Army Reading ListReading Lists

West Point’s Reading List

The United States Military Academy, commonly known as West Point, was established in 1802. It is the oldest of the Nations Five Service Academies, located in New York. Notable graduates include Ulysses Grant, George Patton and Douglas MacArthur. If you are a Cadet at West Point, friends or family of a Cadet or simply want to learn more about this historic military institution you will enjoy this collection of literature.

Military Leadership & the Crucible of Ground Combat
1Washington’s Crossing (Pivotal Moments in American HistoryDavid Hackett Fischer
2This Kind of War: The Classic Korean War HistoryT.R. Fehrenbach
3What It Is Like To Go To WarKarl Marlantes
4Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and WinJocko Willink
5Red Platoon: A True Story of American ValorClinton Romesha
6Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of ThermopylaeSteven Pressfield
7Once an Eagle: A NovelAnton Myrer
8Call Sign Chaos: Learning to LeadJim Mattis
9Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle CommandS. L. A. Marshall
10House to House: An Epic Memoir of WarSgt. David Bellavia and John Bruning
11The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo, and the SommeJohn Keegan
12The Red Badge of CourageStephen Crane
13The Fighters: Americans In CombatC. J. Chivers
14Tribe: On Homecoming and BelongingSebastian Junger
15WAR HardcoverSebastian Junger
Included in USMA Cadet Curriculum
1Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of DeathJim Frederick
2Platoon Leader: A Memoir of Command in CombatJames R. McDonough
The Art of Leadership & Influencing People
1The Leader’s BookshelfJames Stavridis and R. Manning Ancell
2Multipliers, Revised and Updated: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone SmarterLiz Wiseman
3The Chaos Imperative: How Chance and Disruption Increase Innovation, Effectiveness, and SuccessOri Brafman & Judah Pollack
4The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our MindsMichael Lewis
5Blink: The Power of Thinking Without ThinkingMalcolm Gladwell
6The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless OrganizationsOri Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom
7Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into LeadersL. David Marquet and Stephen R. Covey
8Radical Inclusion: What the Post-9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About LeadershipMartin Dempsey
9The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal ChangeStephen R. Covey
10The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful GroupsDaniel Coyle
11How to Win Friends & Influence PeopleDale Carnegie
12It Worked for Me: In Life and LeadershipColin Powell
13Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and LeadBrené Brown
14Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole HeartsBrené Brown
15The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and BusinessCharles Duhigg
16Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any ConditionsJohn Kotter and Holger Rathgeber
Understanding the 21st Century Operating Environment
1The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age of Durable DisorderSean McFate
2Fighting Talk: Forty Maxims on War, Peace, and StrategyColin S. Gray
3The Perfect Weapon: How the Cyber Arms Race Set the World AfireDavid E. Sanger
4Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World WarP.W. Singer
5LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social MediaP.W. Singer
6Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the FuturePaul Scharre
7Scales on War: The Future of America’s Military at RiskRobert H. Scales
8The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis WorldRuchir Sharma
9Waging Insurgent Warfare: Lessons from the Vietcong to the Islamic StateSeth G. Jones
10Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban GuerrillaDavid Kilcullen
11The Dawn of Eurasia: On the Trail of the New World OrderBruno Maçães

Additional West Point Reading

West Point History

The Long Grey Line- The American Journey of West Point’s Class of 1966 by Rick Atkinson

This book spans 25 years and follows three graduates during their cadet years, their time in Vietnam and the post war years. This historical accurate book reads like a novel and captures the audience speaking for generations of Americans who lived during this challenging era.

Duty Honor Country A History of West Point by Stephen Ambrose

This book chronicles the impressive history of the school, beginning with its inception and ending in 2000.

Famous Graduates

West Point 1915: Eisenhower, Bradley and the class the stars fell on by Michael E Haskew

This book looks at the graduates of one remarkable class, 1915. Of these graduates 36% went on to become Generals. These graduates were a significant part of the Allied success in World War I, World War II as well as post war policies like the creation of NATO.

The Class of 1846: From West Point to Appomattox: Stonewall Jackson, George McClellan and Their Brothers by John Waugh

This book features another significant class of West Point Grads, 1846. These men fought in 3 wars and left the nation a lasting legacy of bravery, brilliance, and bloodshed. The book follows men such as George Pickett, Stonewall Jackson and George McClellan.

Admissions- Parents Guide and the West Point Experience

The West Point Candidate Book: How to prepare, How to get in, How to Survive by Sue Roth and Randy Lee

The title says it all- this is a must read for aspiring cadets and their families.

West Point Leadership: Profiles of Courage by Daniel Rice and John Vigna

This inspirational and award winning book features 200 authorized biographies and interviews of notable graduates along side over 1600 beautiful photographs. 


Duty First- West Point and the Making of Military Leaders Ed Ruggero

This book, written by a West Point graduate looks at the inner working of the academy and the tumultuous lives of cadets. The book details their grueling training, the strict student hierarchy and intense classroom work, and the interaction between the lowly first-year plebes and the upper-class cadets who train them all in the name of building “leaders of character” who will command the nation’s military. While the focus is on West Point the lessons reverberate far beyond West Point, because while the specific goals and methods of developing leaders differ, the fundamental values courage, commitment, selfless sacrifice – are the same for all leaders.

The Unforgiving Minute- A Soldiers Education by Craig Mullaney

This coming of age novel features a student who becomes a soldier and and puts to practice the education he received at West Point. After his time serving in Afghanistan he comes back to the military Academy and teaches his experience and lessons to the next generation.

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