Marine Corps Reading List

Title: THE AGE OF THE UNTHINKABLE: WHY THE NEW WORLD DISORDER CONSTANTLY SURPRISES US AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT

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Presents a new model for understanding our dangerously unpredictable world. Drawing upon history, economics, complexity theory, psychology, immunology, and the science of networks, the author describes a new landscape of inherent unpredictability–and remarkable, wonderful possibility.

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Title: THE WARRIORS: REFLECTIONS ON MEN IN BATTLE

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A philosophical meditation on what warfare does to us and an examination of the reasons soldiers act as they do. The author explains the attractions of battle—the adrenaline rush, the esprit de corps—and analyzes the many rationalizations made by combat troops to justify their actions. The author notes that “War reveals dimensions of human nature […]

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Title: This Kind Of War: The Classic Korean War History

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History of the Korean War written from the perspective of those who fought it. Partly drawn from official records, operations journals, and histories, it is based largely on the compelling personal narratives of small-unit commanders and their troops. As Americans and North Koreans continue to face each other across the 38th Parallel, this book offers […]

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Title: Another Bloody Century: Future Warfare

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This book looks into the future to provide some intriguing answers about the ways Western armed forces—which have traditionally been trained to fight conventional, not guerrilla, warfare—may need to evolve.

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Title: DERELICTION OF DUTY: LYNDON JOHNSON, ROBERT MCNAMARA, THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF, AND THE LIES THAT LED TO VIETNAM

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Analysis of how and why the United States became involved in an all-out war in Southeast Asia. Based on transcripts and personal accounts of crucial meetings, confrontations and decisions, it re-creates what happened and why. The book focuses on: President Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, General Maxwell Taylor, McGeorge Bundy and other top officials.

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Title: DIPLOMACY

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Overview of the history and an account of Henry Kissinger’s negotiations with world leaders. The author describes how the art of diplomacy has created the world in which we live, and how America’s approach to foreign affairs has always differed vastly from that of other nations.

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Title: HOW WARS END: WHY WE ALWAYS FIGHT THE LAST BATTLE: A HISTORY OF AMERICAN INTERVENTION FROM WORLD WAR I TO AFGHANISTAN

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This book recreates the choices that presidents and their advisers have confronted during the final stages of each major conflict from WWI through Iraq. The author “puts readers in the room” with U.S. officials as they make decisions that affect millions of lives and shape the modern world—seeing what they saw, hearing what they heard, […]

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Title: MILITARY POWER: EXPLAINING VICTORY AND DEFEAT IN MODERN BATTLE

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Systematic account of force employment’s role and how this account holds up under rigorous, multi-method testing. The results challenge a wide variety of standard views, from current expectations for a revolution in military affairs, to mainstream scholarship in international relations, and orthodox interpretations of modern military history. The author argues that force employment is central […]

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Title: MODERN STRATEGY

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The book is a major contribution to the general theory of strategy; it makes sense of the strategic history of the twentieth century, and provides understanding of what that strategic history implies for the century to come.

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Title: SUPREME COMMAND: SOLDIERS, STATESMEN, AND LEADERSHIP IN WARTIME

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This book offers compelling proof that, as Clemenceau put it, “War is too important to leave to the generals.” By examining the shared leadership traits of four politicians (Abraham Lincoln, Georges Clemenceau, Winston Churchill, and David Ben-Gurion) who triumphed in extraordinarily varied military campaigns, the author argues that active statesmen make the best wartime leaders, […]

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