BOOKS FOR FLAG OFFICERS TO READ
Recently published books--recommendations of Perry Smith—Aug 2005 update
1. The Tipping Point by Gladwell. (reinforces my strong belief that the best leaders build and nourish a strong braintrust full of “connectors”). His Blink is also worthwhile.
2. Leading Up by Useem. (how to help your bosses to be better and how to work for multiple bosses—the Peter Pace chapter is fascinating)
3. Supreme Command by Cohen (much to disagree with but well worth reading)
4. Terrorism and Counterterrorism by Howard (great articles)
5. A Special Providence by Mead (fine analysis of American foreign and defense policy).
6. Right from the Start by Ciampa (best book on how to transition into a top leadership position).
7. Google Hacks by Calishan (using Google at its fullest).
8. Winning in Fasttime by Warden (John Warden may be America’s best strategic thinker).
9. Eyewitness to Power by Gergen (leadership insights from four presidents).
10. Victory on the Potomac by Locher (the inside story on Goldwater-Nichols).
11. Bush at War and Plan of Attack by Woodward (Woodward had access to all of the top players)
12. The Mission by Priest (raises important questions about the role of the regional military commanders)
13. The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Friedman (globalization explained well). His new book, The World Is Flat, is even better.
14. No Room for Error by Carney (John Carney tells the story of the Air Force special tactics units which played such a powerful role in our victory in Afghanistan and Iraq)
15. Colossus by Ferguson (a tough minded look at the American Empire)
16. Of Paradise and Power by Kagan (why Europe & America are drifting apart)
17. Inevitable Surprises by Schwartz (best recent book about the future)
18. The Rise of the Vulcans by James Mann (fascinating analysis of 6 key players on the Bush national security team).
19. The Savage Wars of Peace by Boot (many useful lessons from our past).
20. Medal of Honor by Collier (MoH recipients can serve as wonderful role models for young people. This book highlights not just the citation but also the life story of each of these remarkable men).
Magazines of great value:
Business Week, The Economist, The Futurist, Foreign Affairs.
Television show of value:
PBS’s The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.
Perry Smith’s address is PO Box 15666, Augusta, GA 30919, Tel 706-738-9133; Email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Web Page: http://members.aol.com/genpsmith. Comments and criticism of this list are welcome (email contact is preferred). His books include: Rules and Tools for Leaders, Assignment Pentagon, A Hero Among Heroes and The Air Force Plans for Peace. Recently he assisted in the editing of Medal of Honor by Peter Collier.