Cadet Book Club

This program encourages reading and discussion on leadership topics by cadets, faculty, and staff, including topics on current and sometimes controversial issues.

The Leadership Book Club is a self-select reading list of books written by guests who come to post throughout the academic year as part of the events or speaker series we host. The speakers and their titles fit within the Center's annual leadership theme. The leadership theme for the 2022-23 academic year is "The Courage of Convictions."


2022-23 Cadet Book Club books: The Art of Insubordination: How to Dissent and Defy Effectively by Todd Kashdan, The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To by Ira Chaleff, For Our Leaders & Intelligent Disobedience: Doing Right When What You're Told To Do Is Wrong by Ira Chaleff, What is a Girl Worth? by Rachael Denhollander

2022-23 Selections:

  • The Art of Insubordination: How to Dissent and Defy Effectively by Todd Kashdan
  • The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To by Ira Chaleff*
  • For Our Leaders & Intelligent Disobedience: Doing Right When What You're Told To Do Is Wrong by Ira Chaleff*
  • What is a Girl Worth? by Rachael Denhollander*

*Denotes author that is a featured speaker for this academic year


2021-2022 selections:

  • Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations by Amy Chua*
  • Become America by Eric Liu*
  • House to House by David Bellavia*
  • When the Tempest Gathers by Andrew Milburn*
  • The Unexpected Spy by Tracy Walder*

2018-2019 selections:

  • Fields of Fire by James Webb*
  • Red Platoon by Clint Romesha*
  • Touching the Dragon by James Hatch*
  • The Captain's Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World's Greatest Teams by Sam Walker

2017-2018 selections:

  • Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World by William H. McRaven.
  • Why They Do It, Inside the Minds of the White Collar Criminals by Eugene Soltes
  • Legacy by James Kerr
  • Forged in Crisis, The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times by Nancy Koehn

2016-2017 selections:

  • Valiant Ambition, George Washington, Benedict Arnold and the Fate of the American Revolution War
  • Rise: A Soldier, A Dream and a Promise Kept *
  • Extreme Ownership, How US Navy Seals Lead and Win Resilience

2015-2016 selections:

  • Vigilance: My Life Serving America and Protecting its Empire City
  • The Deserters: A Hidden History of World War II
  • Invictus: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation
  • Ghost Fleet *
  • On the Edge

2015-2016 selections:

  • Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary At War
  • Moral Dilemmas of Modern War
  • Primal Leadership
  • In the Kingdom of Ice *
  • When Pride Still Mattered
  • Business Leaders & Success

2014-2015 selections:

  • The Heart and the Fist *
  • All of the President’s Men
  • Icons and Idiots
  • Defiant *
  • Air Assault *
  • All Quiet on the Western Front

2012–2013 selections: 

  • Heart of a Soldier *
  • Joker One
  • 127 Hours
  • The Art of Intelligence
  • Front Burner *
  • Breaking Iraq *

2011-2012 selections: 

  • Quiet Strength
  • Westmoreland *
  • The Only Thing Worth Dying For
  • Steve Jobs
  • The Junction Boys
  • Passion of Command


  • Lone Survivor *
  • The Good Soldiers
  • Fields of Fire
  • The Unforgiving Minute *
  • We Were Soldiers Once…and Young
  • Three Cups of Tea

* Denotes an author who spoke at VMI.

VMI: Forging 21st Century Leaders