Navy Removes ‘Anti-American’ Books From Sailors’ Reading List

Several controversial books deemed to be “anti-American” or “Marxist” were removed from the U.S. Navy’s recommended reading list.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday on Friday released an updated version of the Professional Reading Program (CNO-PRP). Among books missing on the latest list were “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi, “Sexual Minorities and Politics: An Introduction” by Jason Pierceson, and “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander. Those books were included on last year’s list.

Republican lawmakers said the books would promote “a racial form of Marxist philosophy” and “reinforce the view that America is a confederation of identity categories of the oppressed and their oppressors,” The Epoch Times reported.

Lawmakers also urged the removal of what they said could further “poison” the U.S. military.

Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., sent a letter to Gilday after the Navy included Kendi’s book on its 2021 reading list.

Banks, a Naval Reserve officer since 2012 and ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems, argued in his letter that the views promoted in the book were “explicitly anti-American” and called on Gilday to explain the Navy’s decision to include it on the CNO-PRP list or remove it.

“The views promoted in ‘How to Be an Antiracist’ are explicitly anti-American. According to Kendi, America is fundamentally racist, so anti-Americanism is a moral imperative,” Banks wrote, Fox News reported. “Cohesiveness and unity in our armed services is essential. Kendi’s ideas are divisive and will undermine morale and weaken our national security.”

The CNO-PRP is a list of recommended books intended to help the Navy’s effort to develop the professionalism of all sailors. It is comprised of 12 books, a mix of writing genres including fiction, non-fiction, military, strategy, management, and technology, among others.

“A learning mindset is essential to accelerating our warfighting advantage,” Gilday said. “A Navy that learns, adapts, and improves the fastest will be the most successful. Knowledge sharing is essential to creating a learning culture.

“We are driving a fleet-wide campaign of self-improvement. We must foster an organization that supports and empowers sailors to have an independent quest for knowledge through reading and information sharing. What you know and how fast you learn is relevant in this era of strategic competition.”

The updated list includes:

  • “To Rule the Waves” by Bruce Jones
  • “A Brief Guide to Maritime Strategy” by James Holmes
  • “China as a 21st Century Naval Power” by Michael. A. McDevitt
  • “Not One Inch” by Mary E. Sarotte
  • “The Sailor’s Bookshelf: Fifty Books to Know the Sea” by Admiral James G. Stavridis
  • “Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War” by Paul Scharre
  • “Fortune Favors Boldness” by Barry Costello
  • “The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour” by James Hornfischer
  • “World War II at Sea: A Global History” by Craig Symonds
  • “Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield” by Gayle T. Lemmon
  • “Dare to Lead” by Brene Brown
  • “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck


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