70 books like The Devil's Own Work

By Barnet Schecter,

Here are 70 books that The Devil's Own Work fans have personally recommended if you like The Devil's Own Work. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Among the Thugs

Zachary M. Schrag Author Of The Fires of Philadelphia: Citizen-Soldiers, Nativists, and the 1844 Riots Over the Soul of a Nation

From my list on mob violence.

Who am I?

I am fortunate not to have witnessed any major riots myself; the worst I’ve endured was a 1993 street fight in Moscow between parading Communists and the police, with bricks on one side and clubs and water cannon on the other. But even a relatively gentle protest march that draws a police response can be an astonishing spectacle, transforming a familiar, modern city into a medieval battlefield of massed crowds confronting armored men on horseback. And I am fascinated by the place of crowd actions in democratic societies. The right to assemble is embedded in our constitution, but there’s a fine line between public expression and mob rule.

Zachary's book list on mob violence

Zachary M. Schrag Why did Zachary love this book?

Whatever rhetoric leaders deploy, they depend on others—usually teenagers and young men—who will fight for the joy of it. “Violence is one of the most intensely lived experiences,” writes Buford. “For those capable of giving themselves over to it, is one of the most intense pleasures.” He reaches this conclusion after years of observing the largely apolitical English football hooligans who follow their favorite teams around Europe, plundering and brawling as they go. The crime is brutal and pointless, but, Buford explains, the thugs thrill to the mayhem, the naughtiness, and the sound of broken glass. 

By Bill Buford,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Among the Thugs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The author of this book has spent most of his spare time "among the thugs", the hooligans whose violence scars the face of English football. He has written a work of investigative journalism and a meditation on the violence that lies just beneath the surface of English life.


Book cover of Hate Spin: The Manufacture of Religious Offense and Its Threat to Democracy

Zachary M. Schrag Author Of The Fires of Philadelphia: Citizen-Soldiers, Nativists, and the 1844 Riots Over the Soul of a Nation

From my list on mob violence.

Who am I?

I am fortunate not to have witnessed any major riots myself; the worst I’ve endured was a 1993 street fight in Moscow between parading Communists and the police, with bricks on one side and clubs and water cannon on the other. But even a relatively gentle protest march that draws a police response can be an astonishing spectacle, transforming a familiar, modern city into a medieval battlefield of massed crowds confronting armored men on horseback. And I am fascinated by the place of crowd actions in democratic societies. The right to assemble is embedded in our constitution, but there’s a fine line between public expression and mob rule.

Zachary's book list on mob violence

Zachary M. Schrag Why did Zachary love this book?

Unscrupulous leaders often stir up mob violence in service to their own ambitions, taking offense at slights that they could choose to shrug off. George charges such groups as the Bharatiya Janata Party in India, the Front Pembela Islam in Indonesia, and ACT! for America in the United States with pursuing power, money, and attention by shrieking that a blasphemous cartoon, a multicultural textbook, or a new house of worship threatens the dominant religion. “Explosions of righteous indignation and incitement are more than the hysteria of mad mullahs and enraged mobs,” argues George. He reminds us to look past the young men throwing rocks and find the movement leaders who stand to gain.

By Cherian George,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How right-wing political entrepreneurs around the world use religious offense—both given and taken—to mobilize supporters and marginalize opponents.

In the United States, elements of the religious right fuel fears of an existential Islamic threat, spreading anti-Muslim rhetoric into mainstream politics. In Indonesia, Muslim absolutists urge suppression of churches and minority sects, fostering a climate of rising intolerance. In India, Narendra Modi's radical supporters instigate communal riots and academic censorship in pursuit of their Hindu nationalist vision. Outbreaks of religious intolerance are usually assumed to be visceral and spontaneous. But in Hate Spin, Cherian George shows that they often involve sophisticated…


Book cover of Tear Gas: From the Battlefields of World War I to the Streets of Today

Thomas I. Faith Author Of Behind the Gas Mask: The U.S. Chemical Warfare Service in War and Peace

From my list on chemical weapons.

Who am I?

When I first enrolled in college, I expected to be a science major who was also interested in history, but I ended up becoming a history major who was also interested in science. I earned my Ph.D. in history from George Washington University in Washington, DC, after earning my B.A. from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. My Ph.D. dissertation on the U.S. Army Chemical Warfare Service during WWI and the 1920s became the basis for my book Behind the Gas Mask.

Thomas' book list on chemical weapons

Thomas I. Faith Why did Thomas love this book?

Anna Feigenbaum’s book describes the origins of tear gas as a weapon of war and its transition to a crowd control tool. Tear Gas tells a story about the relationships between militaries, arms manufacturers, and police forces that has critical public policy and societal implications today. The continued use of tear gas to counter-protest movements and mass demonstrations around the globe remains a challenge for advocates of arms control, social justice, and human rights.

By Anna Feigenbaum,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One hundred years ago, French troops fired tear gas grenades into German trenches. Designed to force people out from behind barricades and trenches, tear gas causes burning of the eyes and skin, tearing, and gagging. Chemical weapons are now banned from war zones. But today, tear gas has become the most commonly used form of "less-lethal" police force. In 2011, the year that protests exploded from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street, tear gas sales tripled. Most tear gas is produced in the United States, and many images of protestors in Tahrir Square showed tear gas canisters with "Made…


Book cover of Four Dead in Ohio

Zachary M. Schrag Author Of The Fires of Philadelphia: Citizen-Soldiers, Nativists, and the 1844 Riots Over the Soul of a Nation

From my list on mob violence.

Who am I?

I am fortunate not to have witnessed any major riots myself; the worst I’ve endured was a 1993 street fight in Moscow between parading Communists and the police, with bricks on one side and clubs and water cannon on the other. But even a relatively gentle protest march that draws a police response can be an astonishing spectacle, transforming a familiar, modern city into a medieval battlefield of massed crowds confronting armored men on horseback. And I am fascinated by the place of crowd actions in democratic societies. The right to assemble is embedded in our constitution, but there’s a fine line between public expression and mob rule.

Zachary's book list on mob violence

Zachary M. Schrag Why did Zachary love this book?

In May 1970, Kent, Ohio, witnessed four days of violence, from a rampage downtown that left fifty-six store windows smashed, to the shooting of thirteen Kent State University students by the Ohio National Guard. To tell this story, cartoonist Backderf blends his craft with the historian’s. And it works: The same visual conventions that render the deeds of superheroes also effectively portray historic violence. Relying on oral histories, official investigations, and photographs as sources, Backderf depicts punches and kicks, the grins of victors and the grimaces of the vanquished, and the accompanying sounds: Pop! Crak! Bang! Crash! While contemptuous of the Guard’s senior leadership, he nonetheless takes care to present multiple points of view.

By Derf Backderf,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Four Dead in Ohio as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From bestselling author Derf Backderf comes the untold story of the Kent State shootings-timed for the 50th anniversary

On May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard gunned down unarmed college students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State University. In a deadly barrage of 67 shots, 4 students were killed and 9 shot and wounded. It was the day America turned guns on its own children-a shocking event burned into our national memory. A few days prior, 10-year-old Derf Backderf saw those same Guardsmen patrolling his nearby hometown, sent in by the governor to crush a trucker strike. Using the…


Book cover of Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City

Anna Mae Duane Author Of Educated for Freedom: The Incredible Story of Two Fugitive Schoolboys Who Grew Up to Change a Nation

From my list on Black New Yorkers you wish you had learned about in history class.

Who am I?

I am an associate professor of English at the University of Connecticut. I’ve spent most of my career thinking about the role children have played in American culture. Adults, past and present, often overlook the intelligence and resilience of children who have managed to change both their immediate circumstances, and the world around them. I seek out these children and do my best to honor their stories. I’ve written or edited four other books on race and childhood, and have a podcast on children in history.

Anna's book list on Black New Yorkers you wish you had learned about in history class

Anna Mae Duane Why did Anna love this book?

Part history, part memoir, part detective story, the capacious, impeccably researched Black Gotham depicts an author’s engagement with her own ancestry, as she traces her family’s achievements in nineteenth-century New York City. Starting with the name and a family story about one great-grandfather, Peterson weaves a vibrant tapestry that details the lives of a community of elite Black New Yorkers who attended schools, started businesses, generated national conventions, and lived cosmopolitan lives. In addition to chronicling the lives of these accomplished ancestors, Peterson offers a compelling meditation on the determination and creativity required to excavate the lives of Black Americans whom traditional historians had long neglected.

By Carla L. Peterson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking history of elite black New Yorkers in the nineteenth century, seen through the lens of the author's ancestors

Part detective tale, part social and cultural narrative, Black Gotham is Carla Peterson's riveting account of her quest to reconstruct the lives of her nineteenth-century ancestors. As she shares their stories and those of their friends, neighbors, and business associates, she illuminates the greater history of African-American elites in New York City.

Black Gotham challenges many of the accepted "truths" about African-American history, including the assumption that the phrase "nineteenth-century black Americans" means enslaved people, that "New York state before…


Book cover of We Hope for Better Things

Irene Hannon Author Of Labyrinth of Lies

From my list on character-rich reads without sex or swearing.

Who am I?

Long before I earned a degree in psychology, I was fascinated by human relationships and motivations. Since reading novels is an excellent way to delve into the minds of a variety of people, the library became my second home. I well remember my first binge-read—Nancy Drew. I devoured the entire series sitting under a catalpa tree in my grandfather’s backyard. So it’s probably not surprising that I’m now the author of 60+ novels in the romantic suspense and contemporary romance genres—none of which include sex, swear words, or gratuitous violence. Because as suspense superstar Mary Higgins Clark once said, you don’t need any of those to tell a compelling story. 

Irene's book list on character-rich reads without sex or swearing

Irene Hannon Why did Irene love this book?

A powerful, riveting, and unputdownable tale of three women from different eras (Civil War to present) that frames the issue of race relations within the context of family relationships, making the subject immensely relatable and deeply touching. Bartels spins this masterful tale with a deft touch and a caring heart to create a stunning debut. Because the characters were so vivid and the emotions so real, this book opened my eyes in new ways to an issue that remains a hot button in today’s society.

By Erin Bartels,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Hope for Better Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A 2020 Michigan Notable Book
2020 WFWA Star Award Winner
2019 Christy Award finalist

***

"In this powerful first novel . . . Bartels successfully weaves American history into a deeply moving story of heartbreak, long-held secrets, and the bonds of family."--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"A forbidden interracial marriage, an escaped slave, an expectant mother waiting for her Union soldier to return--all of these stories are deftly told by Bartels, as she explores the hard realities of racism and its many faces during various eras of American history. . . .Compelling characters make this winning debut also appealing for fans…


Book cover of Civil War

Mya Chavis Author Of A Sovereign Pursuit: Stolen Justice Redeemed

From my list on comic fiction having you on the edge of your seat.

Who am I?

Creatively formulating, cultivating, and producing high-quality fiction “masterpieces” is what I was destined to do. The art of writing is a “gift & passion” that runs rapidly through my veins. Propelled through an obitual love of reading adventurous tales and storytelling as a young child my writing voyage has expanded to writing poetry, monologues, and screen writing. Combining all imaginative inspired gifts and talents refined by a burning passion to communicate prolific narrations like no other author can. Inspirational, impactful authors that paved the way for me to be here are Maya Angelou, Roald Dahl, Theodor Seuss Geisel, Levar Burton, and Nikki Giovanni.

Mya's book list on comic fiction having you on the edge of your seat

Mya Chavis Why did Mya love this book?

I particularly enjoyed reading this book for its exuberating passion for standing up for one’s beliefs within the crusader expedition of battle.

Its formation is that of a clever and well-preformed narrative. Marvel Comics introduces a vicious and corrupt government that attempts to entrap these superheroes into a reprehensible system of Tyranny. Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, and The Fantastic Four, among others, align with their patriot allegiances to engage in this bloody war to the end.

The plot was intense. Overall, this narrative was fun and exciting to read leaving you on the edge of your seat until the end.

By Stuart Moore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Civil War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

SPIDER-MAN * IRON MAN CAPTAIN AMERICA * THE FANTASTIC FOUR

THE EPIC STORY THAT BLOWS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE APART!

Iron Man and Captain America: two core members of the Avengers, the world's greatest super hero team. When a tragic battle blows a hole in the city of Stamford, killing hundreds of people, the U.S. government demands that all super heroes unmask and register their powers. To Tony Stark-Iron Man-it's a regrettable but necessary step. To Captain America, it's an unbearable assault on civil liberties.

SO BEGINS THE CIVIL WAR.

BASED ON THE SMASH-HIT GRAPHIC NOVEL THAT HAS SOLD MORE THAN…


Book cover of The Hardhat Riot: Nixon, New York City, and the Dawn of the White Working-Class Revolution

Timothy N. Thurber Author Of Republicans and Race: The GOP's Frayed Relationship with African Americans, 1945-1974

From my list on Republicans and Democrats in the 1960s.

Who am I?

I developed a strong interest in current events, especially politics, in high school. What the government does, or does not do, struck me as a vital piece of the puzzle in trying to explain why things are the way they are. That soon led, however, to seeing how the past continues to influence the present. No decade is more important than the 1960s for understanding our current political climate.

Timothy's book list on Republicans and Democrats in the 1960s

Timothy N. Thurber Why did Timothy love this book?

On May 8, 1970, just days after the killing of four college students at Kent State University, construction workers in New York City violently attacked a group that had gathered to protest the Vietnam War.

Kuhn offers a riveting account of the events (dubbed the “Hardhat Riot” by some and “Workers’ Woodstock” by others), but he also situates them into a broader story of how the war and other developments of the 1960s exacerbated divisions within the Democratic Party between white, heavily unionized blue-collar workers in the urban North and an emerging class of college-educated professionals. 

Nixon successfully courted many of the blue-collar workers on the way to his landslide victory in 1972. Kuhn is no apologist for the workers, but he also avoids facile stereotypes about the white working class, some of which persist to this day.  

By David Paul Kuhn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In May 1970, four days after Kent State, construction workers chased students through downtown Manhattan, beating scores of protestors bloody. As hardhats clashed with hippies, it soon became clear that something larger was happening; Democrats were at war with themselves. In The Hardhat Riot, David Paul Kuhn tells the fateful story-how chaotic it was, when it began, when the white working class first turned against liberalism, when Richard Nixon seized the
breach, and America was forever changed. It was unthinkable one generation before: FDR's "forgotten man" siding with the party of Big Business and, ultimately, paving the way for presidencies…


Book cover of Little Fire

Jessica Wayne Author Of The Last Ward: A Dark Fantasy Romance (Cambrexian Realm)

From my list on enemies who can’t stand the heat (between them).

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated with high fantasy since the moment my grandmother first presented me with Eragon by Christopher Paolini. Then, add in a Nora Roberts book when I turned sixteen, and voila, my love for all things fantasy romance was born. I crave tension, romance, sizzle, and some epic fight-to-love scenes that make my blood run hot. When I started writing, I knew the exact genre I wanted to focus on–romance. All. Things. Romance. Fantasy, paranormal, contemporary–I enjoy writing them all but in every single one of my stories there lies a thread of fight–of sizzle–because what’s a happily ever after if you don’t have to work for it?

Jessica's book list on enemies who can’t stand the heat (between them)

Jessica Wayne Why did Jessica love this book?

Steamy slow-burn with tension you can feel rolling off the page? This one is for you! This new-to-me author was an epic find and I cannot get enough. The world-building is beyond exceptional, the characters and their struggles–both physical and mental–are realistic even as it’s a fantasy! I one-clicked the rest of the series even before I finished the first book! 

By Hollee Mands,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

She’s broken from a past she can’t remember. He’s scarred from a past he can’t forget.

Declan can kill with a blink of his eye. Jaded and cold, he rules his kingdom the same way he does his heart—with ruthless pragmatism. So why does he risk all to protect a little mortal during a slave-trade uprising? Now stranded in the demon realm, the loss of his powers is the least of his troubles. The woman may have a frustratingly tender heart, but she has enough fire in her soul to thaw the ice in his veins.

He could take her…


Book cover of Life Is a Wheel: Memoirs of a Bike-Riding Obituarist

Peter Zheutlin Author Of Spin: A Novel Based on a (Mostly) True Story

From my list on bicycles and cycling.

Who am I?

About thirty years ago I learned that my great-grandaunt Annie was, arguably, the first woman to circle the world by bicycle (1894-1895) and I spent years rescuing her story from the trash bin of history, for she was virtually forgotten for more than a century. An avid cyclist myself, Annie became both my muse and my inspiration. She was an outlandish character who stepped far outside the bounds of what was expected for women of her time; among other things, she was the married mother of three young children when she took off from Boston for fifteen months on the road, and she pioneered sports-related marketing for women, securing corporate sponsors and adorning her body and her bicycle with advertisements wherever she traveled.

Peter's book list on bicycles and cycling

Peter Zheutlin Why did Peter love this book?

Weber was for many years the lead obituary writer for The New York Times, hence the somewhat odd subtitle of this wry chronicle of a bicycle journey from Oregon to New York City. Weber has a sardonic wit that may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

By Bruce Weber,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Life Is a Wheel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Life Is a Wheel chronicles the cross-country bicycle trip Bruce Weber made at the age of fifty-seven, an “entertaining travel story filled with insightful thoughts about life, family, and aging” (The Associated Press).

During the summer and fall of 2011, Bruce Weber, an obituary writer for The New York Times, bicycled across the country, alone, and wrote about it as it unfolded. Life Is a Wheel is the witty, inspiring, and reflective diary of his journey, in which the challenges and rewards of self-reliance and strenuous physical effort yield wry and incisive observations about cycling and America, not to mention…


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