Reading Lists

2020 DIA Reading List

Lieutenant General Robert Ashley’s reading list was published by the DIA in June of 2020 and contains 189 of the top books and podcasts for the modern intelligence professional.
The mandate that we be life-long learners is essential to remaining relevant in today’s rapidly changing world. Technology has unlocked vast amounts of information and has given us new ways to access data, share ideas, and create new opportunities for self-study.
Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis counsels us, “…reading gives a historical depth that lights the path ahead. Slowly but surely, we learned there was nothing new under the sun. Properly informed, we weren’t victims—we could always create options.”

“And he refused to specialize in anything, preferring to keep an eye on the overall estate rather than any of its parts… and Nikolay’s management produced the most brilliant results.”

Leo Tolstoy

By reading and listening, we are able to draw inspiration from across a greater spectrum of time and expertise than we could ever hope to achieve on our own. This education opens new ways of thinking, increasing our ability to innovate and cooperate by understanding others’ experiences, successes, and, often, failures. Moreover, it may unlock solutions and insights we might otherwise not recognize without our commitment to study the past in order to inform our future.
The 2020 DIA Reading List (Bookshelf and Listening Library) is different from earlier iterations and more than just my favorite books. All the books and podcasts compiled here are new recommendations from DIA officers and our Five Eyes partners. Our challenge is for you to explore new ideas and expand your horizons…


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