The best books about the Pentagon

Who picked these books? Meet our 5 experts.

5 authors created a book list connected to the Pentagon, and here are their favorite Pentagon books.
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By John Casey,

Book cover of Devolution

Keith Madsen Author Of Searching for Eden

From the list on adventure stories which also explore the self.

Who am I?

Life is an adventure! Part of the adventure is exploring this fascinating world – from the Mississippi River of Mark Twain to the Mesopotamian valley in my book, Searching for Eden. But an even more exciting adventure is the exploration of self these books are about. I continue to be challenged by that adventure. I have explored my “dark side” during times of divorce and financial crisis, and I have explored my brighter, giving side as I have served as a Christian minister throughout the U.S. and Haiti, an AmeriCorps volunteer teaching ESL classes, and as a teacher of chess to young people. I continue to enjoy this exciting adventure!

Keith's book list on adventure stories which also explore the self

Discover why each book is one of Keith's favorite books.

Why did Keith love this book?

What I especially liked about Devolution is that some spy novels portray the protagonist as a larger-than-life superhero who knows more than everyone else and is never beset by personal uncertainty and struggle. John Casey, however, has created a character in Michael Dolan who has been wounded by a past trauma, and shows his humanity. I found myself identifying with him. I have never been able to identify with seemingly invulnerable superheroes. John Wayne or 007, I am not, nor will I ever be. Still, in Devolution, Michael Dolan is a man who is committed to the truth and fighting for what is right. Confronting truths about himself helps him to do that powerfully. 

By John Casey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Michael Dolan is a stoic perfectionist and former special operations pilot working a staff job at the Pentagon when he is approached by the CIA with an improbable request, to help prevent impending terrorist attacks in Europe. As his deep-cover role in OPERATION EXCISE evolves, Dolan finds that of all the demons he must prevail against, the most terrible are from within...

Fans of Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Identity will appreciate the internecine struggle and cryptic complexity of the protagonist, Michael Dolan, as will fans of Tom Clancy's Patriot Games who savor a page-turner about an unlikely spy thrust into…

The Day After Roswell

By Philip J. Corso, William J. Birnes,

Book cover of The Day After Roswell

Ken Goudsward Author Of Fermi's Paradox Is Bullshit: the Evidence for Extraterrestrial Life

From the list on rational UFO stories.

Who am I?

As a child, I was fascinated with astronomy but discouraged from investigating the UFO phenomenon due to religious reasons. Not until I was in my forties, did I begin to see the strange Biblical hints of what ended up in my writing my book UFOs In The Bible. Along the way, my research led me to diverse related topics including Sumerian mythology and astrobiology which have resulted in a few more books (and more to come). I see logic as a fundamental tool for this line of investigation, and so, I embrace books that engage with the evidence logically. I firmly believe we must all make room for experiencers to tell their stories without recrimination.

Ken's book list on rational UFO stories

Discover why each book is one of Ken's favorite books.

Why did Ken love this book?

Lieutenant Colonel Philip J. Corso was a decorated military intelligence officer and Chief of the Pentagon's Foreign Technology desk in Army Research and Development. In this role he was tasked with managing numerous artifacts from the Roswell crash, and getting them safely into the hands of hand-selected private R&D firms for analysis, reverse engineering, and technology development. This book details not only his involvement, but the chain of evidence behind these artifacts, as well as technical details on at least a few of the items themselves, and what human technologies were adapted from these alien technologies.

By Philip J. Corso, William J. Birnes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A breathtaking exposé that reads like a thriller, The Day After Roswell is a stunning depiction of just what happened in Roswell, New Mexico all those years ago and how the effects of this mysterious unidentified aircraft crash are still relevant today.

Former member of President Eisenhower’s National Security Council and the Foreign Technology Desk in the United States Army, Colonel Philip J. Corso was assigned to work at a strange crash site in Roswell in 1947. He had no idea that his work there would change his life and the course of history forever. Only in his fascinating memoir…

All Hell Breaking Loose

By Michael T. Klare,

Book cover of All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon's Perspective on Climate Change

Erik D. Curren Author Of The Solar Patriot: A Citizen's Guide to Helping America Win Clean Energy Independence

From the list on solving the climate crisis.

Who am I?

Drawing on my own experience as a local elected official and citizen lobbyist at all levels of government, I write books to help get citizens involved in the biggest challenges of our day. As an activist for clean energy, I wanted to write an easy-to-use guide to help ordinary citizens to become effective champions for more solar power in America. The Solar Patriot is my third book and my second on solar power. For two decades I have worked as a communications consultant and advocate for solar power, renewable energy, and climate solutions. Now, I’m writing a call to action for America off of fossil fuels as soon as possible to meet the urgent challenge of the climate crisis.

Erik's book list on solving the climate crisis

Discover why each book is one of Erik's favorite books.

Why did Erik love this book?

Michael Klare mines reports written by each of the U.S. armed services over the last couple of decades to show how the Pentagon identifies a variety of threats that are multiplied by climate change. Klare organizes them in a “threat ladder” ranging from most to least likely but from least to most dangerous, making it a ladder of escalation that diverts military personnel and resources from their main mission of defending the American homeland from foreign adversaries. If you're a committed pacifist, as many climate activists are, this book will be eye-opening. If you want to reduce and then stop the increase of climate change while protecting America from the worst impacts of weird weather in the coming decades, it turns out you may have more in common with generals and admirals than you'd thought.

By Michael T. Klare,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All Hell Breaking Loose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Drawing on previously obscure reports and government documents, renowned security expert Michael Klare shows that the Pentagon now regards climate change as one of the top threats to American national security and is busy developing strategies to cope with it. Its response makes it clear that where it counts, the immense impact of climate change is not in doubt.

Fall and Rise

By Mitchell Zuckoff,

Book cover of Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11

Paul Willetts Author Of King Con: The Bizarre Adventures of the Jazz Age's Greatest Impostor

From the list on twenty-first century true-crime.

Who am I?

I’m an English nonfiction writer who is, I suppose, best-known for Members Only, my biography of the London strip club owner, theatre impresario, property magnate, and porn baron Paul Raymond, which was adapted into a big-budget movie called The Look of Love. Like many of my books, Members Only strayed into true crime, a genre that has, for all sorts of reasons, been attractive to me as a writer. Probably the most important of those is that it provides the opportunity to tell inherently dramatic stories and to convey a vivid picture of the past, thanks to the wealth of documentation associated with major crimes. 

Paul's book list on twenty-first century true-crime

Discover why each book is one of Paul's favorite books.

Why did Paul love this book?

The extreme length of Fall and Rise put me off until my agent Matthew Hamilton persuaded me to take the plunge.

Just as he’d promised, I found myself deeply engaged in the lives and ultimate fates of Mitchell Zuckoff’s large cast of real-life characters, whose personalities, back-stories, and ambitions are rendered with impressive immediacy.

Of course we already know the outcome of this tragic story, yet the book possesses remarkable narrative dynamism. Hovering over most of its pages is the unnerving question, “Which of these people will survive?”

By Mitchell Zuckoff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


'The farewell calls from the planes... the mounting terror of air traffic control... the mothers who knew they were witnessing their loved ones perish... From an author who's spent 5 years reconstructing its horror, never has the story been told with such devastating, human force' Daily Mail

This is a 9/11 book like no other. Masterfully weaving together multiple strands of the events in New York, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Fall and Rise is a mesmerising, minute-by-minute account of that terrible day.

In the days and months after 9/11, Mitchell Zuckoff, then…