100 books like The Long Road Home

By Ben Shephard,

Here are 100 books that The Long Road Home fans have personally recommended if you like The Long Road Home. 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 Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945

Adin Dobkin Author Of Sprinting Through No Man's Land: Endurance, Tragedy, and Rebirth in the 1919 Tour de France

From my list on people and societies grapple with the end of wars.

Why am I passionate about this?

Before I started writing, my understanding of war largely came about through its manifestation over subsequent decades in individuals. My grandfather selectively shared stories from his time as a bomber, then as a POW in Germany. Maybe it was this conjunction, a personal sense of rebuilding and of storytelling, that has driven my interest in the subject over these years, as a journalist and critic and then as an author of a book on the subject.

Adin's book list on people and societies grapple with the end of wars

Adin Dobkin Why did Adin love this book?

My own background, process, and style have me reaching for ever-tinier stories that I think I can go deep on, in order to hopefully excavate something larger. Judt’s Postwar is the opposite: a colossal swing at a multi-decade period across European history. In this, he synthesizes political, economic, social, and cultural histories to guide the reader through Europe’s development after World War II. It’s a book where you find yourself going over each line a few times in order to make sure you’ve wrung all meaning from it and every sentence returns you to your notes.

By Tony Judt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize * Winner of the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award * One of the New York Times' Ten Best Books of the Year

"Impressive . . . Mr. Judt writes with enormous authority." -The Wall Street Journal

"Magisterial . . . It is, without a doubt, the most comprehensive, authoritative, and yes, readable postwar history." -The Boston Globe

Almost a decade in the making, this much-anticipated grand history of postwar Europe from one of the world's most esteemed historians and intellectuals is a singular achievement. Postwar is the first modern history that covers…


Book cover of In the Ruins of the Reich

Keith Lowe Author Of Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II

From my list on the aftermath of World War 2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Keith Lowe is the author of several works on postwar history. His international bestseller, Savage Continent, won the English PEN/Hessell Tiltman Prize and Italy’s Cherasco History Prize. His book on the long-term legacy of World War II, The Fear and the Freedom, was awarded China’s Beijing News Annual Recommendation and was shortlisted for the Historical Writers Association Non-Fiction Crown. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Keith's book list on the aftermath of World War 2

Keith Lowe Why did Keith love this book?

There are dozens of excellent books about Germany and Germans in the wake of defeat – I could mention Giles MacDonogh’s After the Reich, or R.M. Douglas’s Orderly and Humane – but Douglas Botting’s book is by far the most engaging history of the subject that I’ve ever read. It was written in the 1980s, so it is not quite as up-to-date as the more recent histories, but what it lacks in cutting-edge research it more than makes up for in narrative immediacy. It is impossible not to be moved by Botting’s descriptions of postwar chaos, of orphans hiding in the ruins, of lawlessness, starvation, desperation and retribution. An absolute classic.

By Douglas Botting,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Ruins of the Reich as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in Britain in 1985, In the Ruins of the Reich is a classic account of Nazi Germany after her fall to the Allies in May 1945. Douglas Botting concentrates on the defining events that took place in the period between the collapse of the Third Reich and the foundation of the new Germanys to create the prevailing atmosphere of a most unusual and little-charted time in history. This was a period when four of the strongest industrial nations to emerge from the Second World War attempted to work together to govern the once strong Germany, now prostate, impoverished…


Book cover of Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II

Loren Stephens Author Of All Sorrows Can Be Borne

From my list on the traditional and modern Japanese mind.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by family histories, and am the self-selected historian in my family. I wrote my mother’s memoir, I Turned a Key and the Birds Began to Sing, put together a newsletter for aunts, uncles, and cousins near and far, and became a ghostwriter to help other people mine their personal and family stories. I’ve worked with company CEOs, survivors of the Holocaust; World War II U.S. veterans, and Hollywood celebrities. In the midst of writing books for other people I turned my sights on my husband who was born in Osaka, Japan and asked his permission to write his family’s story.  

Loren's book list on the traditional and modern Japanese mind

Loren Stephens Why did Loren love this book?

Winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction, this book gives the reader an in-depth analysis of the effects of World War II on the political, economic, and social life of the Japanese people. It depicts the ways in which Japan moved into the twentieth century and gave up many of its feudalistic habits – some for the better and some for the worse. 

By John W. Dower,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Drawing on a vast range of Japanese sources and illustrated with dozens of astonishing documentary photographs, Embracing Defeat is the fullest and most important history of the more than six years of American occupation, which affected every level of Japanese society, often in ways neither side could anticipate. Dower, whom Stephen E. Ambrose has called "America's foremost historian of the Second World War in the Pacific," gives us the rich and turbulent interplay between West and East, the victor and the vanquished, in a way never before attempted, from top-level manipulations concerning the fate of Emperor Hirohito to the hopes…


Book cover of Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956

Keith Lowe Author Of Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II

From my list on the aftermath of World War 2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Keith Lowe is the author of several works on postwar history. His international bestseller, Savage Continent, won the English PEN/Hessell Tiltman Prize and Italy’s Cherasco History Prize. His book on the long-term legacy of World War II, The Fear and the Freedom, was awarded China’s Beijing News Annual Recommendation and was shortlisted for the Historical Writers Association Non-Fiction Crown. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Keith's book list on the aftermath of World War 2

Keith Lowe Why did Keith love this book?

People in the West tend to celebrate 1945 as a year of liberation; but, of course, in Eastern Europe, the defeat of Germany merely heralded the beginning of four more decades of repression. In this book, Anne Applebaum describes the Communist takeover of three European countries – East Germany, Poland, and Hungary. It’s a masterpiece both of research and of analysis. Communism, just like capitalism, had many faces: this book shows brilliantly just how varied repression can be. In 2013 it won the lucrative Cundill Prize, and deservedly so.

By Anne Applebaum,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Chosen 16 times as a 'Book of the Year' - the top non-fiction pick of 2012

'The best work of modern history I have ever read' A. N. Wilson, Financial Times

At the end of the Second World War, the Soviet Union unexpectedly found itself in control of a huge swathe of territory in Eastern Europe. Stalin and his secret police set out to convert a dozen radically different countries to a completely new political and moral system: Communism. Anne Applebaum's landmark history of this brutal time shows how societies were ruthlessly eviscerated by Communist regimes, how opposition was destroyed…


Book cover of Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II

Ursula Wong Author Of Amber Wolf

From my list on WWII and Eastern Europe (that you may not know about).

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Lithuanian-American with a Chinese name, thanks to my husband. Thirty years ago, I found papers among my uncle’s possessions telling a WWII story about our ancestral Lithuania. I had heard about it in broad terms, but I could hardly believe what I was reading. I spent years validating the material. The result was Amber Wolf, a historical novel about a war within the war: the fight against the Russian occupation of Eastern Europe. While many countries were involved in separate struggles, I focused on Lithuania and their David and Goliath fight against the Russian army. After all this time, the story still moves me.

Ursula's book list on WWII and Eastern Europe (that you may not know about)

Ursula Wong Why did Ursula love this book?

Mr. Lowe’s meticulous research of post-WWII Europe gives startling insight into how devastated the continent was after the war.

He paints a picture of lawlessness and depravity, arguably as bad as battle conditions had been. In some cases, it might have been worse. Revenge killings, rapes, and starvation were among the horrors. It begs the question, when did WWII really end? 

By Keith Lowe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Keith Lowe's Savage Continent is an awe-inspiring portrait of how Europe emerged from the ashes of WWII.

The end of the Second World War saw a terrible explosion of violence across Europe. Prisoners murdered jailers. Soldiers visited atrocities on civilians. Resistance fighters killed and pilloried collaborators. Ethnic cleansing, civil war, rape and murder were rife in the days, months and years after hostilities ended. Exploring a Europe consumed by vengeance, Savage Continent is a shocking portrait of an until-now unacknowledged time of lawlessness and terror.

Praise for Savage Continent:

'Deeply harrowing, distinctly troubling. Moving, measured and provocative. A compelling and…


Book cover of Out on Assignment: Newspaper Women and the Making of Modern Public Space

Kimberly Voss Author Of Women Politicking Politely: Advancing Feminism in the 1960s and 1970s

From my list on post-World War II women, politics and journalism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am driven to tell the stories of important but often forgotten women journalists from the 1940s through the 1970s. They were pioneers who also created deep connections in their communities. Over the past few years, I have published several books about women in mass media. My 2014 book documented the history of newspaper food editors– an often powerful and political position held almost exclusively by women. My third book, Women Politicking Politely looked at the experiences of pioneering women’s editors and women in politics which allows for a better perspective of women in journalism today and adds to women’s history scholarship.

Kimberly's book list on post-World War II women, politics and journalism

Kimberly Voss Why did Kimberly love this book?

The book Out on Assignment examines the careers of overlooked women who wrote for major metropolitan newspapers at the beginning of the twentieth century. Using archival materials, Alice Fahs describes a community of female journalists from numerous American cities. These newspaper women were part of a wave of women seeking a journalism career although their options were often limited. Although a few female journalists found hard-news reporting jobs in stunt work and undercover assignments, most found work in the women’s pages.

In these sections, they interviewed celebrities, advice columns, and suffrage news. Very little research has been done on women’s page journalism; this book provides an excellent foundation.

By Alice Fahs,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Out on Assignment illuminates the lives and writings of a lost world of women who wrote for major metropolitan newspapers at the start of the twentieth century. Using extraordinary archival research, Alice Fahs unearths a richly networked community of female journalists drawn by the hundreds to major cities--especially New York--from all parts of the United States.

Newspaper women were part of a wave of women seeking new, independent, urban lives, but they struggled to obtain the newspaper work of their dreams. Although some female journalists embraced more adventurous reporting, including stunt work and undercover assignments, many were relegated to the…


Book cover of The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace

Yossi Klein Halevi Author Of Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor

From my list on passionate reads on the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

In books, essays and reportage, I've been writing about Israel and the conflict since moving from the U.S. to Israel in 1982. Even as I write from within my Israeli consciousness, I have tried to understand and convey other perspectives. For Israelis and Palestinians, there is nothing abstract about this conflict; it is, instead, a matter of life and death. My writing is an attempt to simultaneously convey the passions of this conflict and offer an empathic voice for all those caught in this seemingly hopeless situation.

Yossi's book list on passionate reads on the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Yossi Klein Halevi Why did Yossi love this book?

What is the core of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and what is the key to its solution? In this groundbreaking work, Adi Schwartz and Einat Wilf argue that the answer is not settlements or holy places or even the absence of a Palestinian state. Instead, the core of the conflict is the Palestinian national movement’s insistence on “right of return” of millions of descendants of Palestinian refugees to what is now the state of Israel – rather than resettlement in a future Palestinian state. What Palestinian leaders have effectively done, argue the authors, is link the end of the conflict to a “solution” that will mean the end of a sovereign Jewish state. The authors, who support the creation of a Palestinian state, argue that its creation depends on the willingness of Palestinian leaders to give up their dream of destroying Israel through a shift in its demographic balance. Until that…

By Adi Schwartz, Einat Wilf,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Two prominent Israeli liberals argue that for the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians to end with peace, Palestinians must come to terms with the fact that there will be no "right of return."

In 1948, seven hundred thousand Palestinians were forced out of their homes by the first Arab-Israeli War. More than seventy years later, most of their houses are long gone, but millions of their descendants are still registered as refugees, with many living in refugee camps. This group―unlike countless others that were displaced in the aftermath of World War II and other conflicts―has remained unsettled, demanding to…


Book cover of Lily's Crossing

Charlotte Herman Author Of My Chocolate Year: A Novel with 12 Recipes

From my list on for children on WW2 at home and across the ocean.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on Chicago’s home front during WW2. President Roosevelt wanted everyone—adults and children—to do their part for the war effort. So we neighborhood kids formed a Victory club, where we marched around singing, “Let’s Remember Pearl Harbor,” and other patriotic songs. And though we had fun, we understood the meaning of the gold stars in the windows, and knew that terrible things were happening on the other side of the world. There are so many wonderful books set during this time period, and I can never read enough of them. These books, along with my memories, are what inspire me to write historical fiction of my own.

Charlotte's book list on for children on WW2 at home and across the ocean

Charlotte Herman Why did Charlotte love this book?

This is one of my all-time favorite children’s WW2 books set on America’s home front. The year is 1944, and Lily is off to spend another magical summer in Rockaway. The beach and the boardwalk, the swimming and fishing, and her friend Margaret are waiting. But the summer soon begins to fall apart. Margaret and her family are leaving for a town in Michigan where her father has a job in a wartime factory. And her own father reveals that he is about to work as an engineer for the army somewhere in Europe.

Loneliness sets in until Lily meets an orphaned boy named Albert, a Hungarian refugee who is spending the summer with relatives. Albert’s parents have been taken by the Nazis, and his sister, Ruth, is left behind in France. Lily and Albert have much to learn from each other, and much to share. This book tells a…

By Patricia Reilly Giff,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Lily's Crossing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

This “brilliantly told” (New York Times) Newbery Honor Book gives readers a sense of what it was like to be on the American home front while our soldiers were away fighting in World War II.
 
As in past years, Lily will spend the summer in Rockaway, in her family’s summer house by the Atlantic Ocean. But this summer of 1944, World War II has changed everyone’s life. Lily’s best friend, Margaret, has moved to a wartime factory town, and, much worse, Lily’s father is going overseas to the war.
 
There’s no one Lily’s age in Rockaway until the arrival of…


Book cover of Salt to the Sea

Meg Wiviott Author Of Paper Hearts

From my list on YA with strong characters set during war.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a reader and writer, I am drawn to stories that have implications for the wider world. I love characters who are put in a box by others—whether based on race, religion, gender, or societal norms—yet they fight against those constraints, proving they have value beyond anyone’s expectations. I write historical fiction because I am an unabashed history nerd. I write Jewish (or Jewish adjacent) stories because I believe it is essential for every reader to find themselves in a book. I also believe it is essential that that same book opens a world of understanding to others. 

Meg's book list on YA with strong characters set during war

Meg Wiviott Why did Meg love this book?

Ruta Sepetys writes historical fiction like no one else. All her books are wonderful, however, this one is my favorite. Not only does she write about a little-known event in history, she does it masterfully with short chapters told from four distinct points of view, doling out backstory as if it is a treat rather than something a reader must endure. Yes, the story is fascinating, but it is her craft that makes me reread it with a highlighter in hand. 

By Ruta Sepetys,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Salt to the Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL 2017

It's early 1945 and a group of people trek across Germany, bound together by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Four young people, each haunted by their own dark secret, narrate their unforgettable stories. Fans of The Book Thief or Helen Dunmore's The Siege will be totally absorbed.

This inspirational novel is based on a true story from the Second World War. When the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children,…


Book cover of Cruel Crossing: Escaping Hitler Across the Pyrenees

Anne-Marie Walters Author Of Moondrop to Gascony

From my list on escaping from occupied France during WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Anne-Marie Walters was born in 1923 in Geneva to a British father and French mother. At the outbreak of war in 1940, the family escaped to Britain, where Anne-Marie volunteered for the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force). Having been approached by SOE in 1943, she was accepted for training and in January the following year dropped into France by parachute to work as a courier with George Starr, head of the Wheelwright circuit of the SOE in SW France. This she did until August 1944, when Starr sent her back to Britain under somewhat controversial  circumstances. Anne-Marrie was awarded the OBE in 1945 in recognition of her “personal courage and willingness to undergo danger.” 

Anne-Marie's book list on escaping from occupied France during WW2

Anne-Marie Walters Why did Anne-Marie love this book?

During WW2 members of the Resistance guided Allied service personnel -- and others, including compromised agents, resisters, and Jews -- escaping from occupied France along what were known as escape or evasion lines, the majority leading over the Pyrenees to safety. In this book, BBC broadcaster Edward Stourton walks one of those ‘cruel crossings’, the Chemin de la Liberté, while at the same time telling the stories of those escaping and the courageous men and women who helped them, drawing on interviews with some of the last remaining survivors. It makes for compelling reading.

By Edward Stourton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The mountain paths are as treacherous as they are steep - the more so in the dark and in winter. Even for the fit the journey is a formidable challenge. Hundreds of those who climbed through the Pyrenees during the Second World War were malnourished and exhausted after weeks on the run hiding in barns and attics. Many never even reached the Spanish border. Today their bravery and endurance is commemorated each July by a trek along the Chemin de la Liberte - the toughest and most dangerous of wartime routes. From his fellow pilgrims Edward Stourton uncovers stories of…


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