When West Point was founded in 1802, John Adams advocated an ambitious reading program. Today, among suggested reading for members of the U.S. armed services are quite a number of texts on.
Each branch has compiled several reading lists; the Marines alone maintain dozens of lists, and the Army has six, among them, lists by the Chief of Staff, the War College and the Center for Army Leadership.
Soldiers, for example, are encouraged to read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and the Navy recommends Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire.
The military particularly likes titles on business. One Army list suggests Nassim Taleb’s The Black Swan, as well as Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. The Navy includes Freakonomics by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, and Moneyball by Michael Lewis.
— Adapted from “Canon Fodder,” Rolf Potts, The New Yorker.