100 books like War with Russia

By General Sir Richard Shirreff,

Here are 100 books that War with Russia fans have personally recommended if you like War with Russia. 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 Machines Like Me

Peter McAllister Author Of The Code: If Your AI Loses Its Mind, Can It Take Meds?

From my list on where we expect AI to behave as our tool, but.

Who am I?

I am an engineer, scientist, turned technology manager who works in the field of Artificial Intelligence, and have gotten lost in Sci-Fi since I could first read. Now I want to share the stories that keep me awake at night.

Peter's book list on where we expect AI to behave as our tool, but

Peter McAllister Why did Peter love this book?

Adam is a limited edition robot who can pass for human (something I can’t do on a bad day). It takes a while for Adam to learn to be part of that world, but as time passes, he moves from being the slave of his owner Charlie to being better than him in every way (just ask his girlfriend!). I kept thinking of what would it be like to have a better version of me hanging around the house. It took slaves a long time to be recognized as people, how long for the robots?

By Ian McEwan,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Machines Like Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Booker Prize winner and bestselling author of Atonement—”a sharply intelligent novel of ideas” (The New York Times) that asks whether a machine can understand the human heart, or whether we are the ones who lack understanding.

Set in an uncanny alternative 1982 London—where Britain has lost the Falklands War, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power, and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence—Machines Like Me powerfully portrays two lovers who will be tested beyond their understanding. Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a…


Book cover of The Heart Goes Last

Chris Wimpress Author Of Weeks in Naviras

From my list on speculative fiction that blew my mind.

Who am I?

I was a political journalist in London for the BBC and HuffPost for many years, so thinking about our current politics, and where we are headed kind of fixates me! From the day I read 1984 as a twelve-year-old, I’ve been obsessed with how novels set in the near future or an alternate past can be intensely political, and instructive. I enjoy sci-fi, but it’s the extrapolation of our world into a similar yet different one that can tell us so much about our own society. 

Chris' book list on speculative fiction that blew my mind

Chris Wimpress Why did Chris love this book?

Not her most famous speculative novel, but one which has a lot to say about where our societies might be headed. Automation and the soaring cost of living have wrecked the economy. The solution seems bizarre at first – people spend half their lives in prison – but as the novel progresses, it starts to seem normal, plausible even. Atwood is asking us how much we really value our freedom, and what conditions might prompt us to surrender it willingly. This has a dotted line to human relationships and love, exploring why people get together and stay together – or not. More than ever Atwood’s dark wit is on display here, though whether we should be laughing about these things is an open question!

By Margaret Atwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments—in the gated community of Consilience, residents who sign a contract will get a job and a lovely house for six months of the year...if they serve as inmates in the Positron prison system for the alternate months.

“Captivating...thrilling.” —The New York Times Book Review

Stan and Charmaine, a young urban couple, have been hit by job loss and bankruptcy in the midst of nationwide economic collapse. Forced to live in their third-hand Honda, where they are vulnerable to roving gangs, they think the gated community of Consilience may be…


Book cover of Notes from the Burning Age

Chris Wimpress Author Of Weeks in Naviras

From my list on speculative fiction that blew my mind.

Who am I?

I was a political journalist in London for the BBC and HuffPost for many years, so thinking about our current politics, and where we are headed kind of fixates me! From the day I read 1984 as a twelve-year-old, I’ve been obsessed with how novels set in the near future or an alternate past can be intensely political, and instructive. I enjoy sci-fi, but it’s the extrapolation of our world into a similar yet different one that can tell us so much about our own society. 

Chris' book list on speculative fiction that blew my mind

Chris Wimpress Why did Chris love this book?

Post-apocalyptic novels based on eco-disaster aren’t new, but Claire North goes a step further and imagines what kind of society might emerge from the ashes of our current one, should things go really wrong. Her world-building is frenetic and detailed, but never loses the reader in its creation. What I love about North’s writing is her often lyrical style and vivid descriptions, there’s plenty of that in this novel. Above all this is an oddly spiritual novel, asking what role religion might play in a world where the old gods appear to have deserted humankind. 

By Claire North,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Notes from the Burning Age as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The new federal guidelines to help employers understand how the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to employees with an emotional disorder make it imperative that occupational psychologists and front line managers identify those workers who have an emotional disorder and distinguish them from those workers who are lazy or have a bad attitude. Kantor provides vital clinical information that assists professional consultants and supervisors alike in complying with the new guidelines while distinguishing true disability from behavioral problems which call for administrative action. Avoiding stress-heavy theory and one-size-fits-all approaches to treating occupational disorders, Kantor provides a comprehensive view of factors…


Book cover of The History of Bees

Chris Wimpress Author Of Weeks in Naviras

From my list on speculative fiction that blew my mind.

Who am I?

I was a political journalist in London for the BBC and HuffPost for many years, so thinking about our current politics, and where we are headed kind of fixates me! From the day I read 1984 as a twelve-year-old, I’ve been obsessed with how novels set in the near future or an alternate past can be intensely political, and instructive. I enjoy sci-fi, but it’s the extrapolation of our world into a similar yet different one that can tell us so much about our own society. 

Chris' book list on speculative fiction that blew my mind

Chris Wimpress Why did Chris love this book?

I’m personally fascinated by bees (there are a few of them that turn up in my own book), so a speculative novel where they play a starring role was always going to be a must-read for me. Lunde’s novel spans 150 years and reminds us that for all our ingenuity and invention, humans are nowhere near as smart as the natural world, and we mess about with it at our peril. For bee aficionados, there’s a great deal of knowledge in these pages. There’s also thoughtful, reasoned speculation about what the 21st Century will mean for China’s place in the world, and a seamless interweaving of narratives. It’s an often sad novel that reminds us that we’re not as powerful as we think we are. 

By Maja Lunde,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Imagine The Leftovers, but with honey” (Elle), and in the spirit of Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go, this “spectacular and deeply moving” (Lisa See, New York Times bestselling author) novel follows three generations of beekeepers from the past, present, and future, weaving a spellbinding story of their relationship to the bees—and to their children and one another—against the backdrop of an urgent, global crisis.

England, 1852. William is a biologist and seed merchant, who sets out to build a new type of beehive—one that will give both him and his children honor and fame.

United States, 2007. George…


Book cover of The Russo-Ukrainian War: The Return of History

Geoffrey Roberts Author Of Stalin's Library: A Dictator and his Books

From my list on the history of the Russo-Ukrainian war.

Who am I?

I am an award-winning historian, biographer, and political commentator. As a specialist in Soviet history, my books have been translated into many languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Finnish, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.

Geoffrey's book list on the history of the Russo-Ukrainian war

Geoffrey Roberts Why did Geoffrey love this book?

Plokhy is a renowned Ukrainian-American historian who makes no secret of where his sympathies lie. His partisan, pro-Ukraine narrative of the war and its origins is vigorous and informative.

Of particular value is his highly illuminating account of the triangular relationship between Russia, Ukraine, and the United States in the run-up to the war.

By Serhii Plokhy,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Russo-Ukrainian War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Despite repeated warnings from the White House, Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 shocked the world. Why did Putin start the war-and why has it unfolded in previously unimaginable ways? Ukrainians have resisted a superior military; the West has united, while Russia grows increasingly isolated.

Serhii Plokhy, a leading historian of Ukraine and the Cold War, offers a definitive account of this conflict, its origins, course, and the already apparent and possible future consequences. Though the current war began eight years before the all-out assault-on February 27, 2014, when Russian armed forces seized the building of the Crimean parliament-the…


Book cover of The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia

David Sax Author Of The Future Is Analog: How to Create a More Human World

From my list on picks for book club.

Who am I?

I’m a writer by profession, but until recently I was never in a book club. My wife was, briefly, and my friend Ben’s wife was (he’s also a writer). One day I said to Ben “why don’t we start a book club?”, and we did. Seven years later, the club is not only going strong, but it has assumed a central place in the lives of the seven of us who make it up. The book is the excuse to get together, to create and deepen friendships, to build a community around ideas. Start a book club. Choose some books. These are a good start. At least in my opinion.

David's book list on picks for book club

David Sax Why did David love this book?

I have always been fascinated with Russia, and love reading any book about Russia and Russians, whether the classic fiction of Dostoyevsky, or the absurdist work of Gary Shteyngart. But for insightful political analysis of Putin’s destruction of Russia’s democracy and society, written with a love for the people and country, and a keen eye toward their humanity, nothing beats this dead-eyed read from the great Masha Gessen. Her analysis of modern Russia under Putin’s grip came out a few years before the invasion of Ukraine, which is sort of a culmination of the ideas and stories here. This book is a portrait of individual tragedies woven together as a collective, where the historical resentments of one man (Putin) doom the future of an entire people. If you want to understand how Russia got here. Or what it might feel like to be a young Russian, caught up in this…

By Masha Gessen,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Future Is History as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The Future is History Masha Gessen follows the lives of four Russians, born as the Soviet Union crumbled, at what promised to be the dawn of democracy. Each came of age with unprecedented expectations, some as the children or grandchildren of the very architects of the new Russia, each with newfound aspirations of their own - as entrepreneurs, activists, thinkers and writers, sexual and social beings. Gessen charts their paths not only against the machinations of the regime that would seek to crush them all (censorship, intimidation, violence) but also against the war it waged on understanding itself, ensuring…


Book cover of All the Kremlin's Men: Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin

Mark Lawrence Schrad Author Of Vodka Politics: Alcohol, Autocracy, and the Secret History of the Russian State

From my list on understanding Putinism.

Who am I?

I’ve lived, learned, and loved Russian politics since before the collapse of communism. My Vodka Politics book takes a deep dive into Russian history but is ultimately focussed on better understanding contemporary social, economic, and political developments in Russia, where Putin and Putinism are at the core. Having taught graduate and undergraduate courses on Russian and post-Soviet politics for the past fifteen years, I find it essential to keep up-to-date on the latest scholarship. There are many great works out there by gifted journalists, writers, and scholars, many of which illuminate perhaps only part of Russia’s personalized autocracy. The ones I’ve listed here I feel present the most well-rounded picture, from a wide variety of perspectives.

Mark's book list on understanding Putinism

Mark Lawrence Schrad Why did Mark love this book?

Of course, it takes more than one man to run a country, and in All the Kremlin’s Men, opposition journalist Mikhail Zygar expands that scope to examine various important figures within Putin’s inner circle. From good friends to politicians, important bureaucrats, and oligarchs—and in many cases, the lines between those categories are very much blurred. Zygar builds on a decade’s worth of interviews and investigative journalism to give a rare, behind-the-scenes look at Russia’s elites, how they relate to one another, and to Putin. The book presents an immensely readable history of post-Soviet Russian politics, moving the chronology forward from 1980s reformism to the tumultuous 1990s, and into the era of High Putinism, with each chapter highlighting the role of this leader or that. The Russian-language original, Vsya kremlevskaya rat’, quickly became a bestseller in Russian nonfiction, which also resulted in ever greater political pressure by the Kremlin…

By Mikhail Zygar,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked All the Kremlin's Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

All the Kremlin's Men is a gripping narrative of an accidental king and a court out of control. Based on an unprecedented series of interviews with Vladimir Putin's inner circle, this book presents a radically different view of power and politics in Russia. The image of Putin as a strongman is dissolved. In its place is a weary figurehead buffeted--if not controlled--by the men who at once advise and deceive him.

The regional governors and bureaucratic leaders are immovable objects, far more powerful in their fiefdoms than the president himself. So are the gatekeepers-those officials who guard the pathways to…


Book cover of The New Autocracy: Information, Politics, and Policy in Putin's Russia

Mark Lawrence Schrad Author Of Vodka Politics: Alcohol, Autocracy, and the Secret History of the Russian State

From my list on understanding Putinism.

Who am I?

I’ve lived, learned, and loved Russian politics since before the collapse of communism. My Vodka Politics book takes a deep dive into Russian history but is ultimately focussed on better understanding contemporary social, economic, and political developments in Russia, where Putin and Putinism are at the core. Having taught graduate and undergraduate courses on Russian and post-Soviet politics for the past fifteen years, I find it essential to keep up-to-date on the latest scholarship. There are many great works out there by gifted journalists, writers, and scholars, many of which illuminate perhaps only part of Russia’s personalized autocracy. The ones I’ve listed here I feel present the most well-rounded picture, from a wide variety of perspectives.

Mark's book list on understanding Putinism

Mark Lawrence Schrad Why did Mark love this book?

How is it that political strongmen—from Putin in Russia to Hungary, Venezuela, Peru, and beyond—are able to impose their authoritarian control without the mass bloodshed of dictatorships past? UCLA Political Science Professor Daniel Treisman—along with Russian economist Sergei Guriev (Sciences Po)—have developed a New Autocracy model suggesting that individuals are less concerned with democracy per se, and more with competent government. Leaders, accordingly, use mechanisms of media manipulation and selective suppression to build the image of government competence. In this edited volume, Treisman and his co-authors demonstrate convincingly that this framework better explains political outcomes—including the annexation of Crimea—than alternative explanations, from Russia as the reincarnation of the Soviet Union, a mafia kleptocracy, a KGB state, or other formulations of “illiberal democracy”.

By Daniel Treisman (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Corruption, fake news, and the "informational autocracy" sustaining Putin in power

After fading into the background for many years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia suddenly has emerged as a new threat-at least in the minds of many Westerners. But Western assumptions about Russia, and in particular about political decision-making in Russia, tend to be out of date or just plain wrong.

Under the leadership of Vladimir Putin since 2000, Russia is neither a somewhat reduced version of the Soviet Union nor a classic police state. Corruption is prevalent at all levels of government and business, but Russia's…


Book cover of First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia's President

Andrew Monaghan Author Of Russian Grand Strategy in the Era of Global Power Competition

From my list on Russia and why the Kremlin does what it's doing.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by different cultures. I started to learn Russian in 1998, and intrigued by the language, I began to study Russia more—delving into history and politics and then doing a PhD in Russian foreign policy. Ever since, trying to learn about and understand Russia has been my professional focus. Alongside books in Russian, these books are all to hand on my reference shelf, well-thumbed and marked up, as I try to write my own work. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have! 

Andrew's book list on Russia and why the Kremlin does what it's doing

Andrew Monaghan Why did Andrew love this book?

So much has been written about Vladimir Putin since he came to power, from long biographies to short psychological assessments to fleeting conspiracy theories, all to try to better understand Russia’s long-term leader. This book is a publication of a series of interviews he gave to three Russian journalists when he first came to power back in 1999/2000. So much has happened since, but I found this book to be full of fascinating insights into Putin himself, but also how he views Russian (political) culture, and also those around him that he has continued to rely on ever since. “Surely there are more details?” one of the interviewers asks. “Yes, there are,” comes his reply. But I think this is the place to start.

By Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Who is this Vladimir Putin? Who is this man who suddenly- overnight and without warning- was handed the reigns of power to one of the most complex, formidable, and volatile countries in the world? How can we trust him if we don't know him? First Person is an intimate, candid portrait of the man who holds the future of Russia in his grip. An extraordinary compilation of over 24 hours of in-depth interviews and remarkable photographs, it delves deep into Putin's KGB past and explores his meteoric rise to power. No Russian leader has ever subjected himself to this kind…


Book cover of War with Russia?: From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate

John Philipp Baesler Author Of Clearer Than Truth: The Polygraph and the American Cold War

From my list on Russia in Western eyes.

Who am I?

Growing up in West Germany, surrounded by American soldiers and with a father who had escaped communist East Germany, the Cold War always fascinated me. What was it about? Would it ever end? When it did, it took everybody by surprise. This lesson, that nothing is certain and that history can always make a turn when you least expect it, stayed with me as I pursued my degrees in history, first in Heidelberg and then at Indiana University Bloomington. As an immigrant to the United States, I study the United States from the outside and the inside. How Americans see themselves, and how they see others, is my main interest that I keep exploring from different angles.

John's book list on Russia in Western eyes

John Philipp Baesler Why did John love this book?

For readers following coverage of Russia in the American press, this treatment of recent US-Russian relations will be a revelation. Historian Stephen Cohen, while never downplaying the serious shortcomings of Russia under Vladimir Putin, provides a much-needed correction of the widespread idea that the dangerous decline of US-Russian relations is simply the fault of one man. Cohen meticulously chronicles the many American missteps since the end of the Cold War that any Russian leader would have had to consider acts of U.S. aggression. I love this book because it holds a mirror to American views of innocence and benevolence and paints a much more realistic picture of great power conflict than is presented in the news.

By Stephen F. Cohen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Prescient and even more relevant than when originally released in 2019, this Memorial Edition of War With Russia ? provides keen perspective to help readers understand the current Ukraine crisis. Are we in a new Cold War with Russia? Does Vladimir Putin really want to destabilize the West? War With Russia? answers these questions and more.

America is in a new Cold War with Russia even more dangerous than the one the world barely survived in the twentieth century. The Soviet Union is gone, but the two nuclear superpowers are again locked in political and military confrontations, now from Ukraine…


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