100 books like Perjury

By Allen Weinstein,

Here are 100 books that Perjury fans have personally recommended if you like Perjury. 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 A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal

Merle Nygate Author Of The Righteous Spy

From my list on spy books that spies read and sometimes wrote themselves.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written and script edited in a lot of different genres, from factual drama to sitcom, children’s TV to fantasy. I’ve always loved spy stories, and I’ve always wanted to write one. Recently, at the University of East Anglia I studied for an MA in Crime Fiction, and that’s where I finally got the chance to study espionage and write a spy novel myself. I hope you enjoy my selection of books if you haven’t already read them. Or even if you have. They’re all so good that I feel like re-reading them right now. 

Merle's book list on spy books that spies read and sometimes wrote themselves

Merle Nygate Why did Merle love this book?

This is a non-fiction book but it reads like a novel and explores one of the great mysteries of the spy world: how on earth did Kim Philby manage to betray not only his country but also his friends over so many years? 

A former spy I had the privilege of interviewing described Philby as a shit, so maybe there’s the answer. I think this is a terrific read, and although Macintyre probably isn’t a spy, like Deighton, he knows them. 

By Ben Macintyre,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked A Spy Among Friends as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kim Philby was the most notorious British defector and Soviet mole in history. Agent, double agent, traitor and enigma, he betrayed every secret of Allied operations to the Russians in the early years of the Cold War.

Philby's two closest friends in the intelligence world, Nicholas Elliott of MI6 and James Jesus Angleton, the CIA intelligence chief, thought they knew Philby better than anyone, and then discovered they had not known him at all. This is a story of intimate duplicity; of loyalty, trust and treachery, class and conscience; of an ideological battle waged by men with cut-glass accents and…

Book cover of Darkness at Noon

Rhoda Howard-Hassmann Author Of In Defense of Universal Human Rights

From my list on readable stories on human rights.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a scholar of international human rights and comparative genocide studies. My father was a refugee from the Holocaust. So I was always interested in genocide, but I did not want to be another Holocaust scholar. Instead, I introduced one of the first university courses in Canada on comparative genocide studies. From a very young age, I was also very interested in social justice: I was seven when Emmett Till was murdered in the US. So when I became a professor, I decided to specialize in international human rights. I read a lot of “world literature” fiction that helps me to empathize with people in places I’ve never been.

Rhoda's book list on readable stories on human rights

Rhoda Howard-Hassmann Why did Rhoda love this book?

I studied under the distinguished sociologist, Immanuel Wallerstein. One day in class he said, if you read only one book, it should be this one. So I read it. 

Koestler was a Hungarian Jew who joined the German Communist Party. He became disillusioned with communism, in part because of the Stalin trials of the 1930s, in which many of Stalin’s own former allies were tortured and executed. 

The protagonist of the novel is Rubashov, a dedicated Communist who is accused of treason, tortured, and eventually executed despite confessing to his supposed crimes. The novel is a great way to learn not only about the Stalinist Soviet Union, but about any society that brain-washes its victims. 

By Arthur Koestler,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Darkness at Noon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The newly discovered lost text of Arthur Koestler’s modern masterpiece, Darkness at Noon—the haunting portrait of a revolutionary, imprisoned and tortured under totalitarian rule—is now restored and in a completely new translation.

Editor Michael Scammell and translator Philip Boehm bring us a brilliant novel, a remarkable discovery, and a new translation of an international classic.

In print continually since 1940, Darkness at Noon has been translated into over 30 languages and is both a stirring novel and a classic anti-fascist text. What makes its popularity and tenacity even more remarkable is that all existing versions of Darkness at Noon are…

Book cover of Spymaster: My Thirty-Two Years in Intelligence and Espionage Against the West

Mark Hollingsworth Author Of Agents of Influence: How the KGB Subverted Western Democracies

From my list on the KGB, Russia and espionage.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing about Russia for the past 20 years for all the UK national newspapers, The Spectator and contributed to several TV documentaries. I am fascinated by Russia which is a unique country and has been a major influence on the world for the past 100 years. Based on new documents, my book Londongrad - From Russia with Cash revealed how Russian Oligarchs made their wealth, moved it out of Russia, hid their fortunes and then parked and spent it in London. My new book - Agents of Influence - provides an insight into how the KGB influenced the West based on new archives.

Mark's book list on the KGB, Russia and espionage

Mark Hollingsworth Why did Mark love this book?

It is rare for a KGB spy to reveal so many secrets about the Soviet Union and Russian intelligence operations in the West and so this book is a revelation. 

Kalugin was a KGB officer based in the USA in the 1970s and he describes all their dirty tricks - fake letters, disinformation, honey trapping, and even attempts to bug the US Congress.

By Oleg Kalugin,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Spymaster as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Oleg Kalugin oversaw the work of American spies, matched wits with the CIA, and became one of the youngest generals in KGB history. Even so, he grew increasingly disillusioned with the Soviet system. In 1990, he went public, exposing the intelligence agency's shadowy methods. Revised and updated in the light of the KGB's enduring presence in Russian politics, Spymaster is Kalugin's impressively illuminating memoir of the final years of the Soviet Union.

Book cover of The Great Terror: Stalin's Purge of the Thirties

Michael Isikoff Author Of Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump

From my list on Russian espionage.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child of the Cold War, I was fascinated from an early age by Russia—and the history of U.S.-Soviet relations. I still remember devouring everything I could about many of the events of the 1960’s—the Cuban Missile Crisis, the coup that replaced Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. These and much else from this period inspired me to become a journalist. And while I have had a wide-ranging and occasionally globe-trotting career, returning to the subject of U.S.-Russia relations in Russian Roulette  and the feeling that we made a genuine contribution to contemporary history—was unusually satisfying.

Michael's book list on Russian espionage

Michael Isikoff Why did Michael love this book?

No book exposed the horrors of Josef Stalin’s purges more graphically and with greater power than Robert Conquest’s epic, The Great Terror. The book chronicled how a paranoid Stalin, convinced his power was threatened by his rival Leon Trotsky and his allies, unleashed a wave of terror by his country’s NKVD—a forerunner of the KGB--  that decimated the Soviet leadership and its military with millions of Russians executed or marched to Siberian prison camps. While Stalin’s henchmen staged mock “trials” in Moscow, marked by phony confessions, extracted by torture, liberal apologists in the West sought to justify Stalin’s lunatic crackdown. I read this book in college and it has stayed with me for years-- providing an eye-opening lesson in the willingness of those of all political stripes to turn a blind eye to the evils of totalitarianism.

By Robert Conquest,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Robert Conquest's The Great Terror is the book that revealed the horrors of Stalin's regime to the West. This definitive fiftieth anniversary edition features a new foreword by Anne Applebaum.

One of the most important books ever written about the Soviet Union, The Great Terror revealed to the West for the first time the true extent and nature Stalin's purges in the 1930s, in which around a million people were tortured and executed or sent to labour camps on political grounds. Its publication caused a widespread reassessment of Communism itself.

This definitive fiftieth anniversary edition gathers together the wealth of…

Book cover of Hitler's British Traitors: The Secret History of Spies, Saboteurs and Fifth Columnists

Robert Temple Author Of Drunk on Power Vol 1: A Senior Defector's Inside Account of the Nazi Secret Police State

From my list on the inner workings of Nazi Germany.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I find a big story that has not come out, which has massive relevance for history and for the entire world, I go all out to bring it to light, as I have done with this book. Most of the books I have written have been devoted to telling big, unknown stories that concern the world. (Examples: alien intelligence, the origins of ancient civilisations, the Chinese contribution to the history of inventions, the existence of optical technology in antiquity, who were the people who tried and executed King Charles I and why did they do it.) I simply had to expose this information to the public.

Robert's book list on the inner workings of Nazi Germany

Robert Temple Why did Robert love this book?

This is a lively and shocking book, exposing countless Nazi wartime spies and sympathisers in Britain, with their stories and photos of them. One of them was Major General John F. C. Fuller.

When I was very young, I knew several people who knew him and spoke of him warmly. He was greatly admired for his book on Alexander the Great. These friends often said they were hoping to introduce me to him, but it never happened. They thought I would find him interesting because of his knowledge of ancient Greece.

None of them appeared to be aware that Fuller was a fanatical anti-Semite and fascist who had supported Hitler. So easily did he survive the War and retain some admirers into the 1960s. Fuller was famous as a genius of modern armored warfare and had countless admirers in the Army. He had written 45 books. He died in 1966.…

By Tim Tate,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hitler's British Traitors as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Tim Tate, in Hitler's British Traitors, [explores] the entire grimy landscape of British treachery during the Second World War and the astonishing rogues' gallery of traitors working to help Nazi Germany win. [He makes] excellent use of the vast trove of material declassified by MI5 in recent years.' - Ben Macintyre, The Times

Hitler's British Traitors is the first authoritative account of a well-kept secret: the British Fifth Column and its activities during the Second World War.

Drawing on hundreds of declassified official files - many of them previously unpublished - Tim Tate uncovers the largely unknown history of more…

Book cover of The Plot to Seize the White House: The Shocking True Story of the Conspiracy to Overthrow F.D.R.

Anita Bartholomew Author Of Siege: An American Tragedy

From my list on plots to overthrow the US government.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a long-time contributor to Reader's Digest (and former contributing editor), specializing in narrative nonfiction who has covered social and geopolitical issues for the magazine. I'm also a political junkie who loves to dig into little-known aspects of history and current events. 

Anita's book list on plots to overthrow the US government

Anita Bartholomew Why did Anita love this book?

Throughout the early 20th century, General Smedley Butler was the go-to commander for overthrowing other countries' governments on behalf of US interests. So, when American fascists conspired to oust then-recently elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt, they recruited Butler to lead their coup attempt. The fascists’ error: they failed to take Butler’s remorse seriously when, in a 1931 speech, he lamented his career as a "…high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and the bankers." The Plot to Seize The White House details how Butler brought the conspiracy down.

I was reminded as I read that there always were—and will be—powerful people eager to topple the barriers democracy puts in their way. But it’s also a reminder that, as in the 2020 election, principled people, in the right positions, make all the difference. 

By Jules Archer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Plot to Seize the White House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Fascinating and alarmingly true."-Time Magazine. The true story of a plot to overthrow Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the nearly forgotten Marine who saved American Democracy.

Many simply don't know that in 1933, a group of wealthy industrialists-working closely with groups like the K.K.K. and the American Liberty League-planned to overthrow the U.S. government and run F.D.R. out of office in a fascist coup.

Americans may be shocked to learn of the plan to turn unhappy war veterans into American "brown shirts," depose F.D.R., and stop the New Deal. They asked Medal of Honor recipient and Marine Major General Smedley Darlington…

Book cover of Deadly Transfers and the Global Playground: Transnational Security Threats in a Disorderly World

Norrin M. Ripsman Author Of Globalization and the National Security State

From my list on globalization and security.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have studied the impact of economics on security for decades. In addition to co-authoring Globalization and the National Security State, I published books on economic interdependence and security, the efficacy of economic sanctions and incentives as tools of foreign and security policy, and the use of economic instruments to promote regional peacemaking. In general, I have always been fascinated by the economic underpinnings of security, from Napoleon’s observation that an army marches on its stomach to the utility of advanced financial sanctions to punish rogue actors in the contemporary era.

Norrin's book list on globalization and security

Norrin M. Ripsman Why did Norrin love this book?

This is a rather early effort to examine the implications of the ease of crossing national borders inherent in globalization.

It explores the ability of malicious actors–in particular terrorists, narcotraffickers, arms dealers, human smugglers, pathogens, etc.–to take advantage of a globalized world to disrupt normal life. It reminds us of the dark underbelly of globalization.

By Robert Mandel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Deadly Transfers and the Global Playground as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mandel's comprehensive study provides an integrated, explanatory analysis of the new global security environment, which he terms the global playground, and the consequent blossoming of ominous flows or deadly transfers. It includes an analysis of the behavior of rogue states, terrorist groups, transnational criminal organizations, and deviant individuals. Mandel begins with a discussion of the general nature of the emerging global situation and the transborder activities that occur within it, then turns to an overarching analysis of the intractable causes, pernicious consequences, and futile cures associated with these ominous transnational flows. Such activities include clandestine conventional arms, illegal human migration,…

Book cover of The Lacuna

Ann Marie Jackson Author Of The Broken Hummingbird

From my list on Americans learning to live in Mexico.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am fascinated by the places where cultures intersect and the means by which they do so. I am an American lucky to live in gorgeous San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and previously in Hirakata, Japan; Shanghai, China; Suva, Fiji; and Oxford, England. Each move entailed a challenging but rewarding effort to absorb a new set of unwritten societal rules. A great way to grow is to immerse yourself in the unknown and have things you took for granted about how the world works suddenly come into question. Another is to learn from those who have gone before us, so I am delighted to share these wonderful books with you.

Ann's book list on Americans learning to live in Mexico

Ann Marie Jackson Why did Ann love this book?

I am a devoted fan of Barbara Kingsolver, and The Lacuna is my favorite of all her works.

The book follows the fascinating, tragic life of one Harrison Shepherd, born in the U.S. but raised in a series of fantastical situations in Mexico made believable by Kingsolver’s unique skill. Shepherd’s brushes with fame and history reveal much about the character of Mexico and that of the United States.

He is brutally caught up in the nationalist, paranoid fears of both countries’ governments and the even wilder judgments of public opinion. A thrilling, artful read.

By Barbara Kingsolver,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Lacuna as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?




'Lush.' Sunday Times
'Superb.' Daily Mail
'Elegantly written.' Sunday Telegraph

From Pulitzer Prize nominee and award winning author of Homeland, The Poisonwood Bible and Flight Behaviour, The Lacuna is the heartbreaking story of a man torn between the warm heart of Mexico and the cold embrace of 1950s America in the shadow of Senator McCarthy.

Born in America and raised in Mexico, Harrison Shepherd is a liability to his social-climbing flapper mother, Salome. When he starts…

Book cover of Street Witch

Colleen Cowley Author Of Subversive

From my list on fantasy with magic, romance, and a dash of subversion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write romantic fantasy set in twisted versions of the United States because half of me wishes magic were real. (The wiser half thinks that would be a disaster.) Typical contents of my books: banter, antagonist love interests, dramatically billowing coats, twisty plots, and oppressive systems in need of taking down... by bantering antagonists in magnificent coats. I consume books like they’re as necessary as food—and aren’t they, really? 

Colleen's book list on fantasy with magic, romance, and a dash of subversion

Colleen Cowley Why did Colleen love this book?

What if a society blessed one form of magic use while all but criminalizing the other? Marnie Becker was born a witch in this world, which puts her forever at the margins. She tries to stay (mostly) out of trouble—until it finds her in a big way.

I absolutely love that magic here has a scent, from a hint of maple syrup to a reek of burnt meat. And that her love interest, Bran, declares, “You are never more beautiful to me than when you fix my math.” And that Marnie starts to believe she could help change her country for the better.

By S. L. Prater,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Recipe for Disaster: Malicious Magic, Shifting Political Powers, and a Forbidden Love

Marnie is a gifted witch—but magic has a mind of its own. Left unrestrained, it will always misbehave. When a demonic curse threatens Lord Bran, a man she’s loved since childhood, Marnie uses her abilities to save him.

After years of suppressing their feelings—knowing the relationship is prohibited by the Church of the Cloth—the two succumb to their passion. Her growing power triggers a dangerous political war—and their relationship is doomed before it begins.

Now the couple must decide whether to keep their love a secret or…

Book cover of Sorcerer to the Crown

Donna Maree Hanson Author Of Argenterra

From my list on world building and imaginary worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love reading and writing and I have always loved science fiction and myths and legends. I read my first fantasy when I was around 23, Stephen Donaldson’s Lord Foul’s Bane. I know some people hate that series, but to me, the world he created was so real, so full of interesting things. At that time, I had not read Lord of the Rings so I didn’t realise how closely the world building was to Tolkien. I need to bond with my characters and feel their journey, cry at the end if it is sad, and think about them well after I have finished the story.

Donna's book list on world building and imaginary worlds

Donna Maree Hanson Why did Donna love this book?

A great voice, an interesting take on fantasy, a non-white hero and heroine, rich mix of traditional fable and myth, and lots of Austeneque language. This story also takes on colonialism. I loved this book so much. It was a delight from start to finish and I’ve gone on to read other books by this author and I went to a coffee talk at the World SF Convention in Dublin. I was so thrilled to meet her.

By Zen Cho,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Sorcerer to the Crown as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of NPR's 50 Favorite Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books of the Past Decade

Magic and mayhem clash with the British elite in this whimsical and sparkling debut.

The Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers maintains the magic within His Majesty’s lands. But lately, the once proper institute has fallen into disgrace, naming an altogether unsuitable gentleman as their Sorcerer Royal and allowing England’s  stores of magic to bleed dry. At least they haven’t stooped so low as to allow women to practice what is obviously a man’s profession…
At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers, ventures…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in communism, espionage, and spies?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about communism, espionage, and spies.

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