Written on: October 8th, 2009 in Blog Posts
A couple of weeks ago we wrote about the recommended reading list for military personnel preparing for deployment to Afghanistan (you can see that link here). On further exploration, there is a whole world of recommended reading for all branches of the military, by rank and theater, occupation, and many other categories. The following list is by no means complete, but is a sample of some of the titles popular across different lists, particularly interesting or having broad appeal.
Steven Sample’s Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership was the 2007 Commandant’s choice for the U.S. Coastguard. Two years earlier, Collins’ Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies was the selection. General interest titles on the Coast Guard list include Robyn Meredith’s The Elephant and the Dragon, an analysis of the rise to international economic and political preeminence of China and India, and W. Chan Kim’s Blue Ocean Strategy, a study of how modern business practice is transcending traditional competition-based market paradigms.
The U.S. Army War College published its 2009 reading list here. It includes Rick Atkinson’s The Day of Battle and James Carroll’s House of War, a chronicle of the Pentagon’s rise to influence. The list also include James Dobbin’s Beginner’s Guide to Nation Building, which is available on the RAND Corporation’s website (click here to open this document in a new window) and Fukuyama’s Nation Building: Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq
The Chief of Staff of the Air Force also produces a reading list, as does the Navy which recommends a variety of titles by the reader’s rank- from Ender’s Game and Flags of Our Fathers for junior enlisted men and women to the Art of the Long View
and Michael Lewis’ Moneyball: the Art of Winning an Unfair Game– the story of how the Oakland A’s used Billy Beane’s embrace of unorthodox baseball analyses and strategies to create a winning team.
The Center for Military History and Center for Army Leadership sponsor our final lists. Once again they are an intriguing mix of traditional recountings of military clashes and the biographies of the officers who fought them, along with provocative and controversial books on business leadership, innovation, and foreign relations.