James Norman Mattis is the current United States Secretary of Defense, but is probably best known for serving as a U.S. Marine Corps general.
Mattis is one of the most admired leaders serving America today and credits books as one of the best tools available to becoming a great leader. His personal library is said to house over 6,000 books!
In an email from November 20th, 2003, Mattis wrote:
He continued by saying:
It’s clear that Mattis is a strong advocate of reading books. So, without further ado, here are the books he recommends reading:
Pressfield is an amazing author and I highly recommend reading his other work, especially “The War of Art.”
I recently got this book, Gates served as Secretary of Defense (the same position Mattis now runs) and worked for the CIA and National Security Council.
This is an impressive list of books and I hope to someone day read all of them. As a civilian who has never served in the military, I’m oblivious to how the military functions, what actually happens in war, and how wars impact countries and the world as a whole–which is something I believe more people should learn about.
As Mattis wrote in his email above, reading books is the easier path to knowledge instead of learning from other people’s experiences, i.e. the hard way. And although books won’t give you all the answers, “it lights what is often a dark path ahead.”
So read often and as much as possible!
If there’s a book on this list that you think is a must-read, let me know in the comments below. Thank you everyone! -Alex W.
For just a few dollars, books give you an enormous amount of valuable information that can help change your life. It’s practically high-robbery. So take advantage of this and read as much as you can.
Also, if you want to check out my list of recommended books, you can find that here.