10 books like The Outsider

By Frederick Forsyth,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Outsider. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Secret World

By Christopher Andrew,

Book cover of The Secret World: A History of Intelligence

My line of work has only enhanced my fascination with spies and spying. Espionage was on the periphery of my world and I was privy, on occasion, to snippets of information that shed light on certain events. Reading this book was like being privy to a host of secrets, many during my own era. How fascinating to be taken through the history of espionage from biblical times until today. The author reveals missing pieces to many significant moments in history, where monumental decisions were made based on information bought and sold, died for, killed for, stolen, or extracted by torture or coercion. Equally fascinating is how so much of that information was misinterpreted, denied, ignored, inflated, or simply misplaced. Great battles were won and lost, kingdoms toppled, fortunes spent and made, often based on a single snippet of information.

The Secret World

By Christopher Andrew,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Almost every page includes a sizzling historical titbit ... captivating, insightful and masterly' (Edward Lucas, The Times)

The history of espionage is far older than any of today's intelligence agencies, yet the long history of intelligence operations has been largely forgotten. The first mention of espionage in world literature is in the Book of Exodus.'God sent out spies into the land of Canaan'. From there, Christopher Andrew traces the shift in the ancient world from divination to what we would recognize as attempts to gather real intelligence in the conduct of military operations, and considers how far ahead of the…


The Sword and the Shield

By Christopher Andrew, Vasili Mitrokhin,

Book cover of The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB

Better known as The Mitrokhin Archive, these are the first (and practically only) books, two great volumes, truly based on the secret KGB archives showing Soviet foreign intelligence operations in Europe, the USA, and the rest of the world. They cover the period from the founding of the Cheka (predecessor to the KGB) in 1917 to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Again, both books are wonderfully written by Professor Andrew who had worked with Mitrokhin and his archive and represent an academic research of exceptional quality. All scholars, students and intelligence professionals must have these two books in their library. The same concerns all university libraries without any exception.

The Sword and the Shield

By Christopher Andrew, Vasili Mitrokhin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Sword and the Shield is based on one of the most extraordinary intelligence coups of recent times: a secret archive of top-level KGB documents smuggled out of the Soviet Union which the FBI has described, after close examination, as the "most complete and extensive intelligence ever received from any source." Its presence in the West represents a catastrophic hemorrhage of the KGB's secrets and reveals for the first time the full extent of its worldwide network.Vasili Mitrokhin, a secret dissident who worked in the KGB archive, smuggled out copies of its most highly classified files every day for twelve…

Soviet Espionage

By David J Dallin,

Book cover of Soviet Espionage

Anybody, who wants to study intelligence history and specifically the work of Russian Intelligence Services (RIS), must start with this book which covers several important cases in the 1930s. Remarkably, the author is not an intelligence historian and never worked in the archives. David Dallin’s writings that proved to be correct and accurate in most of the cases, were entirely based on his own analysis, newspaper publications and occasional interviews with Soviet defectors.

Soviet Espionage

By David J Dallin,

Why should I read it?

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


Mi6

By Stephen Dorril,

Book cover of Mi6

Unlike the official history of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), better known as MI6, by Keith Jeffery, this book is written without the censorship of the Service presenting the facts as the author, a journalist and academic, considers fit and proper to show. Very well written and covering a considerable period of time with many secret operations, it is a very good book which The Guardian described as ‘A remarkable achievement and an encyclopaedic post-war history which any student of the secret world should read.’

Mi6

By Stephen Dorril,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mi6 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first comprehensive history of the UK government overseas intelligence service, MI6, by an acknowledged expert and author of the highly acclaimed Smear!

Epitomised in the public imagination by James Bond, MI6's svelte and glamorous image has been peeled away by Dorril's searching investigations to reveal a less savoury truth. Here is the story of MI6's recruitment operation after WW2 of former Nazis; anticommunist guerrilla campaigns in the Ukraine and the Baltic States; Operation Stalin which led to mass arrests and executions ordered by Stalin; the European terrorist network 'Gladio'; tunnels built in Vienna and Berlin known as operation 'Gold…


Momma's Boots

By Sandra Miller Linhart, Tahna Marie Desmond (illustrator),

Book cover of Momma's Boots

While most deployed service members are male, women serve and are deployed, too. I honor their contribution by including this touching book. When Momma puts on her military boots, little Bean grapples with questions of why and where and how long. Momma describes her work with references to other kinds of work that Bean understands. It’s a sweet conversation that provides a broader context for military work and assurance that Momma will return.

Momma's Boots

By Sandra Miller Linhart, Tahna Marie Desmond (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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


Women Warriors

By Pamela D. Toler,

Book cover of Women Warriors: An Unexpected History

In Women Warriors, the footnotes are every bit as informative and bitingly funny as the text itself. Toler travels across many cultures and eras, from ancient times up until the 20th century, to show that, like it or not, “women have always gone to war.” She covers some women you’ve likely heard of before—like Boudica, Hua Mulan, and Joan of Arc—as well as many others you probably haven’t—like Tomyris, Artemisia II, and Lakshmi Bai. These mini-biographies, taken together, provide an eye-opening and unforgettable corrective about women and warfare.

Women Warriors

By Pamela D. Toler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Who says women don’t go to war? From Vikings and African queens to cross-dressing military doctors and WWII Russian fighter pilots, these are the stories of women for whom battle was not a metaphor.

The woman warrior is always cast as an anomaly—Joan of Arc, not GI Jane. But women, it turns out, have always gone to war. In this fascinating and lively world history, Pamela Toler not only introduces us to women who took up arms, she also shows why they did it and what happened when they stepped out of their traditional female roles to take on other…

Dear Military Teen

By Shanon Hyde,

Book cover of Dear Military Teen: Moving, Deployments, and Winning The Game of High School

There aren’t many military-focused books for teenagers, so I’m pleased to recommend this one. Teens face challenges just by being teens; add the complication of deployment separation and life can be extra daunting. The author, a 20-year Marine Corps brat, shares his wisdom and experiences in this straight-talk, no-nonsense guide.

Dear Military Teen

By Shanon Hyde,

Why should I read it?

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


The Life of Johnny Reb

By Bell Irvin Wiley,

Book cover of The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy

Bell I. Wiley’s The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy (1943) and The Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier of the Union (1952) marked a watershed in scholarship relating to the military history of the Civil War. It is no exaggeration to say that Wiley invented the genre of soldier studies that many decades later witnessed a profusion of works on the topic. The two books, which reflect a close reading of thousands of letters, explore such things as the process of enlistment, motivations to serve and remain in the ranks, what the men ate and wore, how they amused themselves, how they reacted to combat, why and in what numbers they deserted, how they related to people on the home fronts, attitudes toward the enemy, and religious practices. Although subsequent scholarship challenged some of Wiley’s conclusions, all historians who followed in his wake owed…

The Life of Johnny Reb

By Bell Irvin Wiley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this companion to The Life of Johnny Reb, Bell Irvin Wiley explores the daily lives of the men in blue who fought to save the Union. With the help of many soldiers' letters and diaries, Wiley explains who these men were and why they fought, how they reacted to combat and the strain of prolonged conflict, and what they thought about the land and the people of Dixie. This fascinating social history reveals that while the Yanks and the Rebs fought for very different causes, the men on both sides were very much the same. ""This wonderfully interesting book…

When You Are Away

By Dominique James, Jasmine Mills (illustrator),

Book cover of When You Are Away

Written for grade school ages, this book lets children (military or not!) peek into a military family’s experiences as they struggle with the changes that happen when a parent is deployed. The children learn that nothing stays the same when a parent is away, except the way they love each other. I appreciate that the family is African-American. 

When You Are Away

By Dominique James, Jasmine Mills (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When You Are Away as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Isabella

By Alison Weir,

Book cover of Isabella: She-Wolf of France, Queen of England

Phillip IV of France ‘The Fair’ died in 1314. His three sons ruled after him in turn, and none provided a legitimate heir, so when the youngest son, Charles IV, died in 1328, the Capetian dynasty, which had ruled France for over 300 years, came to an end. But Phillip IV had a daughter, Isabella, who had married Edward II of England, and so their son, the future Edward III, was the nearest male relative to the deceased Charles IV.  Isabella was adamant that her son was the legitimate heir to the French throne, and it was this claim that was pursued throughout the Hundred Years War and which was only relinquished in 1802. Isabella has not had good press. Derided as ‘the she-wolf of France’ she was an adulteress, waged war against her husband, and was probably complicit in his murder. In fairness, she had much to contend with.…

Isabella

By Alison Weir,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Described by Christopher Marlowe as the 'She-Wolf of France', Isabella was one of the most notorious femme fatales in history. According to popular legend, her angry ghost can be glimpsed among church ruins, clutching the beating heart of her murdered husband. But how did Isabella aquire this reputation?

Born in 1292 she married Edward II of England but was constantly humiliated by his relationships with male favourites and she lived adulterously with Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March. Had it not been for her unfaithfulness, history might have immortalised her as a liberator- the saviour who unshackled England from a…


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