Books About War

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For centuries war has fascinated and repelled man equally. Men have fought, won, lost, died and created history. Here is a list of popular books, fictions and non fictions that talk of different aspects of war through centuries.

A History of Warfare by John Keegan talks about the art of warfare. It begins with the narrative of the early wars of the Bronze Age and walks us through timeless battles and hostilities up until the world wars.

Just and Unjust Wars by Michael Walzer is a philosophical, non fictitious, work that compares the medieval theory of just war against that of the modern concept of secular war.

The Iliad of Homer is perhaps the most romantic of war sagas ever written.

Set during the Trojan War, it speaks of the ten-year siege of the city of Troy.

Birdsong is a novel by English novelist Sebastian Faulks that tells the story of a man and his life before, during and after World War I.

Countless American soldiers and their families have taken home lasting effects of The Vietnam War. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien is a collection of short war stories about a platoon of American soldiers in Vietnam.

All Quiet on the Western Front, A thrilling novel by Erich Maria Remarque portrays the German soldiers’ intense physical and mental trauma during World War I and the lasting after effects of this stress.

The Art of War is an ancient Chinese war treatise by Sun Tzu that has affected the philosophy of war in Asia and the western world throughout centuries. Its most renowned adaptations in English is written by Mark McNeilly in 2001.

A Farewell to Arms is an American classic written by Ernest Hemingway in which narrates the story of love set against the backdrop of World War I. The book explores many consequent themes like the cynicism of the soldiers, the life in the ambulance corps, the trauma of war etc. The novel has been described as the premier American war novel of its time.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut  is a satirical novel set in the times of World War II. The novel uses the firebombing of Dresden as the central event of the story. Billy, the protagonist, being held captive in Dresden at the time, deludes himself into thinking that he is a prisoner in an alien zoo and travels through space and time to complete the story of his journey. The book deals with the issue of trauma of war on the psyche of the soldiers.

Inside Syria by by Reese Erlich is a firsthand narrative of the significant power struggle in Syria. The book is written from the point of view of a journalist and talks of the different byplays of the Syrian civil unrest like the Kurds, the influence of Iraq and the plight of the common man.

Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Joby Warrick is a narrative of how a Jordanian prisoner being granted amnesty goes on to become a terrorist master mind and bring about an unprecedented rise of ISIS.

The great war of our time written by Michael Morell is a gripping account of the CIA’s century old war against all forms of terrorism.

American Sniper by Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice is a career narrative of Chris Kyle who recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history.  The Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitan or “the devil”. The book is Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences.

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