86 books like World War One

By Norman Stone,

Here are 86 books that World War One fans have personally recommended if you like World War One. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I

Adam Zamoyski Author Of Warsaw 1920: Lenin’s Failed Conquest of Europe

From my list on to truly understand the First World War.

Why am I passionate about this?

Adam Zamoyski is a British historian of Polish origin. He is the author of over a dozen award winning books. His family originates in Poland. His parents left the country when it was invaded by Germany and Russia in 1939, and were stranded in exile when the Soviets took it over at the end of World War II. Drawn to it as much by the historical processes at work there as by family ties, Zamoyski began to visit Poland in the late 1960s. His interest in the subject is combined with a feel for its connections to the history and culture of other nations, and a deep understanding of the pan-European context.

Adam's book list on to truly understand the First World War

Adam Zamoyski Why did Adam love this book?

This book provides a radically alternative perspective on what this event meant for ordinary people. Using a wide range of letters, diaries, and memoirs, Neiberg reveals that most people had no idea what the war was about and saw no good reason for it, while the soldiers were often confused as to whom they were fighting and which part of the world they were in. It is a short book but an enlightening read.

By Michael Neiberg,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Dance of the Furies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The common explanation for the outbreak of World War I depicts Europe as a minefield of nationalism, needing only the slightest pressure to set off an explosion of passion that would rip the continent apart. But in a crucial reexamination of the outbreak of violence, Michael Neiberg shows that ordinary Europeans, unlike their political and military leaders, neither wanted nor expected war during the fateful summer of 1914. By training his eye on the ways that people outside the halls of power reacted to the rapid onset and escalation of the fighting, Neiberg dispels the notion that Europeans were rabid…


Book cover of Towards the Flame: Empire, War and the End of Tsarist Russia

Adam Zamoyski Author Of Warsaw 1920: Lenin’s Failed Conquest of Europe

From my list on to truly understand the First World War.

Why am I passionate about this?

Adam Zamoyski is a British historian of Polish origin. He is the author of over a dozen award winning books. His family originates in Poland. His parents left the country when it was invaded by Germany and Russia in 1939, and were stranded in exile when the Soviets took it over at the end of World War II. Drawn to it as much by the historical processes at work there as by family ties, Zamoyski began to visit Poland in the late 1960s. His interest in the subject is combined with a feel for its connections to the history and culture of other nations, and a deep understanding of the pan-European context.

Adam's book list on to truly understand the First World War

Adam Zamoyski Why did Adam love this book?

The outbreak of war was hastened, if not actually caused by, the fact that the whole of Central and Eastern Europe was governed by failed states. The Russian, German and Austrian empires had outlived their respective raisons d’être and, either unwilling or incapable of forging new ones through radical reform, hoped to justify their survival through the pursuit of success in the international arena, and ultimately through war. This is a brilliant account of the doomed attempts to reform the greatest yet most fragile of these states, and of the slow car-crash that ensued.

By Dominic Lieven,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

FINANCIAL TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2015

The Russian decision to mobilize in July 1914 may have been the single most catastrophic choice of the modern era. Some articulate, thoughtful figures around the Tsar understood Russia's fragility, and yet they were shouted down by those who were convinced that, despite Germany's patent military superiority, Russian greatness required decisive action. Russia's rulers thought they were acting to secure their future, but in fact - after millions of deaths and two revolutions - they were consigning their entire class to death or exile and their country to a uniquely terrible generations-long experiment…


Book cover of The Fortress: The Siege of Przemysl and the Making of Europe's Bloodlands

Adam Zamoyski Author Of Warsaw 1920: Lenin’s Failed Conquest of Europe

From my list on to truly understand the First World War.

Why am I passionate about this?

Adam Zamoyski is a British historian of Polish origin. He is the author of over a dozen award winning books. His family originates in Poland. His parents left the country when it was invaded by Germany and Russia in 1939, and were stranded in exile when the Soviets took it over at the end of World War II. Drawn to it as much by the historical processes at work there as by family ties, Zamoyski began to visit Poland in the late 1960s. His interest in the subject is combined with a feel for its connections to the history and culture of other nations, and a deep understanding of the pan-European context.

Adam's book list on to truly understand the First World War

Adam Zamoyski Why did Adam love this book?

This book not only tells the fascinating story of the great siege in 1914-15 of the supposedly impregnable fortress of Przemyśl. It is a highly readable and often darkly humorous account, based on an extraordinary array of sources in several languages, paints a vivid picture of the political and military shambles into which the Austro-Hungarian Empire had fallen. With chilling precision, it also identifies the presence of many of the germs which would flourish into the horrors which visited the same area in the following decades.

By Alexander Watson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


A prizewinning historian tells the dramatic story of the siege that changed the course of the First World War

In September 1914, just a month into World War I, the Russian army laid siege to the fortress city of Przemysl, the Hapsburg Empire's most important bulwark against invasion. For six months, against storm and starvation, the ragtag garrison bitterly resisted, denying the Russians a quick victory. Only in March 1915 did the city fall, bringing occupation, persecution, and brutal ethnic cleansing.

In The Fortress, historian Alexander Watson tells the story of the battle for Przemysl, showing how it marked the…


Book cover of Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

Charlotte Gray Author Of Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons: The Lives of Jennie Jerome Churchill and Sara Delano Roosevelt

From my list on history books by women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I recall my younger self looking at the reading lists on Oxford University history courses, and asking, “Where are all the women?” I have always wanted to know what it was like to be there, in any century up to the present. How did families form and pass on their values, what did people wear and eat, when (and if) children learned to read, and what were people’s daily routines? Political, military, and economic history is important, but I have flourished in the social history trenches. I discovered women writers and historians have more acute antennae for the details I wanted, even when writing about wars and dynasties.

Charlotte's book list on history books by women

Charlotte Gray Why did Charlotte love this book?

Until I read this book, I had thought of the 1919 Versailles Peace Conference in yawn-inducing terms of maps and endless documents. But MacMillan gave me a new angle of vision, with her brilliant descriptions of the statesmen’s personalities, the corridor conspiracies, the exotic characters on the conference’s fringes, and the high-handed manner in which a tiny clique of national leaders imposed unrealistic solutions.

I finally understood why World War I was not the “war to end all wars,” as the peacemakers hoped, but only a prelude to World War II and many of the conflicts still raging today.

By Margaret MacMillan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Paris 1919 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

National Bestseller

New York Times Editors’ Choice

Winner of the PEN Hessell Tiltman Prize

Winner of the Duff Cooper Prize

Silver Medalist for the Arthur Ross Book Award
of the Council on Foreign Relations

Finalist for the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award

For six months in 1919, after the end of “the war to end all wars,” the Big Three—President Woodrow Wilson, British prime minister David Lloyd George, and French premier Georges Clemenceau—met in Paris to shape a lasting peace. In this landmark work of narrative history, Margaret MacMillan gives a dramatic and intimate view of those fateful days, which…


Book cover of Fallen Soldiers: Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars

Shannon Bontrager Author Of Death at the Edges of Empire: Fallen Soldiers, Cultural Memory, and the Making of an American Nation, 1863-1921

From my list on the memory of the war dead.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor who holds a Ph.D. in American history. I researched several archives in the United States and Paris, France to write this book and I am very proud of it. I was inspired to write this story mainly from listening to the friends of my parents, when I was younger, who went to war in Vietnam and came back broken yet committed to making the world a better place. The kindness they showed me belied the stories they shared of their harrowing experiences and I wanted to understand how this divergence happened in men that rarely spoke of their past.      

Shannon's book list on the memory of the war dead

Shannon Bontrager Why did Shannon love this book?

This may be the book that started it all. Mosse has many books that try to explain the rise of the Nazis in Germany who Mosse and his parents fled in the 1930s. Here Mosse describes how Nazis used the war dead from the First World War in an explicit attempt to harness the nationalism of Germans to support Nazi politics. Winter disagrees with Mosse and developed arguments that are probably more accepted by historians today but, for me, that doesn’t take away from the power of Mosse’s argument. Even though I don’t always agree with Mosse’s analysis, I can’t help but be engrossed by his writing, his passion, and his ability to describe how the war dead could be used as political weapons. 

By George L. Mosse,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Millions were killed and maimed in the senseless brutality of the First World War, but once the armistice was signed the realities were cleansed of their horror by the nature of the burial and commemoration of the dead. In the interwar period, war monuments and cemeteries provided the public with places of worship and martyrs for the civic religion of nationalism. The cult of the fallen soldier blossomed in Germany and other European countries, and people seemed to
build war into their lives as a necessary and glorious event - a proof of manhood and loyalty to the flag. Ultimately…


Book cover of The Road Back

Richard Zimler Author Of The Incandescent Threads

From my list on survivors of a horrific trauma.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m originally from New York but have lived in Portugal for the last 33 years. I write my novels in English and my children’s books in Portuguese. As anyone who reads my latest novel will discover, I have been greatly influenced the mythology and mystical traditions of various religions, especially Judaism (kabbalah). Happily, I discovered early on that I adore writing about people who have been systematically persecuted and silenced. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment to explore taboo subjects and topics that others would prefer to forget or conceal. When I’m not working on a book, I like to garden and travel. 

Richard's book list on survivors of a horrific trauma

Richard Zimler Why did Richard love this book?

World War I caused 20 million deaths and left 21 million wounded.

Soldiers who survived the gas attacks and trench warfare often returned to societies eager to forget the atrocities of the conflict and move on. Remarque’s insightfully written novel details the struggles of three German soldiers who return home only to discover that they may have no place in a nation that has learned almost nothing from what they regard as a senseless and immoral war.

In May of 1933, this novel and the rest of Remarque's writing were declared “unpatriotic” by the Nazi dictatorship and all his novels were banned.

By Erich Maria Remarque,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After surviving several horrifying years in the inferno of the Western Front, a young German soldier and his cohorts return home at the end of WW1. Their road back to life in civilian world is made arduous by their bitterness about what they find in post-war society. A captivating story, one of Remarque's best.


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 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 Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power

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?

Most of us believe that the Big Oil has politicians in its pocket, and that oil drives America’s actions in the Middle East.

Yergin’s terrific history shows that there’s so much more: oil has fueled the growth of empires, it has decided the world wars, it has made and broken some of the world’s biggest fortunes. (You might also like the TV documentary made from the book, narrated by Donald Sutherland.)

By Daniel Yergin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Written by the author of "Shattered Peace" and "Energy Future", this book brings to life the tycoons, wildcatters, monopolists, regulators, presidents, generals and sheiks whose struggle for oil has shaken the world economy, dictated the outcome of wars, transformed the destiny of Britain and the world and profoundly changed all our lives. Beginning with the first oil well of the 1850s and continuing up to Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, it is a story of greed, gumption nad ingenuity, all in pursuit of "the prize" - worldwide economic, military and political mastery through the control of oil. The book includes…


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…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in World War 1, Nazism, and presidential biography?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about World War 1, Nazism, and presidential biography.

World War 1 Explore 875 books about World War 1
Nazism Explore 209 books about Nazism
Presidential Biography Explore 18 books about presidential biography