Douglas wrote two books. The first one is called The Salad Days (Hardcover 1988) This book is the first volume of his autobiography. It spans the twenties and thirties and ends in 1941, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sent him and his wife Mary Lee on a fact-finding tour of South America just before the United States entered the second World War. His second book, A Hell of a War (Hardcover March 1993) is the second volume of his autobiography. In it he covers his career as a US Naval Officer, from six weeks prior to Pearl Harbor to the end of the second World War. In the book he downplays his military achievements and mentions his struggle to convince the military that he wasn't a spoiled son of a famous movie star.