Top 10 books about war
Best Non-fiction War Books (1328 books)Saving
The 30 greatest war novels of all time
Essential reading on the timeless and terrifying topic of war, these are the novels that teach us the cost and sacrifice of conflict and remind us why, in a time when a tweet appears capable of triggering a nuclear stand off, we should remember the lessons of the past. Vonnegut's most famous novel alternatively titled The Children's Crusade — A Duty-dance With Death is notable not only for its harrowing portrayal of the fire-bombing of Dresden, but for its bizarre scenes set on the planet Tralfamadore where protagonist Billy Pilgrim falls in love with an abducted porn star. Released in , Slaughterhouse Five was one of the first novels to mix absurdist post-modernism and pop culture with straight-faced accounts of the Second World War. As Billy Pilgrim himself explains: "They were trying to re-invent themselves and their universe Science fiction was a big help. Faulks' fourth novel has been compared to the work of Hemingway, and the similarity resonates in the stolid, stripped back descriptions of the Battle of the Somme.
Since the dawn of recorded history, war has proven an irresistible, inexhaustible and universally appealing subject. The reasons are obvious: It is the human activity in which emotions and actions simply could not be more intense. It is also the activity in which the stakes could not be higher. For individuals, it often means life or death. For city-states, nations, empires, even entire civilizations, war can mean survival and hegemony—or collapse and utter destruction.
At night, huddled in my sleeping bag in the ice-cold Holiday Inn, I counted incoming shells from the nearby hills and imagined that I was not as alone as I really was. Gellhorn, that tough, beautiful dame was also there, reading out loud in her deep and sensual voice. All of the books below had a profound influence on me in one way or another over two decades reporting from war zones, most recently in Syria, the subject of my new book. As a graduate student of comparative literature, my heroes were Chekhov and Turgenev, and I still refer to their lyricism when I am stuck in my own prose. But for truth-telling and bearing witness, here are the masters.
Hiroshima by John Hersey – survivors' stories carry weight of history
War is hell, but also generally a hell of a read Say it again! Writers, while not disavowing the sentiment, might suggest otherwise. Wars, battles and struggles have provided novelists with a cavalcade of inspiration for grand works. Some focus on the fighting and the treacherous conditions experienced by the soldiers; others examine how wars change people and society.
Only in the 19th century did soldiers begin to describe their experiences in language modern readers can relate to. Wheeler served as a rifleman through the greatest British campaigns of the Napoleonic wars. His letters home were discovered and published only in They provide one of the finest accounts of the conflict from the perspective of a ranker. Wheeler's sensibilities were often outraged by the scenes he witnessed, not least the excesses committed by his own comrades.