61 books like The Outsider

By Frederick Forsyth,

Here are 61 books that The Outsider fans have personally recommended if you like The Outsider. 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 The Secret World: A History of Intelligence

Duncan Falconer Author Of First into Action

From my list on providing a unique insight into military history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I must be something of a specialist on the impact of conventional and guerrilla warfare on the civilian population. Truth is, leaving school, I never intended to have anything to do with war beyond the books I enjoyed reading. On leaving the military in my 30s I employed the only skills I had and managed organisations and mostly news teams operating in conflict zones all over the world. I matured into a crisis manager, responding and consulting to crisis situations such as kidnap & ransoms, and evacuations from conflict zones. Most of the characters in my books are real, good and bad, taken from the vast theatre of my own experiences. 

Duncan's book list on providing a unique insight into military history

Duncan Falconer Why did Duncan love this book?

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.

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…


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

Boris Volodarsky Author Of Assassins: The KGB's Poison Factory Ten Years on

From my list on intelligence history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Boris B. Volodarsky is a former intelligence officer, captain of the GRU Spetsnaz, Russian special forces. With the first raising of the Iron Curtain, Boris legally left the Soviet Union with his family. After living in the West for over 30 years, he became a British academic writing books and other academic works on the subject he knew best of all – the history of intelligence. Dr. Volodarsky earned a history degree at the London School of Economics under Professor Sir Paul Preston defending his doctoral thesis there with flying colours. He is contributing articles to the leading newspapers and is often interviewed by television and radio channels in Britain and the USA.

Boris' book list on intelligence history

Boris Volodarsky Why did Boris love this book?

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.

By Vasili Mitrokhin, Christopher Andrew,

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…


Book cover of Soviet Espionage

Boris Volodarsky Author Of Assassins: The KGB's Poison Factory Ten Years on

From my list on intelligence history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Boris B. Volodarsky is a former intelligence officer, captain of the GRU Spetsnaz, Russian special forces. With the first raising of the Iron Curtain, Boris legally left the Soviet Union with his family. After living in the West for over 30 years, he became a British academic writing books and other academic works on the subject he knew best of all – the history of intelligence. Dr. Volodarsky earned a history degree at the London School of Economics under Professor Sir Paul Preston defending his doctoral thesis there with flying colours. He is contributing articles to the leading newspapers and is often interviewed by television and radio channels in Britain and the USA.

Boris' book list on intelligence history

Boris Volodarsky Why did Boris love this book?

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.

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.


The Hunt for the Peggy C: A World War II Maritime Thriller

By John Winn Miller,

Book cover of The Hunt for the Peggy C: A World War II Maritime Thriller

John Winn Miller

New book alert!

What is my book about?

The Hunt for the Peggy C is best described as Casablanca meets Das Boot. It is about an American smuggler who struggles to rescue a Jewish family on his rusty cargo ship, outraging his mutinous crew of misfits and provoking a hair-raising chase by a brutal Nazi U-boat captain bent on revenge.

During the nerve-wracking 3,000-mile escape, Rogers falls in love with the family’s eldest daughter, Miriam, a sweet medical student with a militant streak. Everything seems hopeless when Jake is badly wounded, and Miriam must prove she’s as tough as her rhetoric to put down a mutiny by some of Jake’s fed-up crew–just as the U-boat closes in for the kill.

The Hunt for the Peggy C: A World War II Maritime Thriller

By John Winn Miller,

What is this book about?

John Winn Miller's THE HUNT FOR THE PEGGY C, a semifinalist in the Clive Cussler Adventure Writers Competition, captures the breathless suspense of early World War II in the North Atlantic. Captain Jake Rogers, experienced in running his tramp steamer through U-boat-infested waters to transport vital supplies and contraband to the highest bidder, takes on his most dangerous cargo yet after witnessing the oppression of Jews in Amsterdam: a Jewish family fleeing Nazi persecution.

The normally aloof Rogers finds himself drawn in by the family's warmth and faith, but he can't afford to let his guard down when Oberleutnant Viktor…


Book cover of Mi6

Boris Volodarsky Author Of Assassins: The KGB's Poison Factory Ten Years on

From my list on intelligence history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Boris B. Volodarsky is a former intelligence officer, captain of the GRU Spetsnaz, Russian special forces. With the first raising of the Iron Curtain, Boris legally left the Soviet Union with his family. After living in the West for over 30 years, he became a British academic writing books and other academic works on the subject he knew best of all – the history of intelligence. Dr. Volodarsky earned a history degree at the London School of Economics under Professor Sir Paul Preston defending his doctoral thesis there with flying colours. He is contributing articles to the leading newspapers and is often interviewed by television and radio channels in Britain and the USA.

Boris' book list on intelligence history

Boris Volodarsky Why did Boris love this book?

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.’

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…


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

Gary W. Gallagher Author Of The Enduring Civil War: Reflections on the Great American Crisis

From my list on the Civil War era.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been captivated by the era of the American Civil War since I was ten years old at the beginning of the conflict’s centennial. I have taught at the University of Texas at Austin, Penn State University, and the University of Virginia. I have written, co-written, or edited more than 40 books on the subject. The compelling personalities, dramatic events, and profoundly important issues at stake compel my continuing attention to the war, its antecedents, and its short- and long-term impact. I recommend five classic titles on the Civil War era (one a trilogy, one a two-volume set, and three single volumes) that will reward readers in the third decade of the 21st Century.

Gary's book list on the Civil War era

Gary W. Gallagher Why did Gary love this book?

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…

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…


Book cover of The Peppered Sky

Shermaine Perry-Knights Author Of I Miss My Friend And That's Okay

From my list on military family life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I empower military-connected kids through books that support their mental and emotional growth, ensuring they feel "heard, seen, and chosen”. I draw from my bi-cultural military upbringing and global experiences to deliver keynotes and workshops on resilience and change management. My mission is to create empathy and curiosity beyond comfort zones, advocating for representation of kids who moved frequently worldwide. Through my children's book series, And That's Okay, I sparked a movement to inspire a growth mindset, empathy, and authentic connections through meaningful conversations. Writing the books that I wanted as a child, I understand the power of representation. Every child must see themselves and their lived experience to believe, dream, and achieve great things.

Shermaine's book list on military family life

Shermaine Perry-Knights Why did Shermaine love this book?

I recommend this book because it sparks curiosity into careers within the military.

The author is a military kid, like me, and shares her authentic experience. The Peppered Sky is representation at its finest. Readers take a peek into the world of paratroopers jumping on a mission to defend our freedom. This book shines a much-needed light on what our world looks like to civilians.

Ultimately, it’s a great introduction into the military lifestyle with sweet moments, vibrant illustrations, and rhyme. 

By Sarah Doran, Beth Snider (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Momma's Boots

Jerilyn Marler Author Of Lily Hates Goodbyes

From my list on military families dealing with deployment.

Why am I passionate about this?

I know the pain of separations. Navy doctor father. Missionary kid at boarding school in India. Military wife. Military mother. Separations suck. So when my three-year-old grandchild Lily struggled with her daddy’s deployment in 2010, I felt her pain. I composed the story and used personal photos to illustrate Lily Hates Goodbyes. Whenever we read about book Lily’s emotions, my Lily would say, “Just like me!” Wanting other children to have this cathartic experience, I hired Nathan Stoltenberg, a brilliant illustrator, and self-published the book. It’s available in a Navy version and an All Military version—the only difference is daddy’s uniform. Book Lily is a friend to young military children around the world. 

Jerilyn's book list on military families dealing with deployment

Jerilyn Marler Why did Jerilyn love this book?

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.

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.

What is this book about?

This award-winning deployment book for kids is a favorite of all major military branches: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reserves in military books and best deployment books for children.The illustrator has masterfully drawn the lovable and relatable characters to be racially non-specific; Bean is non-gender specific, as well. It's Boot's task to take Mommy where she's needed, but it's Momma's job to explain why.When Momma puts on her boots, Bean knows it's time to say good-bye, and maybe for a long time. What does Momma do when she goes? Do the other mommies wear boots…


Book cover of The General

Richard Vaughan Davies Author Of Fireweed

From my list on books from a pre-internet era, full of action, humour and social comment.

Why am I passionate about this?

The list reflects my interest in history and my own recollections of the days before the current era of mass tourism and online globalisation. I confess to a feeling of painful nostalgia for a time when we all had a very different worldview, and these books are all of that period. They feature temporal grief for an age that has passed. They are all highly readable books by writers at the top of their game.

Richard's book list on books from a pre-internet era, full of action, humour and social comment

Richard Vaughan Davies Why did Richard love this book?

The best novel ever about WWI. I was there with them in the trenches and finally understood how the generals came to have the mentality that allowed the slaughter to continue.

Forester is a superb writer and grossly underrated. He is a model for any aspiring writer. I must have read it four times at least, and each time found some new aspect to enjoy.

By C. S. Forester,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The book John Kelly reads every time he gets a promotion to remind him of 'the perils of hubris, the pitfalls of patriotism and duty unaccompanied by critical thinking'

The most vivid, moving - and devastating - word-portrait of a World War One British commander ever written, here re-introduced by Max Hastings.

C.S. Forester's 1936 masterpiece follows Lt General Herbert Curzon, who fumbled a fortuitous early step on the path to glory in the Boer War. 1914 finds him an honourable, decent, brave and wholly unimaginative colonel. Survival through the early slaughters in which so many fellow-officers perished then brings…


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

Jerilyn Marler Author Of Lily Hates Goodbyes

From my list on military families dealing with deployment.

Why am I passionate about this?

I know the pain of separations. Navy doctor father. Missionary kid at boarding school in India. Military wife. Military mother. Separations suck. So when my three-year-old grandchild Lily struggled with her daddy’s deployment in 2010, I felt her pain. I composed the story and used personal photos to illustrate Lily Hates Goodbyes. Whenever we read about book Lily’s emotions, my Lily would say, “Just like me!” Wanting other children to have this cathartic experience, I hired Nathan Stoltenberg, a brilliant illustrator, and self-published the book. It’s available in a Navy version and an All Military version—the only difference is daddy’s uniform. Book Lily is a friend to young military children around the world. 

Jerilyn's book list on military families dealing with deployment

Jerilyn Marler Why did Jerilyn love this book?

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.

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.

What is this book about?

In his book, ‘Dear Military Teen,’ Shanon Hyde explores crucial life lessons in the obstacles that military brats face. Reflecting on the moves and deployments that his own family endured, Shanon provides honest advice for military teens looking to take their next steps in high school, college, and beyond.
“No military teen should ever feel like they are the first ones to undergo a tough transition,” Shanon explains. “This book serves as a reminder that they are not alone.”
Shanon also equips military teens with the essential skills of maintaining friendships over distance, navigate new social environments, and effectively chase…


Book cover of Daniel Morgan: A Revolutionary Life

Andrew Waters Author Of To the End of the World: Nathanael Greene, Charles Cornwallis, and the Race to the Dan

From my list on the "Race to the Dan" and the American Revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although I’ve been an avid reader of histories and biographies all my life, I didn’t become passionate about the American Revolution until moving to South Carolina in 2013. That’s when I began to learn about the South’s rich American Revolution history and become fascinated with Nathanael Greene’s role in it. So far, this fascination has inspired me to write two histories on Nathanael Greene, and I hope to keep going. Today, we tend to think about the American Revolution in terms of its northern battles, but if you want to understand the war’s end game, you need understand what happened in the South. These books are a great place to start.

Andrew's book list on the "Race to the Dan" and the American Revolution

Andrew Waters Why did Andrew love this book?

Forget about George Washington. Daniel Morgan was the best American battlefield general of the Revolutionary War. And anyone who wants to tell the story of the Race to the Dan has to start with Daniel Morgan’s miraculous victory at the Battle Cowpens on January 17, 1781.

Zambone’s book is by far the best contemporary biography of this important but little-known American hero, not only explaining the genius of Morgan’s Cowpens victory, but also covering how Morgan’s early life in the American frontier prepared him to be the American Revolution’s most significant innovator in military tactics. 

By Albert Louis Zambone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Major New Biography of a Man of Humble Origins Who Became One of the Great Military Leaders of the American Revolution
On January 17, 1781, at Cowpens, South Carolina, the notorious British cavalry officer Banastre Tarleton and his legion had been destroyed along with the cream of Lord Cornwallis's troops. The man who planned and executed this stunning American victory was Daniel Morgan. Once a barely literate backcountry laborer, Morgan now stood at the pinnacle of American martial success. Born in New Jersey in 1736, he left home at seventeen and found himself in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. There he…


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