20 of Your Picks for Modern War Books

This Riot Recommendation of modern war books is sponsored by Prometheus Books, bringing you Disarmed by Izzy Ezagui.

Combining refreshing candor with self-deprecating wit, this inspiring memoir encourages readers to reach their aspirations despite seemingly impossible odds. Disarmed is the moving story of a young American who volunteered to fight in the Israel Defense Forces, lost his arm in combat, and then returned to the battlefield as the world’s only one-armed Special Forces sharpshooter.

Izzy Ezagui wrote Disarmed with fellow millennials in mind—not necessarily those with military ambitions, but everyone facing life’s battles. His message is universal: if a self-described “nerd” like him can accomplish what he did; anyone can become a hero in their own life.


The topic of war is complex and difficult, and it seems to have grown even more so since the days described in The Illiad. Come to think of it, Homer’s epic was probably the last book I read about war. So I asked you: what are the best modern books on the subject? Your recommendations follow:

War by Sebastian Junger

Code Girls by Liza Mundy

The Reaper by Nicholas Irving and Gary Brozek

We Were Soldiers Once…and Young by Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway

Lions of Kandahar by Rusty Bradley and Kevin Maurer

Hue 1968 by Mark Bowden

The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam

The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors by James D. Hornfischer

Legend by Eric Blehm

The Forgotten 500 by Gregory A. Freeman

The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang

The Chosen Few by Gregg Zoroya and William H. McRaven

No Easy Day by Mark Owen

The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan

Blind Man’s Bluff by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew

If You Survive by George Wilson

12 Strong by Doug Stanton

Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides

Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell and John Bruning

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters by Jason Stearns

In a book lover’s life, there’s nothing as magical as a perfect, surprising recommendation from someone who just gets you. But finding those people can be tough! That’s where TBR comes in. Go here to find out more, or just click the image below:
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