The SOCOM Commander’s Reading List

November 10, 2015

Have you checked out the reading list of the Commander of U.S. Special Operation Command? You should. Here is what Gen. Joseph L. Votel wants you to read.


The Savior Generals, by Victor Davis Hanson

Seal of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, by G. Williams

Grey Eminence: Fox Connor and the Art of Mentorship, by Edward Cox

Level Zero Heroes: The Story of U.S. Marine Special Operations in Bala Murghab, Afghanistan, by Michael Golembesky and John R. Bruning

The Threat

The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda, by Peter Bergen

The Twilight War: The Secret History of America’s Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran, by David Crist

Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It, by Richard A. Clarke

Asia’s Cauldron, by Robert D. Kaplan


The Battle for Peace: Frontline Vision of America’s Power and Purpose, by Tony Zinni and Tony Koltz

The Direction of War, by Hew Strachan

Counterinsurgency: Exposing the Myths of the New Way of War, by Douglas Porch

Going Big by Getting Small: The Application of Operational Art by Special Operations in Phase Zero, by Brian S. Petit


The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World, by Niall Ferguson

The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World, by Daniel Yergin


Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy, by Mark M. Lowenthal

Executive Secrets: Covert Action and the Presidency, by William J. Daugherty

Technology & Innovation

Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World, by John P. Kotter

The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business, by Clayton M. Christensen

FIRE: How Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained, and Elegant Methods Ignite Innovation, by Dan Ward


Image: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christine Griffiths