The books are part of the Marine Corps Commandants Professional reading list (CPRL). They are listed in in order from books assigned to junior enlisted all the way to senior officer. Not all books have been listed, you find a complete list HERE. Each book description is copied from the CPRL page.


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Battle Cry follows the fortunes of a Marine outfit from boot camp to Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and elsewhere in the Pacific during World War II. Many of the events are based on the author’s WWII experience with the 6th Marine Regiment. The interactions of the characters and their ability to develop “esprit de corps” is a central theme.

The author recounts the simple but powerful lessons he learned as a United States Marine: the core values we must embrace if we are to be successful as individuals and as a nation. Only by incorporating such time-honored Marine qualities as pride, discipline, courage, brotherhood, and respect into our personal and professional lives can we meet the challenges that lie ahead.

In the battle of Thermopylae (480 B.C.), 7000 Greeks led by 300 Spartans held an enormous Persian army of 200,000 at bay for several days - an army that would have changed our civilization had the Greeks not died fighting it. Never before or since has such a badly outnumbered army fought so valiantly nor effectively.

Promotes a theory of individual success focused on long-term goal-setting and consistency over time.

In Robert A. Heinlein's controversial bestseller, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the Universe - and into battle against mankind's most alarming enemy. The historians can't seem to settle whether to call this one "The Third Space War" (or the fourth), or whether "The First Interstellar War" fits it better. The soldiers just call it "The Bug War." Everything up to then and still later were "incidents," "patrols," or "police actions." In the Mobile Infantry, everybody fights. But you're just as dead if you buy the farm in an "incident" as you are if you buy it in a declared war...

Study of one man's commitment to duty taking precedence over his own personal survival. It shows how one man with ability, courage, and initiative can make a difference to the outcome of a war.

We are all warriors. Each of us struggles every day to define and defend our sense of purpose and integrity, to justify our existence on the planet and to understand, if only within our own hearts, who we are and what we believe in. The Warrior Ethos is intended not only for men and women in uniform, but artists, entrepreneurs and other warriors in other walks of life. The book examines the evolution of the warrior code of honor and "mental toughness."

An intellectual journey through the world of "outliers" — the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. The author challenges the reader to answer the question: What makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

A masterpiece of warrior wisdom that shows how to overcome obstacles with positive action. Struggling
without a sense of purpose, plagued by PTSD, and masking his pain with heavy drinking, Greiten's friend needed help. His letters explain how we can build purpose, confront the pain in our lives, practice compassion, develop our vocations, find a mentor, create happiness, follow a role model, think about the story of our lives, and much more. Resilience grapples with real hardship. The lessons are deep, yet practical, and the advice leads to clear solutions.

This book is about a group of men persevered, sacrificed themselves for their comrades, and never gave up. In November 1965, some 450 men of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, fought against 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers in the Ia Drang Valley - one of the most savage and significant battles of the Vietnam War.

Account of Marine First Sergeant Brad Kasal’s courageous mission to rescue fallen comrades while under intense enemy fire during the Battle of Fallujah. During the fight, Kasal was shot seven times, almost losing his leg, and sustained 47 shrapnel wounds using his body to shield a wounded Marine from an enemy grenade. He was awarded the Navy Cross, the nation's second highest award for heroism.

Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over? Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire. In studying the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world, he discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way — and it's the complete opposite of what everyone else does.

McChrystal shows how the military discarded a century of management wisdom and remade itself a network that combined robust centralized communication with decentralized managerial authority. Similar shifts are possible in all organizations, from large companies to startups to charities to governments.

Neal’s memoir explores life as a company grade officer going off to combat in Vietnam, as well as the post-war challenges that his generation of officers had to overcome in the Marine Corps.

First-person account of fighting at Peleliu and Okinawa. Eugene Sledge was part of WWII’s famous 1st Marine Division, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines. It is based on notes Sledge secretly kept in a copy of the New Testament and documents what saved, threatened, and changed his life. It is also a story of how Sledge learned to hate and kill–and came to love–his fellow man.

Thanks to smartphones and tools such as Google and Wikipedia, we're able to feed any aspect of our curiosity instantly. But does this mean we are actually becoming more curious? Absolutely not. In Curious, Ian Leslie argues that true curiosity-the sustained quest for understanding that begets insight and innovation-is becoming increasingly difficult to harness in our wired world. We confuse ease of access to information with curiosity, and risk losing our ability to ask questions that extend our knowledge gap rather than merely filling it. Worst of all, this decline in curiosity has led to a decline in empathy and our ability to care about those around us.

If you cut off a spider's head, it dies; if you cut off a starfish's leg it grows a new one, and that leg can grow into an entirely new starfish. Traditional top-down organizations are like spiders, but now starfish organizations are changing the face of business and the world. What's the hidden power behind the success of Wikipedia, craigslist, and Skype? What do eBay and General Electric have in common with the abolitionist and women's rights movements? What fundamental choice put General Motors and Toyota on vastly different paths? This book explores what happens when starfish take on spiders and reveals how established companies and institutions, from IBM to Intuit to the U.S. government, are also learning how to incorporate starfish principles to achieve success.

Biography of Abraham Lincoln, centered on his mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each of his “rivals” energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war. Lincoln’s understanding of human behavior and motivation enabled him to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the war.

From inflation to the Federal Reserve, taxes to the budget deficit, the author walks us through how the economy really works and its role in our everyday life.

Establishes the "top 50" books on leadership, through interviews with over 200 actively serving and retired four-star officers.​

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