100 books like The Law of Blood

By Johann Chapoutot, Miranda Richmond Mouillot (translator),

Here are 100 books that The Law of Blood fans have personally recommended if you like The Law of Blood. 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 Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World

David Livingstone Smith Author Of On Inhumanity: Dehumanization and How to Resist It

From my list on inhumanity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been studying dehumanization, and its relationship to racism, genocide, slavery, and other atrocities, for more than a decade. I am the author of three books on dehumanization, one of which was awarded the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf award for non-fiction, an award that is reserved for books that make an outstanding contribution to understanding racism and human diversity. My work on dehumanization is widely covered in the national and international media, and I often give presentations at academic and non-academic venues, including one at the 2012 G20 economic summit where I spoke on dehumanization and mass violence.

David's book list on inhumanity

David Livingstone Smith Why did David love this book?

Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner David Brion Davis was an unequaled scholar of American slavery, and this is one of his most important works. It describes in galvanizing detail the full arc of North American slavery, the emergence of African American culture, the evolution of anti-Black racism, and the abolitionist movement. It is unique in explicitly focusing on White people’s dehumanization of enslaved Africans.

By David Brion Davis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

David Brion Davis has long been recognized as the leading authority on slavery in the Western World. His books have won every major history award-including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award-and he has been universally praised for his prodigious research, his brilliant analytical skill, and his rich and powerful prose. Now, in Inhuman Bondage , Davis sums up a lifetime of insight in what Stanley L. Engerman calls "a monumental and magisterial book, the
essential work on New World slavery for several decades to come." Davis begins with the dramatic Amistad case, which vividly highlights the international character…


Book cover of Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940

David Livingstone Smith Author Of On Inhumanity: Dehumanization and How to Resist It

From my list on inhumanity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been studying dehumanization, and its relationship to racism, genocide, slavery, and other atrocities, for more than a decade. I am the author of three books on dehumanization, one of which was awarded the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf award for non-fiction, an award that is reserved for books that make an outstanding contribution to understanding racism and human diversity. My work on dehumanization is widely covered in the national and international media, and I often give presentations at academic and non-academic venues, including one at the 2012 G20 economic summit where I spoke on dehumanization and mass violence.

David's book list on inhumanity

David Livingstone Smith Why did David love this book?

Most people’s idea of lynching is the sanitized version that they have picked up from movies and TV. However, the practice of lynching, as it was carried out in the United States from the late 19th to well into the 20th century, was far more hideous than a few people hanging a man from a tree. This classic contribution concentrates on spectacle lynchings. These were public lynchings attended by hundreds or even thousands of spectators. They involved hours of torture and bodily mutilation, often culminating in the victim being burned alive. Lynching and Spectacle is a vital read for anyone wishing to understand the full horror of American Racism.

By Amy Louise Wood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This title presents public reinforcement of white supremacy. Lynch mobs in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America often exacted horrifying public torture and mutilation on their victims. In ""Lynching and Spectacle"", Amy Wood explains what it meant for white Americans to perform and witness these sadistic spectacles and what they derived from them. Lynching, Wood argues, overlapped with a wide range of cultural practices and performances, both traditional and modern, including public executions, religious rituals, photography, and cinema. The connections between lynching and these practices encouraged the horrific violence committed and gave it social acceptability.Wood expounds on the critical role…


Book cover of The Nazi Conscience

Richard N. Lutjens Jr. Author Of Submerged on the Surface: The Not-So-Hidden Jews of Nazi Berlin, 1941–1945

From my list on the Holocaust and how humanity failed.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a German History professor who focuses on the Holocaust, but I’ve been educating myself on the topic since 5th grade, when a friend suggested some children’s literature on the Holocaust. So, I guess this is a topic that has interested me for some thirty years now. I can’t stop asking why, I can’t stop reading, and I can’t stop educating, especially as Holocaust denial and antisemitism are on the rise. History, in general, can teach us so much about who we are and who we have the potential to become. The Holocaust is a prime example of what happens when humanity fails to achieve its potential.  

Richard's book list on the Holocaust and how humanity failed

Richard N. Lutjens Jr. Why did Richard love this book?

One of the most difficult facets of Nazism for my college students to grasp is that the Nazis had a sense of ethics and morals. It’s easy to look at the horrors of Nazism, rightfully condemn the Nazis as monstrous, and congratulate ourselves on having the moral and ethical fiber that would never allow us to engage in such atrocities. The thing is, though, that so much of the evil committed in this world is committed by people who think they are doing what’s right. Koonz’s examination of Nazi morals is an uncomfortable read but a necessary one. It forced me and it forces my students to confront the unpleasant truth that evil also has a sense of “moral” and “immoral.”

By Claudia Koonz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Nazi conscience is not an oxymoron. In fact, the perpetrators of genocide had a powerful sense of right and wrong, based on civic values that exalted the moral righteousness of the ethnic community and denounced outsiders.

Claudia Koonz's latest work reveals how racial popularizers developed the infrastructure and rationale for genocide during the so-called normal years before World War II. Her careful reading of the voluminous Nazi writings on race traces the transformation of longtime Nazis' vulgar anti-Semitism into a racial ideology that seemed credible to the vast majority of ordinary Germans who never joined the Nazi Party. Challenging…


Book cover of Hitler's American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law

David Livingstone Smith Author Of On Inhumanity: Dehumanization and How to Resist It

From my list on inhumanity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been studying dehumanization, and its relationship to racism, genocide, slavery, and other atrocities, for more than a decade. I am the author of three books on dehumanization, one of which was awarded the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf award for non-fiction, an award that is reserved for books that make an outstanding contribution to understanding racism and human diversity. My work on dehumanization is widely covered in the national and international media, and I often give presentations at academic and non-academic venues, including one at the 2012 G20 economic summit where I spoke on dehumanization and mass violence.

David's book list on inhumanity

David Livingstone Smith Why did David love this book?

My first two picks concern the inhumanities that White Americans perpetrated against Black people, and my second two picks concern the inhumanities that Nazis perpetrated against Jews, Roma, and others. My fifth pick brings both of these seemingly independent strands together. In it, Yale University historian James Q. Whitman documents how, during the early years of the regime, Nazi lawyers looked to racist American legislation as a model for the infamous 1935 Nuremburg laws, which were the first step down the road that led to Auschwitz. This short, eye-opening book leads readers to see how American racist values were not only bad in themselves, but also contributed to the most horrific genocide of the twentieth century.

By James Q. Whitman.,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How American race law provided a blueprint for Nazi Germany

Nazism triumphed in Germany during the high era of Jim Crow laws in the United States. Did the American regime of racial oppression in any way inspire the Nazis? The unsettling answer is yes. In Hitler's American Model, James Whitman presents a detailed investigation of the American impact on the notorious Nuremberg Laws, the centerpiece anti-Jewish legislation of the Nazi regime. Both American citizenship and antimiscegenation laws proved directly relevant to the two principal Nuremberg Laws-the Citizenship Law and the Blood Law. Contrary to those who have insisted otherwise, Whitman…


Book cover of The Battle for the Catholic Past in Germany, 1945-1980

Kevin P. Spicer and Rebecca Carter-Chand Author Of Religion, Ethnonationalism, and Antisemitism in the Era of the Two World Wars

From my list on Catholic churches in Hitler’s Germany.

Why are we passionate about this?

We are historians of twentieth-century Germany who investigate the relationship between church and state from 1918-1945. We are fascinated by the choices of Christian leaders during this time as they negotiated the challenges of living and leading under National Socialism. In our writing, we seek to understand the connections between Christian antisemitism and National Socialists’ racial-based exclusionary ethnonationalism and antisemitism and seek to understand how religious communities navigate ethical and practical challenges of living through political upheaval and fascism.

Kevin's book list on Catholic churches in Hitler’s Germany

Kevin P. Spicer and Rebecca Carter-Chand Why did Kevin love this book?

Ruff has produced a tour de force examination of the behind-the-scenes historiography of the Catholic Church in Nazi Germany. A deeply and richly researched study, it enables both specialists and non-specialists alike to comprehend the complex and tempestuous writing of the history of the Catholic Church’s choices during Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s years in power. In particular, Ruff delves into the storm over Rolf Hochhuth’s controversial play, The Deputy, to help us understand the current controversies over the choices of Pope Pius XII during the Holocaust.  

By Mark Edward Ruff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Battle for the Catholic Past in Germany, 1945-1980 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Were Pope Pius XII and the Catholic Church in Germany unduly singled out after 1945 for their conduct during the National Socialist era? Mark Edward Ruff explores the bitter controversies that broke out in the Federal Republic of Germany from 1945 to 1980 over the Catholic Church's relationship to the Nazis. He explores why these cultural wars consumed such energy, dominated headlines, triggered lawsuits and required the intervention of foreign ministries. He argues that the controversies over the church's relationship to National Socialism were frequently surrogates for conflicts over how the church was to position itself in modern society -…


Book cover of 1889-1936 Hubris

David Roman Author Of Geli Hitler

From my list on the batshit-crazy history of Nazi Germany.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a long-time correspondent for American media across the world. I reported on Europe and Asia for the Wall Street Journal, and on Southeast Asia for Bloomberg News. I was always fascinated by deep historical layers to be found in ancient societies like those of Europe, and the sometimes accurate clichés about European tribes and their strange customs; no European tribe is weirder than the Germans, for a long time the wildest of the continent and then the most cultured and sophisticated until they came under the spell of a certain Austrian. The twelve years that followed still rank as the most insane historical period for any nation ever.

David's book list on the batshit-crazy history of Nazi Germany

David Roman Why did David love this book?

Kershaw’s double biography of the Nazi leader (the second part, almost entirely about World War II, is called Hubris) is a classic, and remains the best, most approachable look at the unusual upbringing of a young boy from provincial Austria who once wanted to be an artist, and felt in debt with the Jewish doctor who (unsuccessfully, as it turned out) treated his mother’s cancer. Hubris is most remarkable for the glimpses it provides of a different fate for that young boy Adolf: how he was scarred by family tragedy and by failure at multicultural Vienna, and how the Great War gave him an opening to become the worst possible version of himself.

By Ian Kershaw,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked 1889-1936 Hubris as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From his illegitimate birth in a small Austrian village to his fiery death in a bunker under the Reich chancellery in Berlin, Adolf Hitler left a murky trail, strewn with contradictory tales and overgrown with self-created myths. One truth prevails: the sheer scale of the evils that he unleashed on the world has made him a demonic figure without equal in this century. Ian Kershaw's Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the character of the bizarre misfit in his thirty-year ascent from a Viennese shelter for the indigent to uncontested rule over the German nation that had tried…


Book cover of A Child of Hitler: Germany in the Days When God Wore a Swastika

L. Annette Binder Author Of The Vanishing Sky

From my list on German complicity and resistance in WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Germany and came to the US as a small child. My parents spoke only German at home but rarely talked with me about their years in Germany. Years after my father had died, I came across a photograph of him wearing a Hitler Youth uniform. What I learned about his childhood and his family inspired much of my novel The Vanishing Sky. Though my novel is finished, I continue to read about the German experience of WW2 because it resonates for me personally and because the lessons it teaches us are still relevant today.

L. Annette's book list on German complicity and resistance in WW2

L. Annette Binder Why did L. Annette love this book?

Heck’s plain-spoken memoir of his indoctrination into Nazism as a young boy and his time in the Hitler Youth and the German military is powerful and honest. Long after he’d left Germany as an adult, Heck continued to grapple with his own complicity in the regime and his fervent beliefs in its goals. The Hitler Youth was particularly adept at tapping into young boys’ yearning to be heroes. Heck explains the lingering effects of his indoctrination, noting that, “Despite our monstrous sacrifice and the appalling misuse of our idealism, there will always be the memory of unsurpassed power, the intoxication of fanfares and flags proclaiming our new age.” This was a fascinating read for me personally, given the similarities between Heck’s experiences and those of my father, and it was an invaluable resource as I wrote my own novel. 

By Alfons Heck,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this starkly candid account of one boy's indoctrination into the Hitler Youth, we see a side of Nazism that has been little recorded. This autobiographical account is a rare glimpse at World War II from a German boy's viewpoint.


Book cover of The Coming of the Third Reich

Terrence Petty Author Of Enemy of the People: The Munich Post and the Journalists Who Opposed Hitler

From my list on for understanding the Weimar Republic.

Why am I passionate about this?

While growing up in a Vermont town in the lower Champlain Valley, I became fascinated with the wealth of nearby historic sites dating from the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Within easy reach of our family station wagon were Fort Ticonderoga and more. I became especially intrigued by German mercenaries hired by the British to fight the American colonists. My interest led me to become a history major at the University of Vermont, and eventually to Germany as a correspondent for The Associated Press. I worked and lived in Germany from 1987-1997, covering the toppling of Communism, the birth of a new Germany, the rise of neo-Nazi violence, and other themes.

Terrence's book list on for understanding the Weimar Republic

Terrence Petty Why did Terrence love this book?

There is no better scholarly work about the birth and death of Germany’s first democracy than The Coming of the Third Reich, by British historian Richard J. Evans. Evans uses a wealth of archival material to create a masterful narrative of the intrigue, revolts, economic forces, and political chaos that marked the Weimar era. The Coming Of The Third Reich is the first book in a three-volume series, which covers Germany from the end of World War I to the downfall of the Nazi regime.

By Richard J. Evans,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Richard J. Evans' The Coming of the Third Reich: How the Nazis Destroyed Democracy and Seized Power in Germany explores how the First World War, the Weimar Republic and the Great Depression paved the way for Nazi rule.

They started as little more than a gang of extremists and thugs, yet in a few years the Nazis had turned Germany into a one-party state and led one of Europe's most advanced nations into moral, physical and cultural ruin and despair.

In this consummate and compelling history, the first book in his acclaimed trilogy on the rise and fall of Nazi…


Book cover of Why? Explaining the Holocaust

Richard N. Lutjens Jr. Author Of Submerged on the Surface: The Not-So-Hidden Jews of Nazi Berlin, 1941–1945

From my list on the Holocaust and how humanity failed.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a German History professor who focuses on the Holocaust, but I’ve been educating myself on the topic since 5th grade, when a friend suggested some children’s literature on the Holocaust. So, I guess this is a topic that has interested me for some thirty years now. I can’t stop asking why, I can’t stop reading, and I can’t stop educating, especially as Holocaust denial and antisemitism are on the rise. History, in general, can teach us so much about who we are and who we have the potential to become. The Holocaust is a prime example of what happens when humanity fails to achieve its potential.  

Richard's book list on the Holocaust and how humanity failed

Richard N. Lutjens Jr. Why did Richard love this book?

Even after years of studying the Holocaust, I remain overwhelmed by the enormity of the horrors, and there are still times when I find my faith in humanity wavering and all I can think to ask in anger and confusion is “Why?” I know I’m not alone. Peter Hayes’s masterful book is the result of an entire career centered on asking that very question.  The outcome is an incredibly readable, insightful, and thought-provoking account of the Holocaust that doesn’t shy away from answering the big questions. After reading it, one might still ask “why,” but it won’t be out of frustration, anger, and confusion, but rather out of a desire to keep learning more about one of the greatest catastrophes in the history of humanity.

By Peter Hayes,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Why? Explaining the Holocaust as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Peter Hayes has been teaching Holocaust studies for decades and Why? grows out of the questions he's encountered from his students. Despite the outpouring of books, films, memorials, museums and courses devoted to the subject, a coherent explanation of why such carnage erupted still eludes people. Numerous myths have sprouted, many to console us that things could have gone differently if only some person or entity had acted more bravely or wisely; others cast new blame on favourite or surprising villains or even on historians.

Why? dispels many legends and debunks the most prevalent ones, including the claim that the…


Book cover of The 12-year Reich: A Social History Of Nazi Germany 1933-1945

Helena P. Schrader Author Of Traitors for the Sake of Humanity: A Novel of the German Resistance to Hitler

From my list on German resistance to Hitler.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a retired diplomat and award-winning novelist with a PhD in history. I was drawn to the German Resistance because, unlike the other resistance movements across Europe, the German Resistance fought not a foreign invader but rather confronted the corruption and hijacking of their own state. Germans opposed to Hitler needed the moral fortitude to commit treason, and ultimately tyrannicide, not for the sake of the nation, but for humanity itself. I devoted ten years of my life to studying the German Resistance, first for my doctoral dissertation and then to write my novel. During that time, I was asked a thousand times why I was so fascinated and committed to the topic. The answer, tragically proven true over the last five years, is that the United States is not immune to fascism. The need to resist a racist and immoral demagogue has never been more relevant.

Helena's book list on German resistance to Hitler

Helena P. Schrader Why did Helena love this book?

No one can understand the German Resistance to Hitler without first understanding Nazi Germany — its ideology, its institutions, and its psychology. Grunberger’s concise but comprehensive study of Nazi Germany organized topically provides essential insight into the society in which those who opposed Hitler lived. This book is more valuable than any chronological history of Nazi Germany and exposes just how pervasive and insidious the National Socialist corruption was.

By Richard Grunberger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The 12-year Reich as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How did people talk during the Third Reich? What films could they see? What political jokes did they tell? Did Nazi ranting about the role of women (no make-up, smoking, or dieting) correspond with reality? What was the effect of the regime on family life (where fathers were encouraged to inform on sons, and children on parents)? When the country embraced National Socialism in 1933, how did that acceptance impact the churches, the civil service, farmers, housewives, businessmen, health care, sports, education, "justice," the army, the arts, and the Jews? Using examples that range from the horrifying to the absurd,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Germany, antisemitism, and historiography?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Germany, antisemitism, and historiography.

Germany Explore 478 books about Germany
Antisemitism Explore 46 books about antisemitism
Historiography Explore 43 books about historiography