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Commandant's Professional Reading List - Official Site  

Official site of the Marine Corps Commandant's Professional Reading List per ALMAR 009-16. This site outlines the annual and recommended reading requirements for all Marines.
Last Updated: May 18, 2017 URL: http://guides.grc.usmcu.edu/usmcreadinglist Print Guide Email Alerts

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Strategic Thinking


ALMAR 009-16 Guidance

Books listed under Professional Categories consist of recommended readings to expand understanding in certain areas.

  

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ANALOGIES AT WAR: KOREA, MUNICH, DIEN BIEN PHU, AND THE VIETNAM DECISIONS OF 1965 - Yuen Foong Khong
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From World War I to Operation Desert Storm, American policymakers have repeatedly invoked the "lessons of history" as they contemplated taking their nation to war. Do these historical analogies actually shape policy, or are they primarily tools of political justification? Yuen Foong Khong argues that leaders use analogies not merely to justify policies but also to perform specific cognitive and information-processing tasks essential to political decision-making. Khong identifies what these tasks are and shows how they can be used to explain the U.S. decision to intervene in Vietnam. Relying on interviews with senior officials and on recently declassified documents, the author demonstrates with a precision not attained by previous studies that the three most important analogies of the Vietnam era--Korea, Munich, and Dien Bien Phu--can account for America's Vietnam choices. A special contribution is the author's use of cognitive social psychology to support his argument about how humans analogize and to explain why policymakers often use analogies poorly.

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GENERAL SYSTEM THEORY: FOUNDATIONS, DEVELOPMENT, APPLICATIONS - Ludwig Von Bertalanffy
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An attempt to formulate common laws that apply to virtually every scientific field, this conceptual approach has had a profound impact on such widely diverse disciplines as biology, economics, psychology, and demography.

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HARNESSING COMPLEXITY: ORGANIZATIONAL IMPLICATIONS OF A SCIENTIFIC FRONTIER - Robert Axelrod; Michael D. Cohen  Icon  Icon
FREE ONLINE: Navy General Library Program
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This book is informative to anyone who wants to better comprehend how people and organizations can adapt effectively in the information age. Step-by-step guide to understanding the processes of variation, interaction, and selection that are at work in all organizations. The authors show how to use their own paradigm of "bottom up" management, the Complex Adaptive System-applicable to science, public policy, or private commerce. This simple model of how people work together will change forever how we think about getting things done in a group.

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RETHINKING THE PRINCIPLES OF WAR - Anthony D. McIvor (Editor)  Icon  Icon
FREE ONLINE: Navy General Library Program
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In these 29 essays contributors from the national security community analyze a range of vital issues relevant to how wars are conducted, including whom to recruit, what to acquire, when to train, how to fight, and why. They cover the American way of war as a principle, the operational arts of conventional warfare and how they relate to what the US does now and in the near future, the operational arts of irregular warfare and the "small war," principles of post-conflict and stability operations, and the future of intelligence.

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THE BLACK SWAN: THE IMPACT OF THE HIGHLY IMPROBABLE - Nassim Nicholas Taleb  Icon  Icon
FREE ONLINE: FREE ONLINE: Navy General Library Program
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This book examines the role of the unexpected and discusses why improbable events are not anticipated or understood properly. The author explores how humans rationalize the "black swan phenomenon" to make it appear less random.

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THE COPERNICAN REVOLUTION - Thomas S. Kuhn
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This is a book for any reader interested in the evolution of ideas and, in particular, in the curious interplay of hypothesis and experiment which is the essence of modern science. Few episodes in the development of scientific theory show so clearly how the solution to a highly technical problem can alter our basic thought processes and attitudes. Understanding the processes which underlay the Copernican Revolution gives us a perspective, in this scientific age, from which to evaluate our own beliefs more intelligently. The Copernican Revolution was simultaneously an episode in the internal development of astronomy, a critical turning point in the evolution of scientific thought, and a crisis in Western man’s concept of his relation to the universe and to God.

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THE POWER OF INTUITION : HOW TO USE YOUR GUT FEELINGS TO MAKE BETTER DECISIONS AT WORK - Gary Klein  Icon  Icon
FREE ONLINE: Navy General Library Program
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At times in our careers, we've all been aware of a "gut feeling" guiding our decisions. Too often, we dismiss these feelings as "hunches" and therefore untrustworthy. But renowned researcher Gary Klein reveals that, in fact, 90 percent of the critical decisions we make is based on our intuition. In his new book, THE POWER OF INTUITION, Klein shows that intuition, far from being an innate "sixth sense," is a learnable--and essential--skill. Based on interviews with senior executives who make important judgments swiftly, as well as firefighters, emergency medical staff, soldiers, and others who often face decisions with immediate life-and-death implications, Klein demonstrates that the expertise to recognize patterns and other cues that enable us--intuitively--to make the right decisions--is a natural extension of experience. Through a three-tiered process called the "Exceleration Program," Klein provides readers with the tools they need to build the intuitive skills that will help them make tough choices, spot potential problems, manage uncertainty, and size up situations quickly. Klein also shows how to communicate such decisions more effectively, coach others in the art of intuition, and recognize and defend against an overdependence on information technology. The first book to demystify the role of intuition in decision making, THE POWER OF INTUITION is essential reading for those who wish to develop their intuition skills, wherever they are in the organizational hierarchy.

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THINKING IN TIME: THE USES OF HISTORY FOR DECISION-MAKERS - Richard E. Neustadt; Ernest R. May  Icon  Icon
FREE ONLINE: Navy General Library Program
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Examines what constitutes critical thinking and decision making of effective leaders and suggests methods for improvement in evaluating information. The authors, both professors of government, analyze both political disasters and successes of the past century to provide telling lessons on how to use history to improve decision-making. A dozen case studies are drawn in detail, both from the official record and from backstage information gained from top officials.Whether to make critical business or political decisions or simply better understand the world around us, applying historical knowledge intelligently and responsibly can make one a more effective leader.

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THINKING, FAST AND SLOW - Daniel Kahneman  Icon  Icon  Icon
FREE ONLINE: Navy Digital Library - at One Click Digital and OverDrive
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In this book, the author takes us on a tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think and the way we make choices. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. He exposes the extraordinary capabilities, and also the faults and biases, of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behavior. Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives, and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Kahneman received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his seminal work in psychology that challenged the rational model of judgment and decision making. His work has transformed cognitive psychology and launched the new fields of behavioral economics and happiness studies.

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