The U.S. Army War College Suggested Military Reading List

The U.S. Army War College Library Suggested Military Reading List consists of contemporary books published from 2001 to the present. These books deal with topics of interest to the Army War College students and are of special value in their specific subject area.

This list supports the Army War College reading program. Use it and other professional military reading lists, such as The U.S. Army Chief of Staff’s Professional Reading List; Congressman Ike Skelton’s National Security Book List; and Military Classics, by Robert Berlin We also keep professional military reading lists in a special binder in the library lobby.


1. 2. Barnett, Roger W. Asymmetrical Warfare: Today’s Challenge to U.S. Military Power. Washington, D.C.: Brassey’s, 2003. 183 pp. UA23 .B336 2003.

The author, a retired Navy Captain and professor emeritus at the U.S. Naval War College, applies analytical rigor to his study of asymmetrical warfare and provides insight into how the United States can counter this form of warfare.

3. Boot, Max. The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power. New York: Basic Books, 2002. 428 pp. E181 .B722 2002.

In this highly praised and provocative book, the author looks at small wars in past U.S. history and provides lessons learned that can be applied to future wars.

4. Bunker, Robert J., ed. Non-State Threats and Future Wars. Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 2003. 208 pp. UA10.5 .N65 2003.

Distinguished experts in the areas of national security and law enforcement examine the dangers of the current strategic environment, and they present methods and procedures needed to respond to new enemies and new threats.

5. Casper, Lawrence E. Falcon Brigade: Combat and Command in Somalia and Haiti. Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2001. 278 pp. DT407.4 .C37 2001.

The commander of the 10th Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, writes of his experiences and challenges during historic operations in Somalia and Haiti.

6. Clark, Wesley K. Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat. New York: Public Affairs, 2001. 479 pp. DR1313.8 .C41 2001.

The Supreme Allied Commander who oversaw NATO’s combat operation in Kosovo in 1999 discusses the conduct, complexities, and frustrations of the campaign and offers insights and recommendations applicable to future warfare.

7. Cohen, Eliot A. Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen and Leadership in Wartime. New York: Free Press, 2002. 288 pp. U21.5 .C65 2002.

In exploring the wartime relationship between military leaders and civilian commanders in chief, the author, a professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University, analyzes the thinking and actions of four great democratic war statesmen – Abraham Lincoln, Georges Clemenceau, Winston Churchill, and David Ben-Gurion.

8. Coker, Christopher. Waging War without Warriors?: The Changing Culture of Military Conflict. Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2002. 223 pp. U21.2 .C654 2002.

As he explores the historical development of warfare, the author explains how a warrior culture or ethos has been retained by many in the East but largely subordinated to technology in the West.

9. Collins, John M., with a foreword by Robert C. Kingston. Military Strategy: Principles, Practices and Historical Perspectives. Washington, D.C.: Brassey’s, 2002. 333 pp. U162 .C64 2002.

A well-respected strategic thinker provides a comprehensive survey of military strategy.

10. Cook, Martin L. The Moral Warrior: Ethics and Service in the U.S. Military. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2004. 174 pp. U22 .C66 2004.

The author opens the reader to consider the moral and ethical questions of the modern army, the military power of the United States, and the current war on terrorism.

11. Cordesman, Anthony H. The Iraq War: Strategy, Tactics, and Military Lessons. Washington, D.C.: CSIS Press, 2003. 572 pp. DS79.76 .C56 2003.

Military analyst Anthony Cordesman examines the 2003 Iraq War and includes lessons learned pertaining to speed, jointness, intelligence, and precision.

12. Cordesman, Anthony H. Terrorism, Asymmetric Warfare, and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Defending the U.S. Homeland. Westport: Praeger, 2002. 448 pp.
UA23 .C673 2002.

In writing about threats to the U.S. homeland, the author covers a wide range of issues including risk assessment, types of possible future attack, government planning, and lessons to be learned from recent major commissions on terrorism.

13. D’Este, Carlo. Eisenhower: A Soldier’s Life. New York: Holt, 2002. 848 pp.
E836 .D47 2002.

This very readable biography shows Eisenhower’s strengths and flaws – personal as well as professional – and presents an analysis and appraisal of Ike’s military record.

14. Dobbins, James, and others. America’s Role in Nation-Building: From Germany to Iraq. Santa Monica: RAND, 2003. 244 pp. E840 .A639 2003.

Besides being commercially available for purchase, this title is also available online at

RAND corporation experts have produced an informative and insightful analysis of best practices in nation-building and have earned high praise from Paul Bremer, former Presidential Envoy to Iraq, who says: "I have kept a copy handy for ready consultation since my arrival in Baghdad and recommend it to anyone who wishes to understand or engage in such activities."

15. Eicher, David J. The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001. 990 pp. E470 .E35 2001.

In this masterful account of the military aspects of the Civil War, the author provides a book that is not only a fully contained narrative but also a reference work.

16. Eisenhower, John S.D., with Joanne Thompson Eisenhower. Yanks: The Epic Story of the American Army in World War I. New York: Free Press, 2001. 353 pp. D570 .E37 2001.

John Eisenhower, a veteran historian and retired brigadier general in the army reserves, says that the purpose of his book "is to strike a balance, to examine how the American Expeditionary Force came about; to describe the gargantuan efforts needed to create it, supply it, train it, and fight it; and in so doing to show how the modern Army was born."

17. Feaver, Peter D., and Richard H. Kohn, eds. Soldiers and Civilians: The Civil-Military Gap and American National Security. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001. 545 pp. UA23 .S5269 2001.

Leading scholars analyze the question of whether there is a growing divide or chasm between the military and the rest of American society.

18. Friedman, Norman. Terrorism, Afghanistan, and America’s New Way of War. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2003. 327 pp. HV6432 .F746 2003.

Strategist and historian Norman Friedman writes about the complexities of the war in Afghanistan and discusses the network-centric pattern that was employed there.

19. Fussell, Paul. The Boys’ Crusade: The American Infantry in Northwestern Europe, 1944-45. New York: The Modern Library, 2003. 184 pp. D756.3 .F87 2003.

" … This book is not your normal, garden-variety memoir of World War II. In a series of essays dealing with strategy, tactics, and leadership from the landings at Normandy to the fall of Berlin, Fussell, a decorated infantry officer of the European campaigns of 1944-45, comes as close to the unvarnished truth as is ever likely to see print. … This work is aimed at correcting the sanitized works of 'sentimental' history the war has inspired.

20. Gaddis, John Lewis. Surprise, Security, and the American Experience. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004. 150 pp. E183.7 .G12 2004.

Gaddis focuses on the U.S. history and foreign policy to give the reader a "persuasive account of the Bush administration's grand strategy and demonstrates the power of strategic analysis drawn from the American national experience."

21. Gilbert, Marc Jason, ed. Why the North Won the Vietnam War. New York: Palgrave, 2002. 254 pp. DS557.7 .W39 2002.

In this collection of essays, distinguished scholars such as Jeffrey Record, John Prados, and George Herring provide insights into the failure of American policy in Vietnam and explain the reasons behind North Vietnamese success.

22. Gole, Henry G. The Road to Rainbow: Army Planning for Global War, 1934-1940. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2003. 224 pp. U153 .G54 2003.

Drawing on previously untapped materials, the author explains the role played by students and faculty of the U.S. Army War College in the development of pre-World War II strategic plans.

23. Gray, Colin S., with a foreword by Williamson Murray. Strategy for Chaos: Revolutions in Military Affairs and the Evidence of History. Portland: Frank Cass, 2002. 310 pp.
U162 .G73 2002.

The author uses three historical case studies in the course of explaining his belief that "strategy and RMAs (Revolutions in Military Affairs) do not vary in their nature, structure, and dynamics from period to period."

24. Hall, Wayne Michael. Stray Voltage: War in the Information Age. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2003. 224 pp. UA23 .H345 2003.

Analyzing the nature of knowledge warfare and how critically important it is to prepare for it, retired Army Brigadier General Wayne Michael Hall delves into the areas of information superiority, information operations, the art of deception, and knowledge management.

25. Handel, Michael I. Masters of War: Classical Strategic Thought. 3rd ed. Portland: Frank Cass, 2001. 482 pp. U27 .H36 2001.

Through detailed, textual analysis, the author explores what strategic thinkers – such as Clausewitz and Sun Tzu – actually said, and shows that these thinkers have more in common than previously supposed.

26. Howard, Michael E. The Invention of Peace: Reflections on War and International Order. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001. 113 pp. CB481 .H59 2001.

In reviewing the history of the concept of peace, Howard explains that peace is an invention, a product of the Enlightenment, and he defines peace as "the order, however imperfect, that results from agreement between states, and can only be sustained by that agreement."

27. Howard, Russell D., and Reid L. Sawyer, with a foreword by Barry R. McCaffrey. Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment: Readings & Interpretations. Guilford, CT: McGraw-Hill, 2003. 628 pp. HV6432 .H58 2003.

Two faculty members from the U.S. Military Academy draw on the writings of leading authorities to present a broad spectrum of terrorism issues – past, present, and future.

28. Keegan, John. Intelligence in War: Knowledge of the Enemy from Napoleon to Al-Qaeda. New York: Knopf, 2003. 387 pp. UB250 .K44 2003.

While providing a very readable history of military intelligence, renowned military historian John Keegan cautions "Intelligence is the handmaiden, not the mistress, of the warrior."

29. Keegan, John. The Iraq War. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004. 254 pp.
DS79.76 .K34 2004.

"Ubiquitous military historian Keegan … offers a reportage-based account of a 'mysterious war.' Keegan addresses the war's anomalies—200,000 soldiers took a country of almost 30 million in three weeks; the war's justification (WMD) never materialized; the Iraqi army "melted away" and the populace tried only to stay out of the way—by surveying the post–World War I origins of Iraq, Saddam's rise to power, the nature of his rule and his external ambitions."

30. Knox, MacGregor, and Williamson Murray, eds. The Dynamics of Military Revolution, 1300-2050. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 203 pp. D25 .D96 2001.

Distinguishing between "military revolutions" and "revolutions in military affairs," the author-editors delve into history and ultimately provide insights and lessons pertinent to military innovation and future warfare.

31. Kolenda, Christopher D., ed., with a foreword by Barry R. McCaffrey and an introduction by Walter F. Ulmer, Jr. Leadership: The Warrior’s Art. 2nd ed. Carlisle: Army War College Foundation Press, 2001. 437 pp. UB210 .L21 2001.

This thought-provoking anthology of essays by distinguished military personnel and scholars is arranged in three sections: Ancient and Modern Concepts of Leadership; Historical Case Studies; and Contemporary Experiences and Reflections on Leadership.

32. Laqueur, Walter. No End to War: Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century. New York: Continuum, 2003. 288 pp. HV6431 .L354 2003.

A leading expert on terrorism examines numerous aspects of that subject, including world trends, underlying motivations, origins of Islamist fanaticism, and the battlefields of the future.

33. Lewis, Bernard. What Went Wrong?: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. 180 pp. DS62.4 .L488 2002.

In this highly readable and controversial book, an eminent historian tackles the reasons for conflict between the West and many in the Muslim world.

34. Locher, James R., III, with a foreword by Sam Nunn. Victory on the Potomac: The Goldwater-Nichols Act Unifies the Pentagon. College Station: Texas A&M University, 2002. 524 pp. KF7252 .L51 2002.

Here is an insider’s vivid account of the long defense reorganization struggle that culminated in the passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Act.

35. Macgregor, Douglas A., with forewords by Rupert Smith and Robert H. Scales, Jr. Transformation under Fire: Revolutionizing How America Fights. Westport: Praeger, 2003. 300 pp. UA25 .M15 2003.

Sure to spark discussion and debate, Colonel Douglas Macgregor offers a visionary approach to Army transformation as he delves into subjects such as effects-based thinking; transforming land power and reorganizing the Army; developing an effective approach to joint expeditionary warfare; adopting necessary changes in training and ways of leadership; and using present technologies inside new organizations.

36. Mead, Walter Russell. Power, Terror, Peace, and War: America's Grand Strategy in a World at Risk. New York: Knopf, 2004. 226 pp. E895 .M43 2004.

Walter Russell Mead again furnishes a current analysis of American policy. Advocating a balanced foreign policy Mead recognizes the challenge for the "... U.S. is to exercise its power as a liberal hegemon, maximizing the degree of consent and consultation with others without neglecting the need for strong American power underwriting the world system. ‘In other words, work multilaterally, but carry a big stick.’"

37. Murray, Williamson, and Robert H. Scales, Jr. The Iraq War: A Military History. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003. 312 pp. DS79.76 .M87 2003.

Eminent military historian Williamson Murray and retired Army Major General Robert H. Scales have teamed up to provide an excellent overview of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

38. Nye, Joseph S. Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics. New York: Public Affairs, 2004. 191 pp. JZ1480 .N92 2004.

Nye‘s view of America’s foreign policy it now relies too heavily on using America’s military power to have other nations do our will. He advocates more use of soft power, "the ability to attract and persuade," to help deal with critical issues requiring multilateral cooperation and to reduce terrorists recruitment.

39. Paddock, Alfred H., Jr. U.S. Army Special Warfare: Its Origins. Rev. ed. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2002. 232 pp. UA34 .S64P12 2002.

This revision of a classic study provides the history of U.S. psychological and unconventional warfare from the Second World War to the establishment of the Psychological Warfare Center at Fort Bragg in 1952.

40. Peskin, Allan. Winfield Scott and the Profession of Arms. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2003. 328 pp. E403.1 .S4P27 2003

Peskin presents a complete biography of Winfield Scott (1786-1866), who had a major role in bringing professionalism to the U.S. Army during his long military career (1807-61). He served his duty as general in the War of 1812, commanded U.S. forces in the final campaign of their war with Mexico, and was the general in chief at the beginning of the Civil War.

41. Peters, Ralph. Beyond Baghdad: Postmodern War and Peace, with a foreword by Barry R. McCaffrey. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2003. 337 pp. UA23 .P271 2003.

Known for his candor and persuasive writing, Ralph Peters takes a compelling look at the 2003 Iraq War and the strategic issues facing America and its armed forces now and into the future.

42. Peters, Ralph. Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2002. 353 pp. HV6432 .P27 2002.

In his collection of essays, the author discusses U.S. foreign relations and military policy, analyzes terrorist motivations, and presents concrete steps for fighting terrorism.

43. Record, Jeffrey. Making War, Thinking History: Munich, Vietnam, and Presidential Uses of Power from Korea to Kosovo. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2002. 201 pp.
E176.1 .R43 2002.

The author examines how presidents have used reasoning by historical analogy to influence their decisions to employ force.

44. Scales, Robert H., Jr. Yellow Smoke: The Future of Land Warfare for America’s Military. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003. 181 pp. UA23 .S21 2003.

This book by retired Army Major General Robert H. Scales provides a starting point for debate about 21st century warfare and includes "ten principles for the future" in meeting the challenges of ground warfare.

45. Singer, P. W. Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press, 2003. 330 pp. HD9743.A2S56 2003.

The author "…presents a study of the expanding role of private corporations into the state's legitimate monopoly of violence, and in so doing forces the reader to rethink the fundamental tenets of realist international theory." "The book is a timely and fascinating account of the rise of the modern private military."

46. Ullman, Harlan, with a foreword by John S. McCain. Unfinished Business: Afghanistan, the Middle East and Beyond: Defusing the Dangers That Threaten America’s Security. New York: Citadel Press, 2002. 300 pp. E895 .U45 2002.

In this highly praised book, national security expert Harlan Ullman intertwines history, strategy, and policy as he makes recommendations for how the U.S. should meet the dangers of the post 9/11 world.

47. Vandergriff, Donald E. The Path to Victory: America’s Army and the Revolution in Human Affairs. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 2002. 356 pp. UB23 .V15 2002.

Before his retirement, maverick officer Donald Vandergriff caught the ears of top brass with his proposals for the dramatic overhaul of Army personnel and organizational policies.

48. Woodward, Bob. Plan of Attack. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004. 467 pp.
E902 .W55 2004.

An inside account of how and why President George W. Bush, his war council, and allies launched a preemptive attack to topple Saddam Hussein and occupy Iraq.




This list as well as other bibliographies may be found on the Library’s home page at the following web address: (Click "Publications" and then "Bibliographies.") For additional information, please contact the U.S. Army War College Library by e-mail at or by phone at 717-245-4259 (DSN 242-4259).