Here is a list of books the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center For Homeland Defense and Security use in its master degree program.
The works that follow, presented (mostly) in alphabetical order by author, include only books and monographs. The list does not include the journal articles, reports, and other documents that make up the required reading in the program’s dozen master’s degree courses. The list is current as of late summer.
I took most of the brief descriptions that follow the book’s title from reviews I found on Amazon.
- Adler, Mortimer J. & Charles Van Doren (1972). How to Read a Book: A Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading (rev): The New Yorker says “It shows concretely how the serious work of proper reading may be accomplished and how much it may yield in the way of instruction and delight.”
- Andrew S. Grove (1999). Only the Paranoid survive: How to exploit the crisis points that challenge every company: Steve Jobs said “This book is about one super-important concept. You must learn about Strategic Inflection Points, because sooner or later you are going to live through one.”
- Aslan, Reza. (2009) Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting the Religious Extremism in the Age of Globalization 2009: The School Library Journal says “This book offers an informed critique of good-and-evil dualisms on both sides in the war on terror.”
- Bardach, Eugene (2008). Practical Guide to Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving(3rd ed.): “Students consistently give this perspicacious presentation of policy analysis fundamentals high marks for its clarity and insight,” says Robert P. Goss
- Barrett, Frank J. and Ronald E. Fry (2005). Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Approach to Building Cooperative Capacity: “This book provides a concise introduction to and overview of the growing discipline and practice of Appreciative Inquiry,” says one description of the book.
- Berger, Peter L. & Luckman, Thomas (1967). The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge: A long time ago the American Sociological Review called this book “… A major breakthrough in the sociology of knowledge.” It still is.
- Berman, Paul (2004). Terror and Liberalism: Publishers Weekly said “Berman puts his leftist credentials … on the line by critiquing the left while presenting a liberal rationale for the war on terror, joining a discourse that has been dominated by conservatives.”
- Bernays, Edward (2004). Propaganda New York: Noam Chomsky said this “honest and practical manual [originally published in the 1920s] provides much insight into some of the most powerful and influential institutions of contemporary industrial state capitalist democracies.”
- Bobbitt, Philip (2009). Terror and Consent: The Wars for the Twenty-First Century: This is the most thought provoking homeland security book I’ve read.
10. Bongar, Bruce Michael, et al. (2007). Psychology of Terrorism: The International Journal of Emergency Mental Health says “it would be difficult to find a more thorough and comprehensive compendium on the psychology of terrorism in all its important aspects than that represented by this volume.”
11. Booth, Wayne & Gregory G. Colomb & Joseph M. Williams (2008). Craft of Research (3rd ed.): This is “a well-constructed, articulate reminder of how important fundamental questions of style and approach … are to all research, says the Times Literary Supplement. It is the “first option offered to students who ask ‘Just how should I begin my research?’” says someone from the Business Library Review.
12. Brafman, Ori and Rod A. Beckstrom (2008). Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations: Publishers Weekly believes this book is “a breezy and entertaining look at how decentralization is changing many organizations.”
13. Brannan, David, Bruce Hoffman, Eric Herren, and Robert Matthiessen (2007). Preparing for Suicide Terrorism: A Primer for American Law Enforcement Agencies and Officers: is a “for official use only monograph.”
14. Brockman, John (2006). What We Believe but Cannot Prove: Today’s Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Uncertainty: The American Library Association says in this book “more than 100 notable scientists and scholars answer the question, ‘What do you believe even though you cannot prove it?’”
15. Bryson, John M. (2004). Strategic Planning for Public and Non-Profit Organizations (3rd Edition): Hal G. Rainey says “Anyone professing competence in public and nonprofit management needs to know what Bryson says about strategic planning.”
16. Bulliet, Richard W. (2004). Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization: The Washington Monthly says according to this book “there is a far better case for ‘Islamo-Christian civilization’ than there is for a clash of civilizations.”
17. Chicago Manual of Style (16th): According to the New Yorker, “The Sixteenth Edition of the Chicago Manual of Style is here, and it’s hard for some of us to contain our excitement.”
18. Clarke, Richard and Knake, Robert (2010). Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It: The Financial Times says “It is worth [reading] this book if only for [the] pithy five-page vision of [the] coming apocalypse and a return to stone-age conditions within a week, all because of a few pesky hackers and viruses.”
19. Clayton M. Christensen (1997). The Innovator’s Dilemma: This book describes how disruptive technologies can redefine the landscape, sort of what Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party folks are trying to do.
20. Covey, Stephen M.R. with Rebecca R. Merrill (2008). Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything: Warren Bennis says this book is “brave, imaginative, amazingly prescient, and backed up by empirical and analytical heft.”
21. Creswell, John W. (2009). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches: This book provides a practical guide to designing, executing and presenting research.
22. Cronin, Audrey Curth and Ludes, James M. (Eds.) (2004). Attacking Terrorism: Elements of a Grand Strategy: Kurt M. Campbell calls this an “unusually interesting, readable, and well integrated look at the essential elements needed for an American grand strategy to confront the scourge of global terrorism.”
23. Davis, Paul K. & Brian M. Jenkins (2002). Deterrence & Intelligence in Counterterrorism: A Component in the War on al Qaeda: This monograph – available from RAND and elsewhere – “summarizes the findings of a six-month project on deterrence of terrorism.” It remains one of the most thoughtful and comprehensive discussions of deterrence.
24. Descartes, Rene (2006, by way of 1637). Discourse on the Method for Conducting One’s Reason Well and for Seeking Truth in the Sciences: How “perfect knowledge can be achieved by means of perfect, individual reasoning.”
25. Donatella Meadows (2008). Thinking in Systems: Peter Senge says “The publication of Meadows’ previously unfinished manuscript is a gift for leaders of all sorts and at all levels.”
26. Eggers, Dave (2010). Zeitoun: “the story of one man’s experience after Hurricane Katrina,… a successful Syrian-born painting contractor, decides to stay in New Orleans and protect his property while his family flees.” A disturbing narrative.
27. Entman, Robert (2003). Projections of Power: Framing News, Public Opinion, and U.S. Foreign Policy: The book jacket says this is “an essential guide for political scientists, students of the media, and anyone interested in the increasingly influential role of the media in foreign policy.”
28. Fanon, Frantz (2005, via the 1961). The Wretched of the Earth 2005: Jean-Paul Sartre says “Have the courage to read this book.”
29. Frankfurt, Harry G. (2005). On Bullshit: The author asks why “One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit.”
30. Freier, Nathan (2009). DoD Leaders, Strategists, and Operators in an Era of Persistent Unconventional Challenge: “This study argues that the future security environment will be dominated by unconventional threats and challenges that lie outside the boundaries of traditional warfighting.”
32. Gerencser, Mark (2008). Megacommunities: How Leaders of Government, Business and Non-Profits Can Tackle Today’s Global Challenges Together: Newt Gingrich says “… these concepts work,” and promises that “We’ll be applying the methods explained in this important book even more ambitiously in the months ahead.”
33. Godin, Seth (2011). Poke the Box: When Was the Last Time you did something for the first time?: This powerfully irritating manifesto says all your good ideas matter little unless you ship something.
34. Hewitt, Christopher (2002). Understanding Terrorism in America: This book “surveys the characteristics and causes of terrorism and governmental responses to it.”
35. Hoffman, Bruce (2006). Inside Terrorism: The Washington Post calls this “The best one-volume introduction to” terrorism.
36. Johnson, Loch K. and James J. Wirtz (2010). Intelligence: The Secret World of Spies: An Anthology: “An admirable contribution to the intelligence canon,” says Mark M. Lowenthal.
37. Jones, Morgan D. (1998). The Thinker’s Toolkit: 14 Powerful Techniques for Problem Solving: “A collection of proven, practical methods for simplifying any problem and making faster, better decisions every time,” says the product description.
38. Kelly, Joesph F. (2003). Responding to Evil: This book asks how good and evil can be reconciled.
39. Kettl, Donald F. (2007). System under Stress: Homeland Security and American Politics: A public administration scholar looks at the first few years of homeland security.
40. Kim, W. Chan & Renee Mauborgne (2005). Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant: A “vision of the kind of expanding, competitor-free markets that innovative companies can navigate…. Swim for open waters.”
41. Laurence, Jonathan & Justin Vaisse (2006). Integrating Islam: Political and Religious Challenges in Contemporary France: The American Prospect calls this “an exceedingly important read for anyone trying to understand how governments can help promote (or stunt) the integration process of Muslim immigrants to Europe.”
42. Leedy, Paul and Jeanne Ormand (2009). Practical Research: Planning and Design: A “’do-it-yourself, understand-it-yourself’ manual designed to help research students in any discipline understand the fundamental structure of quality research and the methodical process that leads to genuinely significant results,” promises the product description.
43. Lewis, Ted (2006). Critical Infrastructure Protection in Homeland Security: Defending a Networked Nation: Homeland Security Watch says “The book is written as a student textbook, but it should be equally valuable for current practitioners…this book is a very worthwhile investment.”
44. Lewis, Ted. (2010) Bak’s Sand Pile: The author says “Modern societies want to avert catastrophes, but the drive to make things faster, cheaper, and more efficient leads to self-organized criticality-the condition of systems on the verge of disaster.”
45. Lowenthal, Mark M (2011). Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy: This is “the go-to book for the most comprehensive overview on the U.S. intelligence community,” says Michael Bennett .
46. Mansfield, Laura (2006). His Own Words: A Translation and Analysis of the Writings of Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri: “The vision of Al Qaeda as it is articulated by one of its founders,” says a book reviewer.
47. Mintzberg, Henry (2005). Strategy Safari: A Guided Tour Through The Wilds of Strategic Management: I don’t know a better overview of strategy.
48. Moghaddam, Fathali (2010). The New Global Insecurity: How Terrorism, Environmental Collapse, Economic Inequalities, and Resource Shortages Are Changing Our World: The author “analyzes the elements and roots of global insecurity, discussing it in relation to terrorism, torture, economic instability, threatened identity, and religious fundamentalism.”
49. Moghaddam, Fathali (2008). How Globalization Spurs Terrorism: The Lopsided Benefits of “One World” and Why that Fuels Violence: Paul Ehrlich says this provides “the Big Picture for better understanding radicalization and terrorism in the 21st century.”
50. Moghaddam, Fathali (2007). Multiculturalism and Intergroup Relations: Psychological Implications for Democracy in a Global Context: An exploration of “the large-scale migration of refugees fleeing international conflict as well as the effects of 9/11 and the violent conflicts that have erupted in its wake.”
51. Moghaddam, Fathali M. (2006). From the Terrorists’ Point of View: What They Experience & Why They Come to Destroy: Masur Lalljee calls this “A fascinating study into the development of the perspective of the terrorist. The ‘Staircase to Terrorism’ is a powerful metaphor.”
52. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (2004). 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States: Required reading, for as long as we talk about homeland security.
53. Provost, Gary (1985). 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing: Way number 1 – get some reference books.
54. Reynolds, Garr (2008). Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery: Check out the pecha-kucha style for powerpoint presentations (and the presentation zen website).
55. Sims, Jennifer & Burton Gerber (2005). Transforming U.S. Intelligence: “[T]ransforming intelligence requires as much a look to the future as to the past and a focus more on the art and practice of intelligence rather than on its bureaucratic arrangements.”
56. Stewart Baker (2010). Skating on Stilts: Why We Aren’t Stopping Tomorrow’s Terrorism: The Wall Street Journal describes this as “a memoir of day-to-day life within a major Washington bureaucracy [DHS] and an insider’s analysis of the challenges to domestic security in the post 9/11 era.”
57. Tajfel, Henri (2010). Social Identity and Intergroup Relations:a collection of articles about social identity theory.
58. Taleb, Nassim Nicholas (2010). The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: “On Robustness and Fragility: Niall Ferguson says this is “Idiosyncratically brilliant.”
59. Van Der Heijden, Kess (2005). Scenarios: the art of strategic conversation: Probably the definitive contemporary work on scenario planning.
60. Wolf, Naomi (2007). End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot: Wolf cautions how “fascism can exist without dictatorship.”
61. Zegart, Amy B. (2009). Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI & Origins of 9/11: Graham Allison believes this is “An outstanding demonstration of how the adaptation failures of the CIA and FBI before and after 9/11 lie in deep-rooted organizational deficiencies and not individuals asleep at the switch.”
62. Zimbardo, Philip and John Boyd (2008). Time Paradox: The New Psychiatry of Time that Will Change your Life: This work will “help you understand the source of many of the world’s greatest triumphs and most pressing problems — from terrorism to homelessness, from religion to love, from the successes and failures of CEOs to those of marriages,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky.
63. Zimbardo, Philip G. (2008). Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil: Zimbardo describes how “almost anyone, given the right ‘situational’ influences, can be made to abandon moral scruples and cooperate in violence and oppression.”
64. Zimmerman, Doron & Andreas Wenger, eds (2006). How States Fight Terrorism: Policy Dynamics in the West: The book describes “how national governments are struggling to cope with the complex threat of mass-casualty terrorist attacks carried out by armed groups driven by ideological and/or religious motivations.”
65. Zinsser, William K. (2001). On Writing Well, 25th Anniversary: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction: This is a book “for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day,” whether a memo, report or a blog post.