Washington: A Life

George Washington remains, to this day, one of the most admired figures in the annals of American history. The hero of the Revolutionary War and the first President of the United States, he is often sanctified in historical discussions. In truth, he was a “sensitive, complex figure, full of pent-up passion,” who had many fallible traits and shortcomings. Ron Chernow’s Pulitzer Prize winning expansive biography is a “one volume, cradle to grave narrative” of this fascinating individual.

Read more

Man’s Search for Meaning

In Viktor Frankl’s world renown book Man’s Search for Meaning, the steady underlying beat of the emotionally grounding drum comes as a Nietzsche quote explaining that “He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.” Numerous accounts of the world wars have depicted the gruesome accounts humankind has enacted on his likeness in the name of ideals and values, the aftermath giving way to deep-dives and analytics in search of answering the “why”.

Read more

Marine Maxims

Colonel Gordon informs us that “Leadership is easy. Being a leader is hard”, a comment that sets the tone for the book. Marine Maxims uses common sense rules and principles based on personal experiences to deliver a vicarious education. It is a very personal book the author uses to share success and shortcomings in equal measure to guide leaders of all ranks using fifty practical maxims that teach the art of enlightened and informed leadership. 

Read more

Saltwater Leadership Second Edition

In a slim, pocket-sized book authored by Rear admiral (RADM) Robert O. Wray Jr. USN (Ret), Vice admiral (VADM) John B. Mustin USN, RADM Theodore P. S. LeClair USN, and Commander (CDR) Andrew K. Ledford USN, PhD, Saltwater Leadership captures the collective wisdom of their 100-plus years of successful naval service concisely. It is based on their surveys of 380 other senior leaders and their review of thousands of pages of leadership books. True to the aim of the U.S. Naval Institute’s Blue & Gold Professional Library, the book is an inside job for naval leaders by naval leaders.

Read more

A Gathering of Men

This book chronicles the exploits and trauma along with the remarkable success of the 8th AF 100th Bomb Group pilots, mechanics, and aircrew’s heroic, invaluable demonstrations of strategic airpower. The author tells us intimate details of what can only be personal family history, and indeed from her own father-in-law’s memory. It is a gripping, immersive narrative that I finished quickly. I didn’t want to put it down.

Read more

Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy

Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy, by David Mindell, frames autonomy from a different perspective. Autonomy isn’t necessarily the incorporation of advanced electronics and artificial intelligence. Mindell writes, autonomy is “human action removed by time.” A human performs the task by physical presence or by program in the laboratory. Despite the distance or number of intermediary steps (between the programmer, operator, or physical action), the human is still present; albeit remotely. Once one thinks of autonomy this way, many of the dilemmas it presents fall away. Automation of a task does not alter its nature fundamentally, though it may alter the way it’s perceived

Read more

To Boldly Go: Leadership, Strategy, and Conflict in the 21st Century and Beyond

The various chapters touch on some of the biggest issues of our times, such as diversity, women in combat, civil-military relations, and leadership (both good and bad). Looking at these issues through the lens of science fiction allows the reader to consider them in a new way or from a fresh perspective. 

Read more

The Able Archers

The author, Brian Morra, was on-duty as an Air Force intelligence officer on September 1, 1983, when the Soviet Union shot down Korean Air Lines flight 007, killing 269 civilians. This event amplified tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States. It also kicked off the string of events retold in the book. Morra can infuse his personal experience during this period of heightened tensions directly into the story line, which gives the novel a high-level of credibility and uniqueness. The primary United States character, Captain Kevin Cattani, is actually loosely based on the author’s experience during this period. The author not only served through the real-world events but has also done extensive research using recently declassified documents. 

Read more

Simple Truths of Leadership

Imagine having the most coveted and distilled truths of leadership and trust from highly respected experts, with decades of experience, in a small volume! That’s what you get from noted guru Ken Blanchard—of The One Minute Manager fame—and co-author/professional/leader/collaborator, Randy Conley.

These two set out to pen a practical guide of 52 simple truths—yes, one conceivably for each week where readers could read, digest, and apply them—on servant leadership and trust. Blanchard takes on the first 26 covering servant leadership principles, while Conley bats clean up and delves into the topic of trust.

Read more

Combat Engineer: The Life and Leadership of Colonel H. Wallis Anderson

The book, Combat Engineer, is author John Racoosin’s tribute to his grandfather, Harry Wallis Anderson. He was a railroad engineer and Army reservist born in 1890, who served with the Army Corps of Engineers in Mexico and during both World Wars. The book briefly covers Anderson’s early years but focuses most on his service during WWII.  

Read more