I’ve been reading Warscapes Weekly for a while now and they have consistently put together some good collections of stories and essays from war torn areas. They have now put out a list of hundred books about war. The list tilts towards the current and for my tastes has a little too much from journalists, but it is an intriguing list and I found a couple I was interested in reading in the future. I have even read a few of these (Homage to Catalonia, Catch-22, War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning,The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War, Berlin: The Downfall 1945, The English Patient, The Story of Zahra, No-no Boy, Testament of Youth, War Against War, Autumn of the Patriarch ) or tried in a couple cases (Forever War, Journal, 1955-1962, Reflections on the French-Algerian War). I think the the omission of Eugene Sledge’s book is large, but no list is perfect.
by Michael Herr, a visceral and lyrical memoir about the Vietnam war
Memory for Forgetfulness
by Mahmoud Darwish, unique prose-poem sequences that evoke the Israeli invasion of Beirut in 1982.
Homage to Catalonia
by George Orwell (1938) Journalist and novelist George Orwell’s personal account of experiences and reflections during the Spanish Civil War.
by John Hersey (1946) Told through the memory of survivors, this is a journalistic account of what happened on the day that the United States dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.
by Joseph Heller (1961) Now celebrating 50 years, this novel follows Captain John Yossarian and several other characters as they navigate bureaucracy, absurdity, injustice and greed during World War II.
by Thomas Pynchon (1973) A sprawling epic novel about the deployment of V-2 rockets by Nazis during World War II.
Pity the Nation
by Robert Fisk (1990) An epic account of the Lebanese civil war and the crisis of Israel and Palestine during the eighties through the eyes of a fearless journalist.
by Pat Barker (1991) A novel based on real-life accounts of British army officers being treated for shell shock during World War I.
Black Hawk Down
by Mark Bowden (1999) An account of the urban battle that raged in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993 between US Special forces and Somali militias headed by warlord Mohammed Farrah Aidid.
My War Gone By, I Miss It So
by Anthony Loyd (2001) An English journalist’s memoir about his experiences in Bosnia and Chechnya.