Military

These Are the Books “Mad Dog” Mattis Says Every Leader Needs to Read

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Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis may appear to be nothing more than a hard-nosed warrior.

But he’s also an avid reader, which he insists is one of the keys to being a good leader, both in the military and the political arenas.

In a recent interview with Foreign Policy, Mattis listed the 30 books he believes every good leader needs to read.

Unsurprisingly, most of them are about soldiers and war. But, more importantly, they are about leadership.

Here they are:

One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer by Nathaniel Fick (2005)

Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam by H.R. McMaster (1997)

Fighting Talk: Forty Maxims on War, Peace, and Strategy by Colin Gray (2007)

The Future of Strategy by Colin Gray (2015)

Military Innovation in the Interwar Period by Williamson Murray (1996)

Before the First Shot Is Fired: How America Can Win Or Lose Off The Battlefield by Tony Zinni (2014)

Scipio Africanus: Greater Than Napoleon by Basil H. Liddell Hart (1926)

My American Journey by Colin Powell (1995)

The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer (1971)

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela (1994)

Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield (1998)

Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War by Robert Gates (2014)

The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant (1968)

The Greatest Raid of All by Lucas Phillips (1958)

The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant by Ulysses S. Grant (1885)

March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam by Barbara Tuchman (1984)

The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman (1962)

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (2004)

Rise and Fall of the Great Powers by Paul Kennedy (1987)

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD)

Diplomacy by Henry Kissinger (1994)

World Order by Henry Kissinger (2014)

Defeat into Victory by Viscount Slim (1956)

Just and Unjust Wars by Michael Walzer (1977)

War, Morality, and the Military Profession by Malham Wakin (1979)

For Country and Corps: The Life of General Oliver P. Smith by Gail Shisler (2009)

Sherman: Soldier, Realist, American by Basil H. Liddell Hart (1929)

The Rules of the Game by Andrew Gordon (1996)

The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye (1978)

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