The Modern War Institute is re-launching the WarBooks initiative.  The WarBooks initiative was a component of the WarCouncil.org that later became mwi.usma.edu.

In short, reading and books matter greatly to the study of war.  Personal experience is useful but too limited, so we need to read to access the experience of others. As the British military writer, Basil Liddell Hart noted, “There is no excuse for any literate person if he is less than three thousand years old in the mind.”

WarBooks includes traditional book reviews, which focus on books themselves.  But, and, here’s where you come in, it also centers on the relationship between students of war and their books.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to see someone else’s bookshelf (not everyone is on goodreads.com)?  To know, for example, what books mattered most to a particular general, admiral, academic, or theorist? Junior officers could read what books were most influential to senior officers while senior officers could see what the younger folks are reading.

If you’re interested and willing to participate, keep reading. This shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes of your precious time. As you decide, consider the value your contribution might provide to some future strategic leader – your suggestion might significantly alter the course of their self-education and career.

Here’s what we’ll need:

1. My Books. Take a picture of your bookshelf so that a significant number of the titles are visible.  Please format as a JPEG, approximately 1-2MBs, labeled with your last name.

2. Biography. Include a short biography with (as appropriate): commissioning source, branch, current rank, and interesting work. Please format in a Word document, Georgia font, 12-point.

3. Top Five. List your “top five” books, no particular criteria.  List them simply in this format: Author, Title. You may include essays and films, but generally focus on books. If you would like, you may include a brief comment on each selection (aim for a sentence or two). Again, Georgia font, 12-point.

4. The One That Shaped Me The Most. Write a short response to the question: “Which book shaped you the most in your study of war and human conflict? Why? How?” Please try to keep this to less than 150 words, Georgia font, 12-point.

In sum, you should email admin (at) modernwarinstitute (dot) com with one JPEG and one Word document.

Here’s a formatting guide for submissions.

Thanks! And remember: Calamus Gladio Fortior!

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