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11.21.19

James Mattis: My Favorite Books

James Mattis My Favorite Books

GENERAL JAMES MATTIS credits his leadership success to his prodigious reading habits. He says, “You stay teachable most by reading books, by reading what other people went through.”

Admiral James Stavridis is also an avid reader and believes that reading is central to leading. Reading lists are personal, but they do provide a guide as to what others have read to improve their leadership and their understanding of the human condition.

In Call Sign Chaos, James Mattis writes:

Reading is an honor and a gift from a warrior or historian who—a decade or a thousand decades ago—set aside time to write.

If you haven’t read hundreds of books, you are functionally illiterate, and you will be incompetent because your personal experiences alone aren’t broad enough to sustain you. Any commander who claims he is “too busy to read” is going to fill body bags with his troops as he learns the hard way. The consequences of incompetence in battle are final. History teaches us that we face nothing new under the sun.

I collected several thousand books for my personal library. I read broadly and selected a few battles and areas where I was weak to study deeply. Asked by a fellow Marine to provide specific examples, I sent him a list of my favorite books.

Non-Fiction

Biographies

Fiction

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This list is available as a PDF. download

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 06:49 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Books



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