period and place. Here are five books that bring the world stunningly to life.

Ellen's book list on the allied occupation of Germany

Ellen Feldman Why did Ellen love this book?

Perhaps the most sweeping view of the Occupation can be found in The Smoking Mountain by Kay Boyle. An editor at the New Yorker asked Boyle, who was in Germany under the Occupation, for a fictional account. While most of the short stories, except for the first which is clearly reportorial, work as fiction, they are grounded in her experiences in a fraught world where victors and vanquished, Germans and Americans, military and civilians struggle to find a way to coexist. In Boyle’s gimlet eye, few come out blameless.

Book cover of Jews, Germans, and Allies: Close Encounters in Occupied Germany

Ori Yehudai Author Of Leaving Zion: Jewish Emigration from Palestine and Israel after World War II

From my list on modern Jewish migration and displacement.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian at The Ohio State University. When I started my academic studies in Israel, I was initially interested in European history and only later began focusing on Jewish and Israeli history. I’m not exactly sure what attracted me to this career, but it’s probably the desire to better understand my own society and identity. I enjoy studying migration because it has played such an important role in Israeli and Jewish history, and even in my own life as an “academic wanderer.” Migration also provides a fascinating perspective on the links between large-scale historical events and the lives of individuals, and on the relationships between physical place, movement, and identity. 

Ori's book list on modern Jewish migration and displacement

Ori Yehudai Why did Ori love this book?

During the years immediately following World War II, around a quarter of a million Jewish Holocaust survivors gathered in displaced persons camps and other places in Allied-occupied Germany. Atina Grossmann examines the complicated and unexpected interactions between those Jewish refugees and their German neighbors and American occupation soldiers, exploring political and ideological questions as well as details of everyday life, with a particular focus on the role of gender and sexuality. Paying attention to multiple voices and perspectives, Grossmann brings to life the hardships, dilemmas, ironies, and hopes of postwar displacement and reconstruction. 

By Atina Grossmann,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jews, Germans, and Allies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, more than a quarter million Jewish survivors of the Holocaust lived among their defeated persecutors in the chaotic society of Allied-occupied Germany. Jews, Germans, and Allies draws upon the wealth of diary and memoir literature by the people who lived through postwar reconstruction to trace the conflicting ways Jews and Germans defined their own victimization and survival, comprehended the trauma of war and genocide, and struggled to rebuild their lives. In gripping and unforgettable detail, Atina Grossmann describes Berlin in the days following Germany's surrender--the mass rape of German women by the…


Book cover of Clash of Arms: How the Allies Won in Normandy

Arthur W. Gullachsen Author Of Bloody Verrières: The I. SS-Panzerkorps Defence of the Verrières-Bourguebus Ridges: Volume II: The Defeat of Operation Spring and the Battles of Tilly-la-Campagne, 23 July–5 August 1944

From my list on the First and Second World Wars.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a lifetime interest in military events of the First and Second World Wars, and my current status as an Associate Professor teaching military history within the Royal Military College of Canada’s RMC History Department allows me to live my dream of exploring past conflicts for a living. I am currently also a contracted author at Casemate Publishing of Havertown, PA, and I am very lucky to have this company support me and publish my work.

Arthur's book list on the First and Second World Wars

Arthur W. Gullachsen Why did Arthur love this book?

This is the best book out there to introduce the reader to the 1944 Normandy Campaign. 

Clash of Arms examines how the Western Allies improved their battlefield combat effectiveness in order to defeat the forces of the Third Reich and break out of the Normandy bridgehead.

Critically, Hart also examines the German way of war and how the Germans stubbornly sought to adapt in the face of Allied superiority. Packed with detail and superb analysis, this book examines in detail the military campaign of each army within the Normandy bridgehead.

By Russell A Hart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Clash of Arms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This volume examines how the Western Allies learned - on the battlefield - how to defeat the Nazi war machine. Beginning with an investigation of the interwar neglect that left the Allied militaries incapable of defeating Nazi aggression at the start of World War II, Russell Hart examines the wartime paths the Allies took toward improved military effectiveness. Central to his comparative study is the complex interplay of personalities, military culture, and wartime realities that determined how accurately the combatants learned the lessons of war, and how effectively they enhanced their battle capabilities.


Book cover of German Resistance Against Hitler: The Search for Allies Abroad, 1938-1945

James A. W. Heffernan Author Of Politics and Literature at the Dawn of World War II

From my list on the origin of World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born on April 22, 1939, just over four months before the start of World War II, and the very first words I can remember reading were a big black headline in August 1945: The War is Over. Ever since, I’ve been fascinated with that war, and about 75 years after it ended, I felt moved to write a book about how it began. Since I hold a PhD in English from Princeton, taught English at Dartmouth for nearly forty years, and I’ve been studying, teaching, and writing about literature for sixty years, I decided to make it a book about literature: the fiction, poetry, and drama inspired by World War II.

James' book list on the origin of World War II

James A. W. Heffernan Why did James love this book?

Absolutely gripping and sometimes heartbreaking account of the Widerstand—the German Resistance to Hitler, Before reading this book I never knew that just before the fateful signing of the Munich Agreement on October 30, 1938, fifty anti-Nazi commandoes led by Captain Freidrich Heinz were all set to take Hitler out before he ordered the invasion of Czechoslovakia. But once the agreement was signed, the coup was off, and General Franz Halder—the operational leader of the coup—was utterly demoralized. When he learned what Chamberlain and French prime minister Édouard Daladier had done at Munich, he reportedly “collapsed over his desk.” With Hitler now politically invincible, the resistance lost heart, and the assault squad was dispersed. “What are we supposed to do now?” Halder asked. “Hitler succeeds in everything!”

By Klemens von Klemperer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked German Resistance Against Hitler as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Klemens von Klemperer's scholarly and detailed study uncovers the beliefs and activities of numerous individuals who fought against Nazism within Germany, and traces their many efforts to forge alliances with Hitler's opponents outside the Third Reich. Measured by conventional standards of diplomacy, the foreign ventures of the German Resistance ended in failure. The Allied agencies, notably the British Foreign Office and the US State Department, were ill prepared to deal with the unorthodox approaches of the Widerstand. Ultimately, the Allies' policy of 'absolute silence', the Grand Alliance with the Soviet Union, and the demand for 'unconditional surrender' pushed the war…


Book cover of Hitler, the Allies, and the Jews

Richard Overy Author Of Blood and Ruins: The Great Imperial War 1931-1945

From my list on key moments in World War II and the soldiers who fought in them.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professional historian who has been writing books for more than forty years. Most of the books have been about war and dictatorship in the first half of the twentieth century. My last book, The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945, developed my long interest in air war history, which goes back to my first major book written in 1980 on air warfare in World War II.

Richard's book list on key moments in World War II and the soldiers who fought in them

Richard Overy Why did Richard love this book?

There is a common assumption among a younger generation brought up on the horrors of the Holocaust or Shoah that the Allies waged war to save the Jews. As Aronson shows in this candid and carefully researched volume, nothing could be further from the truth. The war waged by Hitler against the Jews was well-known, but the Allies did very little to try to end or modify the outcome. For anyone interested in the war, understanding the fate of the Jews in both German and Allied terms is bound up with wider issues of strategy and politics. Aronson tells a slice of the wartime narrative that many might want to forget. It is also a reminder that the war and the Holocaust were bound together, not separate histories. This perspective has not won general acceptance, but it should. 

By Shlomo Aronson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hitler, the Allies, and the Jews as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book offers an analysis of the Holocaust as a multiple trap, its origins, and its final stages, in which rescue seemed to be possible. With the Holocaust developing like a sort of a doomsday machine set in motion from all sides, the Jews found themselves between the hammer and various anvils, each of which worked according to the logic created by the Nazis that dictated the behavior of other parties and the relations between them before and during the Holocaust. The interplay between the various parties contributed to the victims' doom first by preventing help and later preventing rescue.…


Book cover of The Origins of the Second World War

Stewart Binns Author Of Barbarossa: And The Bloodiest War In History

From my list on 20th century conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

Stewart Binns is a former academic, soldier, and documentary filmmaker, who became a writer quite late in life. He has since written a wide range of books in both fiction and non-fiction. His passions are history and sport. He has completed a medieval quartet called the Making of England Series, two books about the Great War and a novel set during Northern Ireland’s Troubles. His latest work of non-fiction, Barbarossa, tells the story of the Eastern Front (1945 to 1944) from the perspective of the peoples of Eastern Europe. He is now working on a history of modern Japan.

Stewart's book list on 20th century conflict

Stewart Binns Why did Stewart love this book?

Taylor’s book was controversial in many ways. He contradicted many of the conventional wisdoms about the war, but more importantly, he annoyed the stuffy world of historical academia by writing popular history which was accessible to a wide readership. He certainly led me to realise that history can be immediate and compelling rather than distant and dry.

By A.J.P. Taylor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Origins of the Second World War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A.J.P. Taylor's bestselling The Origins of the Second World War overturns popular myths about the outbreak of war.

One of the most popular and controversial historians of the twentieth century, who made his subject accessible to millions, A.J.P. Taylor caused a storm of outrage with this scandalous bestseller. Debunking what were accepted truths about the Second World War, he argued provocatively that Hitler did not set out to cause the war as part of an evil master plan, but blundered into it partly by accident, aided by the shortcomings of others.
Fiercely attacked for vindicating Hitler, A.J.P. Taylor's stringent re-examination…


Book cover of The Day of Battle

Glyn Harper Author Of The Battle for North Africa: El Alamein and the Turning Point for World War II

From my list on Great WW2 books published after 2000.

Why am I passionate about this?

Glyn Harper has been researching and writing military history for over forty years. He is the author of numerous best-selling books on military history and is also an award-winning author of books for children and young adults. A former army officer, Glyn is New Zealand’s only Professor of War Studies.

Glyn's book list on Great WW2 books published after 2000

Glyn Harper Why did Glyn love this book?

The Day of Battle was Volume Two of Rick Atkinson’s acclaimed Liberation Trilogy. While all three volumes of this series are well worth reading, Atkinson was at his best in the second volume which deals with the much-neglected campaigns of Sicily and Italy. The doyen of British military history and a veteran of the Italian campaign, the late Sir Michael Howard wrote that The Day of Battle was ‘one of the truly outstanding records of the Second World War’. I think it is too.

By Rick Atkinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Day of Battle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In An Army at Dawn - winner of the Pulitzer Prize - Rick Atkinson provided a dramatic and authoritative history of the Allied triumph in North Africa. Now, in The Day of the Battle, he follows the strengthening American and British armies as they invade Sicily in July 1943 and then, mile by bloody mile, fight their way north. The Italian campaign's outcome was never certain; in fact, Roosevelt, Churchill and their military advisors engaged in heated debate about whether an invasion of the so-called soft underbelly of Europe was even a good idea. But once underway, the commitment to…


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