USMC Reading List - Senior Level - Officer

Title: The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations

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In a classic work, Samuel P. Huntington challenges most of the old assumptions and ideas on the role of the military in society. Stressing the value of the military outlook for American national policy, Huntington has performed the distinctive task of developing a general theory of civil-military relations and subjecting it to rigorous historical analysis.

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Title: Treasury’s War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare

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How the US uses economic embargoes and financial tools as weapons against terrorist groups and “rogue states” such as North Korea, Iran and Syria. Juan Zarate, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, is a former federal prosecutor who joined the U.S. Treasury Department after the 9/11 attacks to figure out […]

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Title: Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character

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Examines the psychological devastation of war by comparing the soldiers of Homer’s Iliad with Vietnam veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Although the Iliad was written 27 centuries ago, it has much to teach about combat trauma, as do the more recent, compelling voices and experiences of Vietnam vets.

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Title: TEAM OF RIVALS: THE POLITICAL GENIUS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN

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Biography of Abraham Lincoln, centered on his mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation’s history. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each of his “rivals” energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war. Lincoln’s understanding of human behavior and motivation enabled […]

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Title: The War that Ended Peace: The Road to 1914

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The War That Ended Peace brings vividly to life the military leaders, politicians, diplomats, bankers, and the extended, interrelated family of crowned heads across Europe who failed to stop the descent into war: in Germany, the mercurial Kaiser Wilhelm II and the chief of the German general staff, Von Moltke the Younger; in Austria-Hungary, Emperor […]

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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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