As a journalist, Century has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, Billboard, Details, Rolling Stone, Men's Journal, Blender, VIBE and The Guardian. He has written frequently about hip-hop and pop culture trends in the Sunday New York Times.
In several nonfiction books, Century has written about diverse subjects, ranging from inner-city gangs, organized-crime, undercover police investigations, military operations and the history of Jewish prizefighting in the United States.
Century's first book, Street Kingdom: Five Years Inside the Franklin Avenue Posse, was cited by many critics as a significant work of "participatory journalism." "Merits a place alongside The Grapes Of Wrath and Native Son," wrote the Detroit Free Press in February 1998. "Street Kingdom ... is an inventive mix of courageous investigative reporting, accomplished storytelling, knowing social commentary and wicked street-smart prose...One of the miracles of this book is that it occurred at all." Publishers Weekly called the debut book, "At once mesmerizing, humorous and tragic....A heady mixture of reportage and memoir."
Century's second book, describing Operation Wasteland, was Takedown: The Fall of the Last Mafia Empire (coauthored with NYPD Detective First-Grade Rick Cowan) was a New York Times best-seller, a finalist for the 2003 Edgar Award ("Best Fact Crime"), and a finalist for the 2003 Audie Awards ("Best Audiobook of the Year, Non-Fiction, Abridged", as read by actor Christopher Meloni). Newsweek described the book as a "new gangland epic."
Following the publication of his third book, the best-seller Barney Ross, Century has toured extensively, speaking across the United States and Canada about the life and times of Ross (born Dov Ber Rasofsky), the Hall of Fame boxing great and World War II hero. "This is an excellent story of a man and his times," wrote boxing historian Bert Randolph Sugar in The New York Times Book Review. "And proof positive that time does not relinquish its hold over men or monuments. In a sport devoted to fashioning halos for its superstars, Ross wore a special nimbus, and this book properly fits him for that.
Century is the coauthor of Brotherhood of Warriors: Behind Enemy Lines with a Commando in one of the World’s Most Elite Counterterrorism Units, with former Israeli Special Forces operative Aaron Cohen, published by Ecco/HarperCollins in April 2008. The book recounts Cohen's work in the mid-1990s as a member of Duvdevan Unit (Hebrew: דובדבן; lit. cherry) a controversial Special Forces outfit which runs missions targeting wanted terrorist suspects in the occupied territories of the West Bank, often while posing in undercover disguise as Palestinian Arabs.
In October 2008, the Penguin Group published the memoir of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Jack H. Jacobs, If Not Now, When?: Duty and Sacrifice In America's Time of Need, coauthored by Douglas Century, with a foreword by NBC Nightly News anchor and managing editor Brian Williams.
If Not Now, When? is the winner of the 2010 Colby Award, recognizing "a first work of fiction or nonfiction that has made a significant contribution to the public's understanding of intelligence operations, military history, or international affairs." 
In 2011, Century was the coauthor, with iconic hip-hop artist and actor Ice-T, of Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption—from South Central to Hollywood, published by Random House/One World. The Associated Press called the book, “as cool as its namesake. . . a fascinating memoir, the pages of which are jam-packed with tales of a guy who ‘actively did everything I rhymed about.’"
The New York Times Book Review saw the book as the embodiment of "hip-hop's Horatio Alger" myth: “Ice-T, in short, is someone hip-hop might have invented if he hadn’t invented himself," reviewer Baz Dreisinger wrote. "A goes-down-easy mélange of memoir, self-help, and amateur criminology. Ultimately, Ice showcases an eminently reasonable, positively likeable guy, the gangsta rapper even a parent could love.”
Century holds dual United States and Canadian citizenship.
- Street Kingdom: Five Years Inside the Franklin Avenue Posse (New York: Warner Books, 1999), a portrait of hip-hop and gangster subculture set in Brooklyn.
- Takedown: The Fall of the Last Mafia Empire, (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2002), an investigative account of Operation Wasteland co-authored with NYPD Detective Rick Cowan.
- Barney Ross (New York: Nextbook/Schocken: 2006), a biography of the legendary Jewish boxing champion Barney Ross and Silver Star-awarded U.S. Marine Corps hero of the Battle of Guadalcanal.
- Brotherhood of Warriors: Behind Enemy Lines with a Commando in one of the World’s Most Elite Counterterrorism Units, by Aaron Cohen and Douglas Century (New York: Ecco, 2008).
- If Not Now, When?: Duty and Sacrifice In America's Time of Need, by Colonel Jack Jacobs (Ret.) and Douglas Century (New York: Berkley Caliber, 2008), a memoir of the famed Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and NBC military analyst. Winner of the 2010 Colby Award.
- Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption—from South Central to Hollywood, by Ice-T and Douglas Century (New York: Random House, 2011. ISBN 978-0-345-52328-0.
- Follis, Edward; Century, Douglas (2014). The dark art : my undercover life in global narco-terrorism. New York: Gotham Books.
Essays and reporting
- "Boxing" by Douglas Century, in Jews and American Popular Culture, Vol. III, by Paul Buhle (ed.), (Greenwood Publishing: 2006)
- "My Brooklyn: Still a Contender on the Waterfront," by Douglas Century, The New York Times Arts & Leisure Section, March 12, 1999 
- "Not So Fly for This White Guy," by Douglas Century, The New York Times Sunday Styles, January 31, 1999 
- "Alpine, NJ: Home to Hip-Hop Royalty," by Douglas Century, The New York Times Arts & Leisure Section, February 11, 2007 
Critical studies and reviews
- "Punching Through" Barney Ross reviewed in The New York Times Book Review by Bert Randolph Sugar, February 19, 2006.
- "Two-Fisted Hero" Barney Ross reviewed in The Washington Post by Jonathan Yardley, January 17, 2006.
- "A Jew in the Modern World" Barney Ross reviewed in The New York Sun by Carl Rollyson, February 8, 2006.
- "Ice-T, Living Out Loud," Ice reviewed in The New York Times Book Review by Baz Dreisinger, April 22, 2011.
- Gladwell, Malcolm (May 18, 2015). "Mirror stage : a memoir of working undercover for the Drug Enforcement Administration". The Critics. Books. The New Yorker 91 (13): 93–96. Retrieved 2015-08-05. Review of The dark art.
- Penguin Group USA.
- Detroit Free Press
- AudioFile Publications
- Punching Through February 19, 2006, The New York Times
- PR Newswire: If Not Now, When? Wins 2010 Colby Award
- Anglo-American Name Authority File, s.v. “Century, Douglas”, LC Control Number n 93071869. Accessed 7 March 2007.
- AudioFile Publications. The 2003 Audie Awards Winners; Finalists; Non-Fiction, Abridged. Accessed 7 March 2007.
- Bookreporter.com. The 2003 Edgar Awards; The 2003 Edgar Award Nominees; Best Fact Crime. Accessed 7 March 2007.
- Penguin Group USA, s.v. "Douglas Century". Accessed 7 March 2007.
- Random House. Barney Ross, About the Author. Accessed 7 March 2007.
- PR Newswire: If Not Now, When? Wins 2010 Colby Award.
- Author Website
- NextBook's 2006 interview and Podcast with Douglas Century on Barney Ross conducted by Jeff Z. Klein, of the New York Times
- An interview with author Douglas Century on Eight Forty-Eight radio program, WBEZ public radio; Chicago, Illinois; March 9, 2006.
- A Rough and Tumble Life," Douglas Century on The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC.
- BBC World Service Audio interview with Douglas Century about the Mafia's historic control of garbage-hauling in New York
- Brotherhood of Warriors" HarperCollins site
- If Not Now, When? web site of the Penguin Group.
- Ice Random House web site.