100 books like Redcoats

By Stephen Brumwell,

Here are 100 books that Redcoats fans have personally recommended if you like Redcoats. 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 Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766

Andrew Lipman Author Of The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast

From my list on the rise and fall of empires in North America.

Who am I?

I’m a born-and-bred New Englander and I teach history at Barnard College, Columbia University. I have always loved sailing and the ocean, so I’m fascinated with the early modern Age of Sail. My focus is the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Atlantic World, when the histories of the Americas, Europe, and Africa became permanently entangled. My first book, The Saltwater Frontier, won the Bancroft Prize in American History in 2016. My second book, The Life and Times of Squanto, is hitting bookshelves in Fall 2024. 

Andrew's book list on the rise and fall of empires in North America

Andrew Lipman Why did Andrew love this book?

The Seven Years’ War is obscure in the American historical imagination: if it’s remembered at all, it’s as a hazy, unimportant flintlocks-and-tomahawks event.

In this gripping, masterful narrative, Fred Anderson leaves his reader with no doubt of just how momentous this conflict was. He examines imperial, colonial, and indigenous actors to explain how the French were expelled from North America and how the war’s aftermath was a catalyst for both Native and colonial resistance to British rule.

Arguably the first world war, it could also be called the war that made America. 

By Fred Anderson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Crucible of War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this vivid and compelling narrative, the Seven Years' War–long seen as a mere backdrop to the American Revolution–takes on a whole new significance. Relating the history of the war as it developed, Anderson shows how the complex array of forces brought into conflict helped both to create Britain’s empire and to sow the seeds of its eventual dissolution.

Beginning with a skirmish in the Pennsylvania backcountry involving an inexperienced George Washington, the Iroquois chief Tanaghrisson, and the ill-fated French emissary Jumonville, Anderson reveals a chain of events that would lead to world conflagration. Weaving together the military, economic, and…


Book cover of The War That Made America

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Endgame 1758

From my list on the Seven Years’ War.

Who am I?

For 23 years, I was a staff historian at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. In the decade that followed, I worked for Parks Canada on other French colonial and Acadian sites in Atlantic Canada. Along the way and since, I wrote hundreds of articles and 21 books. Some of those books have won prizes, and the government of France honored me by making me a chevalier of its Ordre des Palmes académiques.

A.J.B.'s book list on the Seven Years’ War

A.J.B. Johnston Why did A.J.B. love this book?

For any who might feel that Anderson’s 900-page Crucible of War might be a bit too long, the historian thoughtfully produced this 382-page book on the same topic. There’s less detail, obviously, but Anderson still covers essentially the same ground and does so once again in highly readable fashion. It’s a journey in which Anderson explains how the conflict destroyed the French empire in North America, overturned the balance of power on two continents, altered the roles of Indigenous peoples, and contributed toward what a generation later would become the American Revolution. The book is well illustrated.

By Fred Anderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The War That Made America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The globe's first true world war comes vividly to life in this "rich, cautionary tale" (The New York Times Book Review)

The French and Indian War -the North American phase of a far larger conflagration, the Seven Years' War-remains one of the most important, and yet misunderstood, episodes in American history. Fred Anderson takes readers on a remarkable journey through the vast conflict that, between 1755 and 1763, destroyed the French Empire in North America, overturned the balance of power on two continents, undermined the ability of Indian nations to determine their destinies, and lit the "long fuse" of the…


Book cover of The Forts of New France in Northeast America 1600-1763

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Endgame 1758

From my list on the Seven Years’ War.

Who am I?

For 23 years, I was a staff historian at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. In the decade that followed, I worked for Parks Canada on other French colonial and Acadian sites in Atlantic Canada. Along the way and since, I wrote hundreds of articles and 21 books. Some of those books have won prizes, and the government of France honored me by making me a chevalier of its Ordre des Palmes académiques.

A.J.B.'s book list on the Seven Years’ War

A.J.B. Johnston Why did A.J.B. love this book?

Some readers want to see history as well as read it. Thankfully, there are many books about the Seven Years’ War that offer loads of illustrations, both from the era and produced more recently by illustrators. René Chartrand is the author of many such books, one of which is this one about the forts of New France. The author and illustrator present in-depth information about such French forts as Chambly, St. Frédéric (Crown Point), Carillon (Ticonderoga), Duquesne (Pittsburgh, PA), Ouiatenon (Quebec) and Vincennes (IN). As with all of Chartrand’s books, this one enriches our understanding of the Seven Years’ War, in this case by looking more carefully at the French side.

By René Chartrand,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Forts of New France in Northeast America 1600-1763 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'New France' consisted of the area colonized and ruled by France in North America. This title takes a look at the lengthy chain of forts built by the French to guard the frontier in the American northeast, including Sorel, Chambly, St Jean, Carillon (Ticonderoga), Duquesne (Pittsburgh, PA), and Vincennes. These forts were of two types: the major stone forts, and other forts made of wood and earth, all of which varied widely in style from Vauban-type elements to cabins surrounded by a stockade. Some forts, such as Chambly, looked more like medieval castles in their earliest incarnations. Rene Chartrand examines…


Book cover of Paths of Glory: The Life and Death of General James Wolfe

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Endgame 1758

From my list on the Seven Years’ War.

Who am I?

For 23 years, I was a staff historian at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. In the decade that followed, I worked for Parks Canada on other French colonial and Acadian sites in Atlantic Canada. Along the way and since, I wrote hundreds of articles and 21 books. Some of those books have won prizes, and the government of France honored me by making me a chevalier of its Ordre des Palmes académiques.

A.J.B.'s book list on the Seven Years’ War

A.J.B. Johnston Why did A.J.B. love this book?

Most historians see the 1759 siege of Québec as the ultimate battle in the Seven Years’ War. The pivotal character in that real-history drama was Major General James Wolfe, who died just as the battle on the Plains of Abraham was won. The story of Wolfe (and his French counterpart Montcalm) and the titanic struggle they were involved in has been told many times. What Stephen Brumwell adds in this multiple award-winning book is a fascinating biography of the figure at the center of it all. The author follows Wolfe from childhood to death and readers don’t want to miss a thing. It’s a brilliant, fast-paced, highly readable book.

By Stephen Brumwell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER: 2008 C. P. STACEY PRIZE (Best book in Canadian Military History) WINNER: 2008 DISTINGUISHED BOOK AWARD, SOCIETY OF COLONIAL WARS Ugly, gangling, and tormented by agonising illness, Major General James Wolfe was an unlikely hero. Yet in 1759, on the Plains of Abraham before Quebec, he won a battle with momentous consequences. Wolfe's victory, bought at the cost of his life, ensured that English, not French, would become the dominant language in North America. Ironically, by crippling French ambitions on this continent Wolfe paved the way for American independence from Britain. Already renowned for bold leadership, Wolfe's death at…


Book cover of A Breed of Heroes

Simon Akam Author Of The Changing of the Guard: the British army since 9/11

From my list on the British Army.

Who am I?

In 2003-4 I spent a year in the British Army between school and university. Ten years later, having become a journalist, I returned to investigate what a decade of war had done to the institution I knew as an adolescent. In the years I spent researching and writing The Changing of the Guard I read reams of non-fiction. However, novels retain an ability to hit wider – or harder truths – and some of our greatest writers have fictionalised British Army life. Here is a selection of British Army novels, well-known and less so. They take in conflicts ranging from the First and Second World Wars through to Northern Ireland and Afghanistan. 

Simon's book list on the British Army

Simon Akam Why did Simon love this book?

I found this novel on a secondhand stall in Kenya when I was 18 or 19 and devoured it. Little known today, it was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and later adapted by the BBC.

Judd relates a tour by a fictional British Army unit in Northern Ireland in some of the most violent days of the Troubles in the 1970s. The protagonist, Charles Thoroughgood, is an Oxford graduate at a time when most army officers were school leavers, and the book chants his increasing disillusionment.

My early edition featured on the cover – next to a crouching individual in combats toting a pistol on a lanyard an endorsement from Jack Higgins: “Quite simply one of the best novels of army life I’ve read in years.” Higgins was right. 

By Alan Judd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Breed of Heroes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

FROM THE HIGHLY ACCLAIMED AUTHOR OF LEGACY AND ACCIDENTAL AGENT

After university and Sandhurst, Charles Thoroughgood has now joined the Assault Commandos and is on a four-month tour of duty in Armagh and Belfast. The thankless task facing him and his men -- to patrol the tension-filled streets through weeks of boredom punctuated by bursts of horror -- takes them through times of tragedy, madness, laughter and terror.

Alan Judd tells Thoroughgood's tale with verve, compassion and humour. The result is an exceptionally fine novel which blends bitter human incident with army farce.

'Quite simply one of the best novels…


Book cover of The Defence of Duffer's Drift

Charles S. Oliviero Author Of Praxis Tacticum: The Art, Science and Practice of Military Tactics

From my list on military tactical thinking.

Who am I?

I spent 40 years as a soldier studying war. After graduation from Royal Military College, I joined the Armoured Corps. Throughout history, we have regaled each other with stories of war. From Greek myths to Norse sagas to modern movies, we cannot seem to get enough of war stories. And yet, we know that war is inherently a bad idea. It is evil. It is a form of collective madness. War is destructive and cruel, unworthy of our better selves. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, war breaks the bonds of our affection and does not speak to our better angels. I study it in order to better understand this madness.

Charles' book list on military tactical thinking

Charles S. Oliviero Why did Charles love this book?

Swinton was a British Army Royal Engineer who developed the battle tank. He writes an insightful and often humorous account of the young Subaltern, Lieutenant Backsight-Forethought, who during a series of fitful dreams, repeatedly gets everyone under his command killed. Ultimately, (through multiple failed lives lived) he learns enough about small-unit infantry fighting tactics to successfully defend the fictional Duffer’s Drift during the Boer War. Although Captain (later Major General) Swinton published it as a fictional tale, his aim was to teach tactical lessons and to generate discussion and debate among Subalterns.

By Ernest Dunlop Swinton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Defence of Duffer's Drift as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ernest Dunlop Swinton is a military professional with experience in the Boer War who wrote this famous short book based on a series of thoughts he had on how an infantry unit with only 50 men could defend a river crossing. Through the perspective of a young Lieutenant, you are given the terrain features, the political situation, conflict with civilians and limits on your own military support. There is a brief history of the war with the "Dutch" and then your Lieutenant receives his assignment. With the use of maps, there are six scenarios of the Lieutenants approach to defending…


Book cover of The Middle Parts of Fortune

Simon Akam Author Of The Changing of the Guard: the British army since 9/11

From my list on the British Army.

Who am I?

In 2003-4 I spent a year in the British Army between school and university. Ten years later, having become a journalist, I returned to investigate what a decade of war had done to the institution I knew as an adolescent. In the years I spent researching and writing The Changing of the Guard I read reams of non-fiction. However, novels retain an ability to hit wider – or harder truths – and some of our greatest writers have fictionalised British Army life. Here is a selection of British Army novels, well-known and less so. They take in conflicts ranging from the First and Second World Wars through to Northern Ireland and Afghanistan. 

Simon's book list on the British Army

Simon Akam Why did Simon love this book?

This is the one First World War novel in which the characters actually talk like soldiers – i.e., they swear. It therefore provides a powerful counterpunch to our usual notion of what the trenches sounded like.

The scalding language survived intact due to the book’s complicated publication history. Initial release in an anonymous volume available only for subscribers meant that Manning, an Australian who had served on the Somme, could sidestep the mores of his time.

The result was lines like this: "“Fuckin' slave drivers, that's what they are!” said Minton, flinging himself on the ground.  “What's the cunt want to come down ‘ere buggerin’ us about for, ‘aven't we done enough bloody work in th’ week?”” A bowdlerised version – “Her Privates We” – later followed, but the unexpurgated original is the one to read.

Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, and T.E. Lawrence all praised Manning’s work.

By Frederic Manning,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'They can say what they bloody well like, but we're a fuckin' fine mob.'

Deep in the mud, stench of the Somme, Bourne is trying his best to stay alive. There he finds the intense fraternity of war and fear unlike anything he has ever known.

Frederic Manning's novel was first published anonymously in 1929. The honesty with which he wrote about the horror, the boredom, and the futility of war inspired Ernest Hemingway to read the novel every year, 'to remember how things really were so that I will never lie to myself nor to anyone else about them.


Book cover of The Sword of Honour Trilogy

Simon Akam Author Of The Changing of the Guard: the British army since 9/11

From my list on the British Army.

Who am I?

In 2003-4 I spent a year in the British Army between school and university. Ten years later, having become a journalist, I returned to investigate what a decade of war had done to the institution I knew as an adolescent. In the years I spent researching and writing The Changing of the Guard I read reams of non-fiction. However, novels retain an ability to hit wider – or harder truths – and some of our greatest writers have fictionalised British Army life. Here is a selection of British Army novels, well-known and less so. They take in conflicts ranging from the First and Second World Wars through to Northern Ireland and Afghanistan. 

Simon's book list on the British Army

Simon Akam Why did Simon love this book?

I have a theory that great fiction about the British Army may require conscription – that system propelled individuals who otherwise would have never joined the military into the institution. They could then respond in writing in a manner that peacetime volunteers were never able to.

Evelyn Waugh, already in his late 30s when the Second World War was declared in 1939, was an unlikely soldier. However, he turned his experiences – notably in West Africa, Crete, and Yugoslavia – into a trio of fine fiction centered on a somewhat Waugh-like character, Guy Crouchback.

Waugh’s genius is to capture some of the eccentricities of army life – the discussion about the merits of porpoise skin as a material for boots will echo with anyone who has ever overheard, or participated in, an earnest discussion about the minutiae of kit. 

Book cover of The War for the Union, Vol. 1: The Improvised War, 1861-1862

Tom Kratman Author Of The Romanov Rescue

From my list on history and practice of war.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by war since I was literally a toddler. True story, I was the only two-and-a-half-year-old in South Boston, Massachusetts with an adult library card. I had to get one, and to get it to prove to the librarian that I could read, in order to check out certain books that I wanted. I only recall one title, The Battle of Midway. Since then, though I’ve done other things like practice law and become a novelist, most of my adult life was still spent as an enlisted man, non-commissioned officer, and company grade and field grade infantry officer in the Army.  

Tom's book list on history and practice of war

Tom Kratman Why did Tom love this book?

Yes, I know: “Eight volumes? Are you mad, Kratman?” 

This is unquestionably the greatest single history on the American Civil War ever written. There are over sixty thousand books about the Civil War in existence. You cannot hope to read them all. This being true, if the subject interests you—and it ought, because the Civil War made the United States what it is—if you can read only eight, make this series the eight. Think of it as a really long single volume work.

By Allan Nevins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The War for the Union, Vol. 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Adventures of the leader of the Vermont militia which took on the British Army during the American Revolution


Book cover of Morale: A Study of Men and Courage

Spencer Jones Author Of Courage Without Glory: The British Army on the Western Front 1915

From my list on the British Army in World War I.

Who am I?

Spencer Jones is an award-winning historian who has written several critically acclaimed books about the British Army in the First World War. He teaches history at the University of Wolverhampton, serves as the Regimental Historian of the Royal Artillery, and is the President of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides.

Spencer's book list on the British Army in World War I

Spencer Jones Why did Spencer love this book?

What enabled soldiers to maintain their morale in the inferno of the Western Front? This unique book explores the question by studying the soldiers of the elite 2nd Scottish Rifles at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in March 1915. It presents a fascinating micro-history of how a British battalion functioned in peace and in war. What type of men served in an elite unit? Where had they come from? What rules did they follow? Where did their loyalties lie? How did they maintain their spirit in the face of dreadful conditions and severe casualties? This book answers these questions and many more.

By John Christopher Malcolm Baynes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mark from price in front inner cover. Front cover is bent at top right corner, but is in overall acceptable shape.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the British Army, the Seven Years' War, and the West Indies?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the British Army, the Seven Years' War, and the West Indies.

The British Army Explore 29 books about the British Army
The Seven Years' War Explore 13 books about the Seven Years' War
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