83 books like The Prize

By Daniel Yergin,

Here are 83 books that The Prize fans have personally recommended if you like The Prize. 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 King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa

Leif Wenar Author Of Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules that Run the World

From my list on why oil is a curse.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Stanford professor who became fascinated with oil and everything it does to for us and to us. For years I traveled the world talking to the people who know petroleum: executives in the big oil companies, politicians and activists, militants and victims, spies and tribal chiefs. Blood Oil explains what I learned and how we can make our oil-cursed world better for all of us. 

Leif's book list on why oil is a curse

Leif Wenar Why did Leif love this book?

Oil isn’t the only natural resource that can curse: the Belgian colonizers inflicted decades of extraordinary brutality on the peoples of the Congo while extracting their ivory and rubber.

Hochschild paints horrific vistas of extreme greed and violence, and also tells the stories of the heroic individuals who resisted it. I didn’t know much about real ‘The Heart of Darkness’ before reading this book—now I know that the true savages were the Europeans.

By Adam Hochschild,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked King Leopold's Ghost as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Duff Cooper Prize, King Leopold's Ghost is the true and haunting account of Leopold's brutal regime and its lasting effect on a ruined nation. With an introduction by award-winning novelist Barbara Kingsolver.

In the late nineteenth century, when the great powers in Europe were tearing Africa apart and seizing ownership of land for themselves, King Leopold of Belgium took hold of the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. In his devastatingly barbarous colonization of this area, Leopold stole its rubber and ivory, pummelled its people and set up a ruthless regime that would reduce…


Book cover of Poisoned Wells: The Dirty Politics of African Oil

Leif Wenar Author Of Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules that Run the World

From my list on why oil is a curse.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Stanford professor who became fascinated with oil and everything it does to for us and to us. For years I traveled the world talking to the people who know petroleum: executives in the big oil companies, politicians and activists, militants and victims, spies and tribal chiefs. Blood Oil explains what I learned and how we can make our oil-cursed world better for all of us. 

Leif's book list on why oil is a curse

Leif Wenar Why did Leif love this book?

If you love villains, you’ll love this book (plus all these villains are real).

Psychopathic dictators, Russian arms dealers, ultra-violent warlords, and corrupt French presidents all show the evil oil can inspire—and the ruin it can bring to a country. I had to put this book down a few times; the depravity around oil can shock even those of us who think we’ve heard it all.

By Nicholas Shaxson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Each week the oil and gas fields of sub-Saharan Africa produce over a billion dollars worth of oil yet this rising tide of money is not promoting stability or development but instead is causing violence, poverty and stagnation. "Poisoned Wells" exposes the root causes of this paradox of poverty from plenty, and explores the mechanisms by which oil causes grave instabilities and corruption around the globe. Shaxson's access as a journalist to the key players in African oil results in an explosive story.


Book cover of The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Wealth Shapes the Development of Nations

Leif Wenar Author Of Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules that Run the World

From my list on why oil is a curse.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Stanford professor who became fascinated with oil and everything it does to for us and to us. For years I traveled the world talking to the people who know petroleum: executives in the big oil companies, politicians and activists, militants and victims, spies and tribal chiefs. Blood Oil explains what I learned and how we can make our oil-cursed world better for all of us. 

Leif's book list on why oil is a curse

Leif Wenar Why did Leif love this book?

This is an academic book that might knock your socks off. Ross shows why countries with lots of oil are more likely to suffer from dictators, civil wars, and worse economies—and even why they’re worse for women than for men.

Could oil become a blessing instead of a curse in these countries? Read Ross to find out.

By Michael L. Ross,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Countries that are rich in petroleum have less democracy, less economic stability, and more frequent civil wars than countries without oil. What explains this oil curse? And can it be fixed? In this groundbreaking analysis, Michael L. Ross looks at how developing nations are shaped by their mineral wealth--and how they can turn oil from a curse into a blessing. Ross traces the oil curse to the upheaval of the 1970s, when oil prices soared and governments across the developing world seized control of their countries' oil industries. Before nationalization, the oil-rich countries looked much like the rest of the…


Book cover of Oil!

Leif Wenar Author Of Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules that Run the World

From my list on why oil is a curse.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Stanford professor who became fascinated with oil and everything it does to for us and to us. For years I traveled the world talking to the people who know petroleum: executives in the big oil companies, politicians and activists, militants and victims, spies and tribal chiefs. Blood Oil explains what I learned and how we can make our oil-cursed world better for all of us. 

Leif's book list on why oil is a curse

Leif Wenar Why did Leif love this book?

You may have seen There Will Be Blood, which won Daniel Day Lewis an Academy Award.

Sinclair’s novel (which inspired the film) satirizes the petroleum-fueled tycoons and preachers of Southern California a century ago. For an extra treat, follow this novel with Darren Dochuk’s Anointed with Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America, which weaves together the stories of American oil, American religion, and the great schism within today’s Republican Party.

By Upton Sinclair,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Oil! Upton Sinclair fashioned a novel out of the oil scandals of the Harding administration, providing in the process a detailed picture of the development of the oil industry in Southern California. Bribery of public officials, class warfare, and international rivalry over oil production are the context for Sinclair's story of a genial independent oil developer and his son, whose sympathy with the oilfield workers and socialist organizers fuels a running debate with his father. Senators, small investors, oil magnates, a Hollywood film star, and a crusading evangelist people the pages of this lively novel.


Book cover of Women in Intelligence: The Hidden History of Two World Wars

Rayna Flye Author Of Secrets, Lies, and Sneaky Spies

From my list on female codebreakers, agents, and spies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I always wanted to be a spy, but as I scare easily and can’t keep a secret, it was never going to happen. My respect and fascination with the intelligence community has never abated however, and I will never pass up an opportunity to engage with spy-related content. From going to spy museums across the globe to attending lectures to watching the latest entertaining (and totally unrealistic) spy flick, I love it all. I channel that love into writing humorous spy novels that feature fun, fearless females and ripped-from-the-headlines scenarios.  

Rayna's book list on female codebreakers, agents, and spies

Rayna Flye Why did Rayna love this book?

Do I judge a book by its cover? Why yes, yes I do! And the moment I saw this gorgeous cover I put it right into my shopping cart, paid full price, and never looked back.

Luckily for me, Women in Intelligence happens to be an excellent book where the content more than matched the expectations I had from the fabulous artwork. Although there are a few familiar faces that appear, most of the women were completely new to me. Not the femme fatales of popular culture; these were patriotic women who often went unseen in the background.

I love that Fry truly delves into uncovering the unsung heroines of WWI and WWII, giving these quiet, determined women a chance to be recognized and to shine.

By Helen Fry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking history of women in British intelligence, revealing their pivotal role across the first half of the twentieth century

From the twentieth century onward, women took on an extraordinary range of roles in intelligence, defying the conventions of their time. Across both world wars, far from being a small part of covert operations, women ran spy networks and escape lines, parachuted behind enemy lines, and interrogated prisoners. And, back in Bletchley and Whitehall, women's vital administrative work in MI offices kept the British war engine running.

In this major, panoramic history, Helen Fry looks at the rich and varied…


Book cover of The Winds Of War

J. Lawrence Graham Author Of Charlotte's War

From my list on understanding the roots of war and peace.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent the 1970s as an officer in the U.S. Navy UDT/SEAL Teams, giving me insight into the military aspects of peacebuilding. I have spent the last forty years researching and teaching international marketing and negotiations at USC and UC Irvine, after receiving a Berkeley PhD. I was also the director of the UC Irvine Center for Citizen Peacebuilding for ten years. I have published four books on international negotiations and all my ten books in print are on the topic of peace in families, neighborhoods, commerce, and international relations.

J.'s book list on understanding the roots of war and peace

J. Lawrence Graham Why did J. love this book?

The Winds of War is a powerful and intimate story about WWII.

It follows one fictional family through the buildup to the most devastating war in human history. The cultural and political details are most impressive. The writing itself is captivating. I have used it as a model for my own book.

Wouk’s work demonstrates the impact of war on families and establishes the importance of advocating for peaceful resolutions to global disputes.

By Herman Wouk,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Winds Of War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II, which begins with THE WINDS OF WAR and continues in WAR AND REMEMBRANCE, stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers.

Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - the drama, the romance, the heroism and the tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very centre of the maelstrom.

"First-rate storytelling." - New York Times

"Compelling . . . A panoramic, engrossing story." - Atlantic…


Book cover of Artful Dodging: The Torpedo Factory Murders

Mark Love Author Of Devious

From my list on contemporary cozy mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a contemporary mystery junkie. Realistic tales always grab my attention. A touch of romance never hurts. In college, one professor suggested the old ‘write what you know’ approach. I don’t know everything, but I know what I like. Mysteries! I thrive on distinctive characters, those who are willing to put every effort into getting to the bottom of the situation. Sharp, tight dialogue and descriptions are essential. Give me that, and I’ll be back for more. This is my passion. Come along if you want a thrill and a surprise or two. 

Mark's book list on contemporary cozy mysteries

Mark Love Why did Mark love this book?

This was my first experience with M.S. Spencer. To say she had me right away would be deadly accurate. The setting, the conflict, the characters, the mystery all flowed together so smoothly, I could easily picture myself propped in a corner of the room, watching everything play out.  

And I must confess that the Milo character has left an indelible mark in my memory. She’s one of my favorite players.

Several times I thought for sure I had figured out who was behind the murders. Of course, I was wrong, but that just kept me going. Spencer always delivers an engaging tale.

By M. S. Spencer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Milo Everhart is waiting out the rain in a pub when she is captivated by the handsome man next to her. Blocking the road to romance are two mysterious corpses who turn up in the tower of her Torpedo Factory Art Center. As if that weren't enough, a second crisis erupts—a proposal to gut her beloved art center.

Tristram Brodie, hard-driving lawyer and former Marine, is focused on his plan to convert the Torpedo Factory into a box store. He is drawn to the beautiful Milo, but their mutual attraction will be frustrated by both the murders and his intentions.…


Book cover of The Cross of Iron

Michael Dorosh Author Of Indescribable Ordeal: The History of the German 65th Infantry Division 1942-1945

From my list on explaining the experience of German soldiers in the Second World War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Canadian with bachelor's degrees in history and communications and over thirty-five years of experience in the Canadian Army reserves. My interest in the German Army of the Third Reich period has led to interviews with surviving veterans, visits to various battlefields, a successful YouTube channel, and involvement in military-themed hobbies such as war re-enactment and wargaming which in turn has led to the publication of many related books and magazine articles. Like all of us writing on the subject of Germans in the Second World War, I find it often poorly understood yet hugely compelling for its complex legal, historical, and moral aspects.

Michael's book list on explaining the experience of German soldiers in the Second World War

Michael Dorosh Why did Michael love this book?

With compelling characters and true insights into the historical period it is set in, I consider this the best novel of all time. The movie it inspired is a classic, but the novel delivers much more.

The characters are brought to life with realistic motivations, dialogue, and inner monologues. Heinrich's masterful changes of point of view and suspenseful chapter breaks still maintain my interest every time. 

I can't praise the book enough for its pure literary quality, and even though it is a work of fiction, it has a ring of authenticity about it. The author served in the same regiment his fictional Steiner character belongs to and based him on a soldier who lived through the real-world events Heinrich set his novel in.

By Willi Heinrich,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Before the Court of Heaven

Joe Kilgore Author Of A Farmhouse in the Rain

From my list on WWII era that explore conflicts on the home front.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been enamored with the World War II era. It was a time that seems virtually non-existent today, where almost everyone in my country was on the same page. There seemed to be a collective commitment to the struggle. An agreement that this was indeed good versus evil. Of course, I’m sure its nostalgic allure is much greater for those of us who didn’t actually have to live through it. But the strength, perseverance, and everyday heroism it brought out in soldiers and civilians alike, deserves to be chronicled and remembered forever.

Joe's book list on WWII era that explore conflicts on the home front

Joe Kilgore Why did Joe love this book?

Most of this novel’s action occurs between World War I and World War II. It’s the riveting tale of a young German crushed by his country’s defeat and dedicated to doing something about it. He joins a network of assassins and aids in the murder of a high-ranking Jew in the Weimar government. Sent to prison, he meets a unique individual and begins an acute reexamination of everything he’s previously believed. This is a passionately compelling tale of one man looking deep within himself to make sense of what he’s done with his life. The author brings the times, as well as his characters vividly to life and makes this chronicle of redemption a supremely fulfilling read.

By Jack Mayer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Historical Fiction based on a true story of Weimar Germany and the rise of the Third Reich. Winner of 13 book awards.2017 Independent Press Award - Winner - Historical Fiction 2017 Independent Press Award - Winner - General Fiction 2016 IndieReader Discovery Award - 1st Place - Fiction2015 Nautilus Book Award Winner - Fiction - Silver medal2016 Readers' Favorite Book Award - Gold Medal - Fiction -Social Issues2016 Finalist - Grand Prize (Eric Hoffer Award) - Fiction2016 Honorable Mention (Eric Hoffer Award) - Commercial Fiction 2016 Finalist - First Horizon Award (Eric Hoffer Award) - Fiction 2015 Finalist - Foreword…


Book cover of Ernie's War: The Best of Ernie Pyle's World War II Dispatches

Donald L. Willerton Author Of Teddy's War

From my list on what our fathers never told us about WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

My father never talked about his experiences during the war. After he died at 67, we found his handwritten itinerary of three years and ten days in the Army Signal Corps. Plotting it on a map sparked a passion that continued for years, taking me twice to sites in Europe and through hundreds of records and books. I am amazed at all he never told us—the Queen Mary troopship, his radar unit’s landing on Omaha Beach (D+26), the Normandy Breakout, Paris after liberation, fleeing Bastogne, and so on. I grew up on WWII films but never grasped till now what my dad may have seen. 

Donald's book list on what our fathers never told us about WWII

Donald L. Willerton Why did Donald love this book?

I haven’t found anyone better at describing the personal situations and experiences of soldiers in war than Ernie Pyle. In this compilation, he interviews soldiers at every level, in a wide variety of duties, with honesty, directness, humor, and literary style. It is no wonder that his syndicated columns appeared in over 400 daily and 300 weekly newspapers, making him the voice of war-time America.

By David Nichols (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The best of Ernie Pyles World War II dispatches. For those of us to whom World War II has been only images in newsreels or monolithic history in a book. Ernie's words breathe like an intimate conversation. He is our eloquent bridge across time.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in World War 1, the oil and gas industry, and imperialism?

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