Books and Other Resources

The following list is provisional, just the books that have been located so far, and may well be replaced when better readings are found.

Dynamics of a nation among nations

Regarding vector forces:

Nation-Building: Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq edited by Francis Fukuyama.
The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution by Francis Fukuyama.
Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy by Francis Fukuyama.
Fukuyama does not explicitly mention vectors. However, he exhibits the forces that could be represented by vectors and that interact with each other to form a complex network of forces that steer the courses of nations.    So far this is the only explicit use of vectors to describe politics that I have found.

("Economic applications of vectors are quite important and numerous."* However, the use of multiple vectors to analyze more general categories of human activities is not common, probably because it would be mathematically problematical if not impracticable due to many vectors being cross-linked in unknown ways. Maybe it will still be possible to find some academic sources on this subject.)

Regarding system theory:

System theory is a mental model used to understand the different ways in which various kinds of mechanisms (in the broadest possible sense) function.

• Structurally complex systems (for example a space shuttle) are linear systems and the norm is for all effects to be proportional to the causal factors that lie behind them.

• Interactively complex systems (for example a high school home room class) have components that are loosely linked and therefore they are nonlinear systems. Besides being difficult to predict how these systems will operate, they also generally exhibit emergent behaviors. (These components could be measured and represented by vectors.) See the video of a talk by General Carl van Riper here.

Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions  by Gary Klein

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
See a related video on decisions made under conditions of uncertainty.

Science of the Artificial by Herbert Simon

Regarding chaos theory:

"Chaos" is a misnomer, but we'll have to put up with it. It is not true to say that in a so-called chaotic situation such as a weather system, anyone can predict accurately as far into the future as one might like. It is also not true that one will find weather changing from clear skies all over the western half of the North American continent to a violent thunderstorm over Sacramento in five minutes. Deviations from predictions are small in the beginning hours, larger in the first few days but still generally useful, but the farther from the time of making the prediction the larger the likely error becomes.

Chaos: Making a New Science, by James Gleick

Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992) by M. Mitchell Waldrop


The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey by Michael Huemer

Evolution of Cooperation by Robert Axelrod

Why Nations Fail, by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson


Economics in One Lesson, Henry Hazlitt
    PEM: I think this book is one-sided. What is a fair wage for workers is not even discussed. It is assumed that workers will get enough, and that it is fair that the employer get the balance less taxes.

The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of the Great Thinkers,  by Mark Skousen

Development as Freedom, Amartya Sen


NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

The Social Construction of Reality by Berger, P.L. and Luckmann, T.

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life by Goffman, Erving

The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, by Ruth Benedict


Bowling Alone by Robert D. Putnam

A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution by Samuel Bowles

Evolution of the Social Contract, by Brian Skyrms


The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: 50th Anniversary Edition by Thomas S. Kuhn

Kantian Ethics:

Anup Shah, War, Propaganda and the Media, Global Issues, Updated: March 31, 2005

Thinking Things Through: An Introduction to Logic, by Maylon H. Hepp

Military science
How to think about warfare (more fundamental than strategy lessons, tactic lessons, etc.)


The Art of War: War and Military Thought, by Martin Van Creveld

James Holmes, Professor of Strategy, Naval War College, lists five "greatest military strategists" at

        Primary sources:

Master Sun's Art of War (Many translations) [Patrick Edwin Moran's translation] Martin Van Creveld regards Sun Wu's book as the best text on military theory ever written.

On War by Carl von Clausewitz [online]  This book is regarded by many as a theory of war has stood the test of time.

John Boyd's modern ideas  [Site 1] [Site 2] [Site 3]
   Note: Boyd did not write books, and there may be no permanent repository of the papers and "briefings" that he wrote.

       Secondary sources:

The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past
, and The Cold War: A New History by John Lewis Gaddis, on non-linear systems

Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions
  by Gary Klein

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Preparing for War in the 21st Century by Generals Robert H. Scales and Paul K. Van Riper
Future Warfare Anthology ed. General Robert H. Scales

Video talk on butterfly-effect (non-linear) warfare by General Paul K. Van Riper  who directed the disruptive red team of Millenium Challenge 2002

Defining and Teaching Grand Strategy by Timothy Andrews Sayle

Strategies of Containment by John Lewis Gaddis
"International Relations Theory and the End of the Cold War." International Security, Winter 1992/93, pp.5- 58; by John Lewis Gaddis

"Chaos, Complexity, and Contemporary History," Think Piece Series N0.30, Athens, OH: Contemporary History Institute, May 1994; by John Lewis Gaddis

The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004). by John Lewis Gaddis
        Ancillary readings

Center for Strategic and Budgetary Asssments
    "Regaining Strategic Competence"

Joint Force Quarterly
    Various articles on strategy

Inside (National Defense University)
    Strategists and Strategy

Practicum in strategy and tactics

Moving Zen, C. W. Nicol [External Reviews]

Zhuang Zi and the Fully Realized Human  This book is dedicated to those in the line of fire. It is free, but only via this link.

Deception 101—Primer on Deception. Joseph W. Caddell