Reading, Thinking, and Advising

By | November 18, 2020

[November 18, 2020]  Just the other day, a note was sent to me from a long-time friend from my days as a young man.  At my friend’s request, I mailed him a list of books that I had recently read.  These were books that required a bit of thinking to understand fully.  He asked because he was starting up a business advising young men and women how to enter the U.S. military successfully.

Given his age at nearing 70, I smiled to myself at his audacity and fortitude.  For those of us who grew up and the 1960s during those turbulent times, we were often intellectually pulled toward various forms of neo-Marxist ideology in those times and now.  After living in countries with Marxist-style governments, a few of us learned firsthand how crushing such a government could be to the human spirit.

In this article, I link to several reading lists by people I highly respect for their moral fiber, intellect, and moral courage.  Of course, Professor Jordan Peterson, Lt. Gen. James Mattis, and Thomas Sowell provided great books for us.  I’m happy to say that my reading list includes many of these same books.

I like to inspect reading lists since it gives me a look into the mind of the one making such an arrangement.  The books found in the lists range from the practical to the philosophical and back again.  Many are very basic to the fundamental understanding of the United States’ founding and the development of democracy.

Yes, understanding leadership and our communities does mean learning a little history.  This is how we can avoid the intellectual dangers and past pitfalls.  Failure to learn from the past, as we all know, means that we are condemned to repeat it.  My good friend from many years ago sends his thank you and appreciation.

Here is my list of lists:

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

17 thoughts on “Reading, Thinking, and Advising

  1. Juan J.

    Wow, another great article and this one on the importance of reading, thinking, writing, and “advising.” Gen. Satterfield hits the nail on the head again. But, don’t be complacent about these basic skills. There is an old saying that education is about readin, writtin, and rithmetic. But we all know that without these important skills, we will not be successful.

    1. Greg Heyman

      You got that right, Yusaf. Thanks for the emphasis on reading, writing, and thinking.

  2. Willie Shrumburger

    Never, ever overlook the benefits of reading and thinking. I might add, just IMO, that writing is also a crucial part of this idea of improving upon ourselves and our communities. Yes, advising others is part of it as well. But to write means to force our minds to think. Think hard, think fast, and think good.

    1. KenFBrown

      Right Tom, reading is not just for knowledge and intellectual development, so let’s remember that. It keeps the mind occupied, improves focus and attention, sets our mind into a tranquil state, and develops our analytical skills. Don’t overlook any benefit. I remember Gen. Satterfield writing in one of his articles that when he was in combat he had a paperback book and made himself read 5 minutes a day. It helped him calm his mind and in combat that helps.

  3. Eric Coda

    Here is the main point of Gen. Satterfield. Let’s not overlook it.
    “Yes, understanding leadership and our communities does mean learning a little history. This is how we can avoid the intellectual dangers and past pitfalls.”

    1. Audrey

      Of course, and that is why I’ve copied these lists and will be on line today with my library. I personally like having a book in my hand rather than reading from a computer screen.

    2. Max Foster

      I have to agree. But – more importantly – we must take the time out of our schedule to actually think, read, and ADVISE others to do the same. Nothing is more important to our development than to get the idea in our thick heads that we are not morally better than others but that we can make ourselves better by reading and by thinking. When in doubt, just ask. There will be folks ready to help us.

      1. Dennis Mathes

        Excellent points Max. As we grow, there is the expectation (often unstated) that we are here on this earth to help others become better people, even when they don’t think they can do it.

  4. Joe Omerrod

    Judge Sowell’s list is the most developed in my opinion. I like his list the most and have already read some of those recommended books. On an aside note, I see that you used Goodreads to help put these lists out. They have done a great job in the past and are accurate (as best they can be) on what these great thinkers would recommend. Some are straight from that person, like Lt Gen. Mattis. Good luck with these books and for those reading them, you will never regret the decision to read them.

  5. Doug Smith

    Great lists! That is like, pow, hit me like a surprise birthday party. Another opportunity to read about what great minds think.

    1. Randy Goodman

      Yeah, I was thinking that also. Always a surprise but also always something that is both entertaining and useful as well.

    2. Gil Johnson

      Read, read, and read some more. To stop reading means that you are no longer growing as a person and will be stopped at every turn and … wonder why.

      1. Dale Paul Fox

        So true, Gil. Oh, and thanks for you regular comments and analysis. I enjoy reading this comments section as much as Gen. Satterfield’s articles. Well, sometimes anyway. Hope all is well with readers of Gen. Satterfield’s blog. Keep on truckin’.


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