10 books like The Path Between the Seas

By David McCullough,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Path Between the Seas. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

Around the Edge

By Peter Ford,

Book cover of Around the Edge: A Journey Amoung Pirates, Guerrillas, Former Cannibals And Turtle Fishermen Along the Miskito Coast

A journey on foot and by sea from Belize to Panama along the Mosquito Coast. Few roads penetrate this land of thick jungle, home to native Miskito, Rama, and Garifuna peoples, and at the time of his trip, rife with drug smugglers, CIA-sponsored rebels fighting the Sandinistas, and normal people living ordinary lives. It’s an unusual travel book about a little-known region, and it made me want to go there.

Around the Edge

By Peter Ford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An English journalist describes his travels along the Central American Caribbean coast from Belize to Panama


Salvador

By Joan Didion,

Book cover of Salvador

An account of El Salvador’s era of “disappearances” from one of the best non-fiction writers of her generation. Didion interviews the president, visits smoldering body dumps on the edge of San Salvador, and captures the atmosphere of revolution, civil strife, and Soviet-American rivalry that afflicted El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala in the 1980s. Essential reading for understanding the scars that continue to plague the region today.

Salvador

By Joan Didion,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

El Salvador, 1982, is at the height of a ghastly civil war. Joan Didion travels from battlefields to body dumps, interviews a puppet president, considers the distinctly Salvadorean meaning of the verb 'to disappear' and trains a merciless eye not only on the terror there but also on the depredations and evasions of US foreign policy. Salvador is a restless and unflinching masterclass in the art of reportage by one of the great literary stylists of the twentieth century.


Harry Morgan's Way

By Dudley Pope,

Book cover of Harry Morgan's Way: The Biography Of Sir Henry Morgan 1635-1688

Henry Morgan was the scourge of the Spanish Main. Riches were brought to Europe each year by a treasure fleet of heavily armed galleons that collected loot on the coast of Panama before setting sail for the old world. Morgan captured Spain’s coastal fort of Portobelo and did what none had done before — crossed the isthmus to sack Panama City. He would later become acting Governor of Jamaica, but his exploits as a privateer, ably told by naval historian Dudley Pope, cemented his legend.

Harry Morgan's Way

By Dudley Pope,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Morgan the Pirate' is a name long associated with all the trappings of pirate living - skull and crossbones, pieces of eight, speeding ships, almost in fact 'with a yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum'. As legend has it, his was a life of high adventure, dastardly battles and more than a few gold coins thrown in, collected by underhand means of course. Yet if this legend is true, why did Charles II knight him at the height of his career and why was he given the exalted position of governor of Jamaica? In this authoritative biography, Dudley Pope lays…


Time Among the Maya

By Ronald Wright,

Book cover of Time Among the Maya: Travels in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico

Far from being an extinct people swallowed by the jungle-like their famous temples, the Maya make up a significant percentage of the population of southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize, with vibrant ancient languages that are still spoken today. This beautifully written account of contemporary Maya culture will help you understand a remarkable people who explored the world through arithmetic and time.

Time Among the Maya

By Ronald Wright,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Time Among the Maya as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Cut Stones and Crossroads" and "On Fiji Island" are previous books by Ronald Wright, author of this book concerned with the Maya, who in the first millennium AD, created the most intellectually and artistically advanced civilization native to the Americas. Despite a mysterious collapse in the ninth century and Spanish invasion in the 16th century, some five million people throughout Guatemala, Belize and south-eastern Mexico still speak Maya languages and preserve a Maya identity today. Ronald Wright set out to discover the roots of the Maya and the extent of their survival after centuries of invasion and a recent civil…


Theodore Rex

By Edmund Morris,

Book cover of Theodore Rex

Theodore Roosevelt is another presidential figure that has received a great deal of scholarly attention. I ultimately selected Theodore Rex for two reasons. First, it’s one of the few books that focuses solely on the presidency, meaning it offers an unrivaled, in-depth examination of his years in office. Second, it’s such a page-turner. I started reading a specific section to better understand one cabinet interaction and I found myself still reading many pages and many hours later without even realizing it. Morris fully captures TR’s oversized personality in an extraordinarily colorful way.

Theodore Rex

By Edmund Morris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A shining portrait of a presciently modern political genius maneuvering in a gilded age of wealth, optimism, excess and American global ascension.”—San Francisco Chronicle

WINNER OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHY • “[Theodore Rex] is one of the great histories of the American presidency, worthy of being on a shelf alongside Henry Adams’s volumes on Jefferson and Madison.”—Times Literary Supplement

Theodore Rex is the story—never fully told before—of Theodore Roosevelt’s two world-changing terms as President of the United States. A hundred years before the catastrophe of September 11, 2001, “TR” succeeded to…


The War in Nicaragua

By William Walker,

Book cover of The War in Nicaragua

What could be better, if you wish to learn about the U.S. filibustering adventurers who invaded Latin America in the 1850s, than to read an account by the most famous of them—William Walker, who left Gold Rush California in 1855 to participate in a Nicaraguan Civil War and rose to the presidency there? The War in Nicaragua is Walker’s own autobiographical account of his campaigns and experiences in Nicaragua. Pay attention, particularly, to what he says about slavery and White supremacy towards the end of the book. And remember that Walker conquered Nicaragua over a half-century before the Panama Canal was built. Did his intervention there have anything to do with how Americans got from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean during the Gold Rush?

The War in Nicaragua

By William Walker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The War in Nicaragua 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 is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. To ensure a quality reading experience, this work has been…


Empire by Invitation

By Michel Gobat,

Book cover of Empire by Invitation: William Walker and Manifest Destiny in Central America

Though he’s hardly a household name, William Walker, the most significant of the American filibusters, has been the subject of a surprising number of biographies. What is special about Michel Gobat’s book is his in-depth look at the actual government Walker set up to rule Nicaragua in the mid-1850s, the people he enlisted to run it, and his government’s ambitions and programs. Gobat suggests, importantly, that prior historians have underestimated Walker’s popular support in Nicaragua and overstated his ties to White southerners’ plans to expand U.S. slavery. 

Empire by Invitation

By Michel Gobat,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Michel Gobat traces the untold story of the rise and fall of the first U.S. overseas empire to William Walker, a believer in the nation's manifest destiny to spread its blessings not only westward but abroad as well.

In the 1850s Walker and a small group of U.S. expansionists migrated to Nicaragua determined to forge a tropical "empire of liberty." His quest to free Central American masses from allegedly despotic elites initially enjoyed strong local support from liberal Nicaraguans who hoped U.S.-style democracy and progress would spread across the land. As Walker's group of "filibusters" proceeded to help Nicaraguans battle…


Whose Heaven, Whose Earth?

By Thomas Melville, Marjorie Melville,

Book cover of Whose Heaven, Whose Earth?

How did a U.S. priest and nun who went to Guatemala to convert the poor to “proper” Catholicism and to fight communism join a revolutionary movement?

The married couple Thomas and Marjorie Melville explain how they shared the anti-communist views of the U.S. government and the Catholic Church but living among the poor led them to question both institutions’ roles in supporting inequality in Guatemala. At the time of the book’s publication, 1970, the two were in jail as part of the Catonsville Nine. They, along with other Catholics, broke into a Maryland draft board and poured homemade napalm on stolen files to protest U.S. imperialism, including in Vietnam, and the Catholic Church’s support for it.

Whose Heaven, Whose Earth?

By Thomas Melville, Marjorie Melville,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Whose Heaven, Whose Earth? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Dog of the South

By Charles Portis,

Book cover of The Dog of the South

Has to be one of the funniest novels ever written: a road-trip story with weird characters, small-time conmen, and twisting dialogue that could’ve been assembled by Beckett. It’s impossible to predict where the story’s heading. There’s nothing like it out there, and it’s as different from Portis’s brilliant True Grit as Mark Twain from Cormac McCarthy (both of whom Portis resembles), and probably his best.

The Dog of the South

By Charles Portis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ray Midge is waiting for his credit card bill to arrive. His wife, Norma, has run off with her ex-husband, taking Ray's cards, shotgun and car. But from the receipts, Ray can track where they've gone. He takes off after them, as does an irritatingly tenacious bail bondsman, both following the romantic couple's spending as far as Mexico. There Ray meets Dr Reo Symes, the seemingly down-on-his-luck and rather eccentric owner of a beaten up and broken down bus, who needs a ride to Belize. The further they drive, in a car held together by coat-hangers and excesses of oil,…


Far Tortuga

By Peter Matthiessen,

Book cover of Far Tortuga

Peter Matthiessen was considered one of America’s great wilderness writers. Yet in an interview, before he died in 2014, Matthiessen identified Far Tortuga as his personal favorite of all the books he had written. In this novel, Matthiessen offers a fictional account of his participation on one of the last turtle hunting voyages in the Caribbean. Drawing on his experience on the said voyage in the 1960s, Matthiessen vividly displays his keen observation skills with his depictions of the Caymanian turtle hunters and the challenges of this last generation of turtlemen. 

Far Tortuga

By Peter Matthiessen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This adventure story is set in the Caribbean and describes the last voyage of the "Lillias Eden", an old wooden schooner employed in the turtle trade. The author's previous books include "The Snow Leopard", "Men's Lives", "The Cloud Forest" and "Under the Mountain Wall".


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Central America, yellow fever, and the Americas?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Central America, yellow fever, and the Americas.

Central America Explore 27 books about Central America
Yellow Fever Explore 7 books about yellow fever
The Americas Explore 20 books about the Americas