100 books like The Jewish War

By Flavius Josephus,

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

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of The Roman Revolution

Mark Koyama Author Of How the World Became Rich: The Historical Origins of Economic Growth

From my list on politics and economics in preindustrial societies.

Who am I?

I've always been fascinated with history. The study of economic history allows me to combine my passion for understanding the past with a rigorous and systematic set of analytical tools. In my own work I'm interested in understanding the economic, political, and institutional transformations that have created the modern world. The books I've selected here help us better understand quite how different the past and they have proven to be invaluable to me as inspirations. 

Mark's book list on politics and economics in preindustrial societies

Mark Koyama Why did Mark love this book?

Syme was wrote about the fall of the Roman Republic in the shadow of the rise of totalitarianism. 

But for me what is most interesting about this book is its use of collective biography and its argument that the rise of Caesar and Augustus is best understood as the rise of a party or a faction. Most books on the Late Republic focus on the larger-than-life personalities: Caesar, Pompey, Crassus, and Cicero. Syme focuses on structures and systematic factors.

He writes with an at times jarring cynicism. His treatment of Cicero is particularly critical for example. For Syme, all states are governed by coalitions of elites.

And the writing is unforgettable: "a monarchy rules through an oligarchy"; "at its worst, biography is flat and schematic: at its best, it is often baffled by the hidden discords of human nature... undue insistence on upon the character and exploits of a single…

By Ronald Syme,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Roman Revolution is a profound and unconventional treatment of a great theme - the fall of the Republic and the decline of freedom in Rome between 60 BC and AD 14, and the rise to power of the greatest of the Roman Emperors, Augustus. The transformation of state and society, the violent transference of power and property, and the establishment of Augustus' rule are presented in an unconventional narrative, which quotes from ancient evidence, refers
seldomly to modern authorities, and states controversial opinions quite openly. The result is a book which is both fresh and compelling.


Book cover of Encyclopaedia Biblica

Henry Davis Author Of Creating Christianity - A Weapon Of Ancient Rome

From my list on ancient history that challenge assumptions.

Who am I?

Henry Davis is an independent historical researcher who has been studying ancient history for over 20 years. Even though he wanted to embark on a formal education studying the Classics, he suffered from extreme anxiety and felt he could not do so. He resorted to self-study, with help from family and friends, who had degrees in Classical studies, and began reading the work of respected historians/scholars/classicists, Dame Mary Beard, Tom Holland, Sir Ronald Syme, Gavin Townend, and Anthony Birley, to name only a few.

Henry's book list on ancient history that challenge assumptions

Henry Davis Why did Henry love this book?

The official title of the book is ‘Encyclopedia Biblica: A Critical Dictionary of the Literary, Political and Religious History, the Archaeology, Geography, and Natural History of the Bible.' This work was produced by various professors of Oxford University and was a continual work from 1899-1903. It seems to be rarely mentioned by historians and Biblical scholars today, and I am recommending this work because there is a considerable wealth of information in it, and any student of history would find it incredibly useful. The Oxford professors critically examined ancient folklore and legends, without being swayed by traditional opinions of the time. For example, the origins of the people of Israel, and Egyptian and Hittite history are thoroughly examined, as is the Biblical literature. Interestingly, in this work, the professors doubted the existence of Nazareth, stating: ‘Was Nazareth originally the name of a town (or village) at all? There…

By John Sutherland Black, Thomas Kelly Cheyne,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and…


Book cover of Marcus Aurelius: A Biography

Donald J. Robertson Author Of Verissimus: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius

From my list on modern books on Marcus Aurelius.

Who am I?

I am an author and cognitive-behavioural psychotherapist. I am one of the founders of the Modern Stoicism nonprofit organisation and the president and founder of the Plato’s Academy Centre in Athens, Greece. I’ve published six books on philosophy and psychotherapy, mostly focusing on the Stoic philosophy and its relationship with modern psychology and evidence-based psychotherapy.

Donald's book list on modern books on Marcus Aurelius

Donald J. Robertson Why did Donald love this book?

Although some people assume we don’t know much about Marcus Aurelius, the truth is that we probably know more about him than most other ancient philosophers, and certainly, there are several modern biographies of Marcus Aurelius but the best is this one by the British historian, Anthony Birley. Birley adopts a scholarly approach but he also keeps quite a tight focus on the events of Marcus’ life. (Frank McLynn’s biography is more widely-read but ranges more freely over topics such as the Roman empire’s economy.)  

By Anthony Birley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher-emperor who ruled the Roman Empire between AD 161 and 180, is one of the best recorded individuals from antiquity. Even his face became more than usually familiar: the imperial coinage displayed his portrait for over 40 years, from the clean-shaven young heir of Antonius to the war-weary, heavily bearded ruler who died at his post in his late fifties.
His correspondence with his tutor Fronto, and even more the private notebook he kept for his last ten years, the Meditations, provides a unique series of vivid and revealing glimpses into the character and peoccupations of this…


Book cover of Myth of Persecution

Henry Davis Author Of Creating Christianity - A Weapon Of Ancient Rome

From my list on ancient history that challenge assumptions.

Who am I?

Henry Davis is an independent historical researcher who has been studying ancient history for over 20 years. Even though he wanted to embark on a formal education studying the Classics, he suffered from extreme anxiety and felt he could not do so. He resorted to self-study, with help from family and friends, who had degrees in Classical studies, and began reading the work of respected historians/scholars/classicists, Dame Mary Beard, Tom Holland, Sir Ronald Syme, Gavin Townend, and Anthony Birley, to name only a few.

Henry's book list on ancient history that challenge assumptions

Henry Davis Why did Henry love this book?

Certain events that the ancient writers described, do not always seem to fit within the time they were writing, and I very much enjoy books that question what was written. In my opinion, this book by Candida Moss is very provocative, as it challenges the traditional view of the alleged persecution of Christians. A particular point she makes is in regards to the Roman historian, Tacitus, she states: ‘Tacitus’s Annals dates to 115-20 (CE), at least fifty years after the events he describes. His use of the term “Christian” is somewhat anachronistic. It’s highly unlikely that, at the time the Great Fire occurred, anyone recognized Jesus followers as a distinct and separate group.’ Although this book leaves questions unanswered, it offers a great deal to think about. Another scholar of note, who also argues against the idea that Christians were a special group being attacked by the Roman state or…

By Candida Moss,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In The Myth of Persecution, Candida Moss, a leading expert on early Christianity, reveals how the early church exaggerated, invented, and forged stories of Christian martyrs and how the dangerous legacy of a martyrdom complex is employed today to silence dissent and galvanize a new generation of culture warriors.
 
According to cherished church tradition and popular belief, before the Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal in the fourth century, early Christians were systematically persecuted by a brutal Roman Empire intent on their destruction. As the story goes, vast numbers of believers were thrown to the lions, tortured, or burned alive because…


Book cover of On War

Martin Van Creveld Author Of The Privileged Sex

From my list on on war, full stop.

Who am I?

As a professor emeritus of history at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, over the years I’ve been widely mentioned as one of the world’s foremost experts on military theory and history. On these and other topics I have written 34 books, which between them have been published in 19 languages. I’ve also consulted with defense departments, taught and lectured all over the world, etc., etc.

Martin's book list on on war, full stop

Martin Van Creveld Why did Martin love this book?

Most theoretical works on war claim to instruct their readers about how to wage war. With the result that, especially in modern times when technology is racing ahead, quickly becomes out of date. By contrast, Clausewitz, a student of the philosopher Immanuel Kant, all but ignores technology. Instead he focuses on two cardinal questions: what war is, and what it is waged for. From this, using reality to check on theory and theory to check on reality, he proceeds step by step. Many of his conclusions, e.g “war is a duel on an extended scale means.” “The best strategy is always to be very strong, first in general and then at the decisive point.” “The attacker always wants peace.” “The stronger form of war is the defense.” “In war everything is simple, but the simplest thing is very complex.” “Comes the culminating point, every offense will turn into a defense,”…

By Carl von Clausewitz, Beatrice Heuser, Michael Howard (translator) , Peter Paret (translator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'War is merely the continuation of policy by other means'

On War is one of the most important books ever written on the subject of war. Clausewitz, a Prussian officer who fought against the French during the Napoleonic Wars, sought to understand and analyse the phenomenon of war so that future leaders could conduct and win conflicts more effectively. He studied the human and social factors that affect outcomes, as well as the tactical and technological ones. He understood that war was a weapon of government, and that political purpose,
chance, and enmity combine to shape its dynamics. On War…


Book cover of The Iliad

Martin Van Creveld Author Of The Privileged Sex

From my list on on war, full stop.

Who am I?

As a professor emeritus of history at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, over the years I’ve been widely mentioned as one of the world’s foremost experts on military theory and history. On these and other topics I have written 34 books, which between them have been published in 19 languages. I’ve also consulted with defense departments, taught and lectured all over the world, etc., etc.

Martin's book list on on war, full stop

Martin Van Creveld Why did Martin love this book?

The Iliad is not a book on strategy. Nor on tactics, nor on logistics, nor on command and control, nor on any other individual aspect of warfare about which any number of lesser authors have written. An epic poem, it provides an unparalleled panorama of men (and, playing a secondary yet crucially important role, a few women) at war: the hope, the despair, the fear, the elation, the kindness, the rage, the horror, the love and the sex (which both increases the horror and to some extent makes up for it). All intertwined, and all pulsating along with the human heart. Probably written down around 750 BCE, but making use of much older material, for almost three millennia now it has been regarded not just as a classic but as the greatest classic of all. Unquestionably it will continue doing so for millennia more. 

By Homer, Gareth Hinds,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a companion volume to his award-winning adaptation of The Odyssey, the incomparable graphic novelist Gareth Hinds masterfully adapts Homer’s classic wartime epic.

More than three thousand years ago, two armies faced each other in an epic battle that rewrote history and came to be known as the Trojan War. The Iliad, Homer's legendary account of this nine-year ordeal, is considered the greatest war story of all time and one of the most important works of Western literature. In this stunning graphic novel adaptation — a thoroughly researched and artfully rendered masterwork — renowned illustrator Gareth Hinds captures all the…


Book cover of The Art of War

Cassmer Ward Author Of How Much Does It Cost to Make a Donut?: And Other Questions That Make Us Hate Accounting

From my list on developing an entrepreneurial instinct.

Who am I?

My passion for developing entrepreneurial and business instinct is simple. It is all based on confidence. Over time, my experiences have shown me that many leaders (myself included) can end up in “decision paralysis” and default to taking no action at all. Leaders can have all of the information and indicators that a decision is the right thing to do, but they default to doing nothing. By developing a better understanding of my own instincts, I have been able to build confidence in the decisions I have made over the past 20 years, thus eliminating any deterrents from making sound decisions.

Cassmer's book list on developing an entrepreneurial instinct

Cassmer Ward Why did Cassmer love this book?

I really hesitated putting The Art of War on my list. It is almost cliché as a lot of pretentious students of business and entrepreneurs will have a copy of this book prominently displayed in their office or listed as an influence in their professional profiles.

However, the lessons in this book are simple and profound. When you cannot win the battle, do not engage with the enemy. While these seem like simple common sense insights, all business leaders should revisit them in their most simplest terms. There are too many books and resources that will take one of the concepts from The Art of War and turn it into a thesis and completely water down the lessons at hand. 

To refine your entrepreneurial instinct, you should frequently revisit what it was built upon. The Art of War is the foundation.

By Sun Tzu, Skyhigh Publication (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Note: The chapters in the book are not in order and it is intentional.
This edition approved by the Holden-Crowther Organisation for Asian Studies.


Book cover of Arms and Influence: With a New Preface and Afterword

Martin Van Creveld Author Of The Privileged Sex

From my list on on war, full stop.

Who am I?

As a professor emeritus of history at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, over the years I’ve been widely mentioned as one of the world’s foremost experts on military theory and history. On these and other topics I have written 34 books, which between them have been published in 19 languages. I’ve also consulted with defense departments, taught and lectured all over the world, etc., etc.

Martin's book list on on war, full stop

Martin Van Creveld Why did Martin love this book?

In the whole of military history, no year was more important than 1945. Why? Because it introduced nuclear weapons to the world and the world to nuclear weapons. Both before and after Hiroshima new weapons have always affected the way war is waged; whereas nuclear ones, by threatening to turn even the “victor” into a radioactive desert, have cast doubt on the purpose for which may be waged and even whether it can be waged at all. 

As the current war in Ukraine has shown once again, provided both sides have a credible second-strike capability using nuclear weapons to win a war is impossible. So what can they be used for and how? Proceeding step by step Schelling, a Nobel-Prize winning professor of game theory, provides the answers in ways that not only have not been improved upon since the book was published in 1965 but are easy to understand…

By Thomas C. Schelling,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Traditionally, Americans have viewed war as an alternative to diplomacy, and military strategy as the science of victory. Today, however, in our world of nuclear weapons, military power is not so much exercised as threatened. It is, Mr. Schelling says, bargaining power, and the exploitation of this power, for good or evil, to preserve peace or to threaten war, is diplomacy-the diplomacy of violence. The author concentrates in this book on the way in which military capabilities-real or imagined-are used, skillfully or clumsily, as bargaining power. He sees the steps taken by the U.S. during the Berlin and Cuban crises…


Book cover of The New Testament

Lena Einhorn Author Of A Shift in Time: How Historical Documents Reveal the Surprising Truth about Jesus

From my list on ancient religious texts and actual history.

Who am I?

Lena Einhorn is a writer and filmmaker, with a background in medicine. She has portrayed Greta Garbo’s life before the breakthrough, in the novel Blekinge Street 32, and in Nina’s Journey, she told the story of her mother, one of the last to leave the Warsaw ghetto alive. Nina’s Journey also became a feature film, written and directed by Einhorn. The book received the National Book Award of Sweden, and the film received the National Film Award for best picture and best script, as well as a number of international awards. In 2019 the critically acclaimed autobiographical novel The Thin Ice came out.

Lena's book list on ancient religious texts and actual history

Lena Einhorn Why did Lena love this book?

The New Testament has been portrayed as a repetitive and largely ahistorical text, except for the presence of the names of certain individuals (Emperors Augustus and Tiberius, Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate, Jewish King Herod the Great, etc, etc). Otherwise, very little fits with known history of first-century Juda and Galilee. But when one reads this religious narrative, The New Testament, next to the narratives of Josephus—written around the same time—one starts discerning certain recurring patterns. And after a while one realizes that The New Testament is anything but boring. It is actually a fantastic text, skillfully written in layers, where the historical layer lies just beneath the surface. The New Testament is full of incomprehensible elements—unknown names just thrown into the narrative, seeming contradictions, etc—but it is in these strange elements that the clues lie. One needs, however, to have Josephus' historical texts (The Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities)…

By David Bentley Hart (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From one of our most celebrated writers on religion, a fresh, bold, and unsettling new translation of the New Testament

"The greatest achievement of Hart's translation is to restore the urgency of the original. . . . It is beautiful."-James Mumford, Standpoint

"This translation is a remarkable feat."-Lucy Beckett, Times Literary Supplement

David Bentley Hart undertook this new translation of the New Testament in the spirit of "etsi doctrina non daretur," "as if doctrine is not given." Reproducing the texts' often fragmentary formulations without augmentation or correction, he has produced a pitilessly literal translation, one that captures the texts' impenetrability…


Book cover of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Armin Shimerman Author Of Imbalance of Power

From my list on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan period.

Who am I?

I'm a classically trained Shakespearian actor who has spent a lifetime researching Tudor and Stuart times, imbibing their language, customs, and idiosyncrasies. As an actor, I'm trained to get inside my characters' heads and dedicate myself to their intentions. Also, as an actor, I've come to relish language and recognize what makes a good phrase, paragraph, and/or book. I not only perform the Bard, but I've also taught his rhetorical stylings to countless people. I love language and admire writers who use it elegantly. They say, "Write what you know." I know Shakespeare and the Elizabethan era inside and out. One's life can be changed by a book; the ones I've recommended have changed mine.

Armin's book list on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan period

Armin Shimerman Why did Armin love this book?

Every time I wade into a play or see a production, I discover the language that describes the human condition perfectly. Pithy moments of insight juxtaposed and embedded in meaningful testimonies of why we do the things we do. As a writer, I believe there is no better teacher of the magic of the English language.

By William Shakespeare,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This ebook contains Shakespeare's complete plays and complete poems in a new, easy-to-read and easy-to-navigate format. This is the most reader-friendly introduction to Shakespeare available today. 'The Complete Works of William Shakespeare' collects all thirty-seven of the immortal Bard's comedies, tragedies, and historical plays in a Collectible Edition. This volume also features Shakespeare's complete poetry, including the sonnets. With this beautiful Collectible Edition, you can enjoy Shakespeare's enduring literary legacy again and again.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Jewish history, the Holocaust, and Judaism?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Jewish history, the Holocaust, and Judaism.

Jewish History Explore 436 books about Jewish history
The Holocaust Explore 372 books about the Holocaust
Judaism Explore 85 books about Judaism