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Recommended Reading


One of the perennial requests I get from readers is an updated recommended reading list, since the one here on the blog, up until now, has been the same for something like six years. Since even the slowest readers in the slow reading group could have completed the list by now, I finally decided to comply.

One thing that may stand out is that most of these books are not found on the typical “prepper” reading list, and most won’t even be found in typical articles on non-prepper specific tactical websites. Some, if not most, readers should be aware by now, that I received a Master’s Degree in History, in addition to my military service. In my heart of hearts, deep in the dimmest, dankest recesses of my soul, I am—before all other things—a nerd. Our personal library at home has thousands of titles on the shelves (I generally try and count them once a year, and I generally give up somewhere after 5000 volumes. If it weren’t for books, I would be a great minimalist).

Under most books, I have added a short description of WHY I recommend that you read these books. In cases where I have a number of books listed by a single author, I will generally group them together and comment on the author, rather than specific books, unless one title stands out above the others.

These titles are grouped together in very broad general subject groups. They are NOT alphabetized (I went through one of my bookshelves with a notebook and wrote down titles as I saw them), or in any specific order.

I assume it goes without saying that my own books, The Reluctant Partisan, Volume One: The Guerrilla, The Reluctant Partisan, Volume Two: The Underground, and Forging the Hero: Who Does More Is Worth More, should be included on this list…unlike most of these books, which can be found on Amazon, my three can be found only at

Warhammer Six Press

History, Culture, and the Decline of Empire

Probably one of the more controversial things I write about is the inevitability of the impending collapse of the American Empire, and the fact that such a thing need not be bad, politically, economically, or spiritually. Most of the books in this category below, discuss this in a historical framework, illustrating the same concepts I discuss in my own books, only in greater detail, because these books are specific to certain aspects of that reality.

Lady with the Mead Cup by Michael J. Enright

This discusses the role of noblewomen in pre-Christian Germanic society, specifically, but more generally, it discusses social structure in both the realistic and idealistic, in that era. It does a solid job of illustrating the value of having specific cultural traditions and customs that allow every member of society to know their role and place in society, and to have some legitimate idea of how to improve their station in life, if they so desire.

This, in contrast to the current situation where “make lots of money!” or “Do good for people,” are bandied about, even as we see people who try to start businesses lose their ass to taxes and government interference, or corporate sabotage from larger competitors, and where we see volunteer activists thrown in jail for trying to feed the homeless.

A word of warning, this is an academic paper, published as a book. It requires a certain degree of intellectual grit to plough through.

Becoming a Barbarian by Jack Donovan

Jack wrote the Foreword for my book Forging the Hero, wherein he mentioned that he considered it a solid companion piece to this book of his own. I concur. While I discuss some pretty specific concepts, Jack does a really solid idea of explaining why you should consider cutting ties, psychologically, with the current civilization.

Of course, I also recommend pretty much all of Jack’s writings.

The Rule of the Clan by Mark S. Weiner

This is kind of an apology for modern liberal society, wherein the author makes the somewhat valid point that a tribal society places a lot more restrictions on individual choices and options than modern civilization does. My response to that of course, is that those restrictions actually tend to be self-imposed because of the acceptance of tribal values, and in the end, even if one is “forced” to do or be something they don’t desire, is it all that bad of a thing, if it makes your family better off?

Highland Folk Ways by I.F. Grant

This is an ethnographic study of Scottish Highland culture, written by a native who ran a museum in Scotland for a long time, in the first half of the twentieth-century. She discusses not only cool arcana like types of pottery, vernacular architecture, and diet, but also the social structures of the clans, and how the Highland Clearances, while putting land in the hands of private landowners, instead of the “collective” ownership of the clan, led to the destruction of the Highland way of life.

Empires and Barbarians by Peter Heather

Written about the fall of the Western Roman Empire, “at the hands” of invading barbarians, this books does a remarkable job of two things: 1) it illustrates a number of the parallels between the causality of Rome’s failure being self-induced, and our own, and 2) it illustrates that—contrary to the myths of civilization, the “barbarians” were necessary to local survival as the Empire collapsed its borders.

Local leaders took charge and blended their local cultural values with those of the departing Romans that they could use, and created what we now recognize as “western culture.” I have observed the same ethnogenesis occurring within the US, despite the homogenization of American culture by mass media and cable/satellite television, as local communities and groups of people—especially in the West and South, where I have lived—have started moving away from that homogenization by making conscious, concerted efforts to reclaim and reinvent local folk ways, traditions, diets, and even vernacular architecture.

Convergence of Catastrophes and ArchaeoFuturism by Guillaume Faye

Written from a European perspective, by a European, in the 1990s, Faye is a pretty vaunted member of the “New Right.” The biggest benefits of these books, in my mind, was a) in Convergence, Faye discusses the issues of resource depletion and environmental degradation intelligently and honestly, and b) his take, in ArchaeoFuturism, that the ideal way forward—which I happen to agree with, to the point that I live it daily—is for intelligent people to blend the best, most applicable—and sustainable technology—to keeping alive the best, most applicable of our cultural values.

In the first place, having an intelligent, honest conversation about resource depletion and environmentalism, with Americans, is damned near fucking impossible, in my experience. The issue has been so politicized that nobody even actually looks at the research. They just regurgitate whatever “their” side of the political spectrum tells them to say. I’ve seen social media posts claiming that “X number of studies show that Arctic Ice is actually increasing!” and then went and actually read the study reports they cited, to find that the conclusions were the exact opposite of what the article claimed they were.

I’ve also seen the opposite, where a Democrat tosses out an article or comment about “Doing X is THE cause of global warming!” Yet, when you read the sources they cite, the researches ACTUAL conclusion tends to be more along the lines of “Well, we’re pretty sure this is A contributing factor to the rise of global sea temperatures, leading to chaotic weather patterns, but the evidence could also have been interpreted to mean that this is only a minor factor, with THIS being a more acute issue.”

In a nutshell, despite being pretty firmly on the right side of the political spectrum, Faye was able to look at what—at least in the US—is a very polarized issue—and say, “Yeah, well…so….” without resorting to oversimplified—generally inaccurate—soundbites from politicians who are simply repeating what their corporate betters told them to say.

In the second place, being devoutly apolitical allows me to look at the above objectively, and realize that the logical response is some variation of Faye’s ArchaeoFuturism.

The Decline of the West by Oswald Spengler and The Study of History by Arnold Toynbee

These two, a German and an Englishman, writing at roughly the same time, have my vote for two of the most important historians of the twentieth century. Leaders in the modern discipline of the morphological study of history—looking for the patterns of culture, and trying to relate them to our own culture to learn from the past—rather than being interested simply in the details of one small era of history and focusing on specific dates and names, my understanding, when I started college studies, was that was the point of studying history, and I still believe that, despite attempts by professors to disabuse me of it.

Both of these are big, multi-volume, academic theses. Toynbee’s is twelve volumes (although, I’ve never seen a copy of the eleventh or twelfth volumes, so I am not entirely sure he ever completed it), but is best read in the later two-volume abridgment that he wrote himself. While Spengler is at least as important as Toynbee, at least Toynbee wrote in English, while Spengler was German, and reading academic translations tends to be a motherfucker, so I generally recommend people read Toynbee first.

Before reading either of them though, I suggest a shorter thesis that anyone who has read this blog for any length of time should be familiar with: The Fate of Empires, by Sir John Baget Glubb. I rediscovered this little gem while writing The Reluctant Partisan, and have discussed it in my books (a significant portion of Forging the Hero is dedicated to dissecting this thesis), in interviews, and in articles, ad nauseum. At 27 pages, and easily accessible for free as an online pdf, if you haven’t read it yet, you should seriously unfuck yourself.

Looking at these three works—or even just one of them—objectively, is one of the most important things we, as modern Americans, concerned with the trajectory of our culture and country, can do for the survival of our culture and our families and communities.

The Five Stages of Collapse by Dmitry Orlov

Another book I discussed a lot in Forging the Hero is Orlov’s The Five Stages of Collapse. The best part of reading Orlov is that, despite being an American citizen, and having lived here since childhood, he is a native Russian. He doesn’t have the same emotional baggage about the national myths of America that we tend to, and he is very Russian in his bluntness about the shortcomings we possess culturally, in that regard.

The best thing about this book particularly, is his five stages breakdown of collapse. While I disagreed with some of the conclusions he drew, as I discussed in Forging the Hero, I drew on the model a lot in that book, to illustrate how far down the slide we actually are.

A shorter, sort of companion volume to this is his booklet Communities That Abide, which discusses specific case studies of what some very long lasting communities—the Amish and the Roma are the two that I specifically remember him mentioning off the top of my head—have in common that has allowed them to survive external threats, while strengthening the bonds of community identity. For those trying to establish the boundaries of their innangarth, this is a very useful little book.

I also recommend his book—to a lesser degree—Reinventing Collapse, in which he compared the US situation to the demise of the USSR. While it could be my own mental handicap, a result of growing up a child of the Cold War, I think the dissimilarities between the USSR and the US are great enough to make any direct comparison like this pretty obtuse. The “Evil Empire” was not particularly successful as an empire, unlike the US, which managed, for quite some time, to convince its colonial subjects to—if not identify as “Americans,” to at least aspire to become “American,” or “more like Americans.” Nobody has to force foreigners to wear Levis, drink Coke, or eat Big Macs, unlike the Soviets who had to expand their foreign contributions at the point of a bayonet.

War Before Civilization by Lawrence Keeley

Like The Fate of Empires, this is an academic book that I feel somewhat responsible for introducing to the preparedness community. I’ve been mentioning this book at least as long as Glubb’s, and mentioned this one in my first book.

This is a critically important book for people in the preparedness culture to really grasp. Folks tend to buy lots of guns and ammunition, and then think they’ll be okay, because too often, they’ve not really internalized the fact that they will be killing other people. There is a lot of poppycock out there in the anthro and psych fields about how people are actually pretty peaceful, and have a natural aversion to violence, but Keeley does a pretty solid job of disproving this. The moral of the story—to me—becomes, “when the State no longer possesses its monopoly on violence,” you’d better be able to protect yourself and your loved ones, because someone WILL come for your shit and take it (Yes, I’ve seen Steven Plinker’s new book, and I think Plinker is full of shit, as usual. Dude needs to get out of his middle class ivory tower and spend some time in the real world).

The Invasion of Europe by the Barbarians by JB Bury

Another look at the influence of the Celtic and Germanic barbarians on European culture, at the fall of Rome. Again, showing that, in the vacuum that forms, SOMEONE will determine—even unconsciously—what culture fills the void. If you want it to be yours, you’d better be strong enough to ensure that it is.

The Battle That Stopped Rome and The Barbarians Speak by Peter S. Wells

The first book is a study of the Battle of the Teutoburgwald, where Arminius organized and led an alliance of Germanic tribes that destroyed three-plus Roman legions in northern Germany, in 9 CE. I discussed this battle in brief in Forging the Hero, and Arminius is one of my favorite characters in history, even though we don’t really know shit about the guy.

The more important book for most readers will be the second one, since Wells looks at the barbarians in a more positive light that a lot of historians do, thus managing to show that many of the values we view as “modern,” or—at worst—deriving from The Enlightenment, actually go much further back, to tribal cultures.

The Meadhall by Stephen Pollington

Pollington is an Englishman that specializes in Anglo-Saxon studies. The Meadhall is an archaeological and historiographic study of the tribal culture of the early Anglo-Saxons, as represented by the cultural community center of the meadhall.

Besides the physical structure of the meadhall, the author discusses the social structure of A-S society, and relates how the food and drink and rituals of the meadhall defined the society. This is exactly the same as what I discussed in Forging the Hero; that the values you share with your tribe, are demonstrated by your shared customs and traditions, and allow you to identify who is part of your innangarth, and who is utangarth.

A related book, by Ann Hagen, is Anglo-Saxon Food & Drink. While Hagen is focused primarily on the actual food and beverages of the period, she also ties it to the social values and customs, illustrating a fact very dear to my heart—food really does define us, and it defines our culture and values. If you claim to be a “prepper,” or a “warrior,” and you stuff your face with Big Macs and Taco Bell every day, I know you’re full of shit, or else you have a drastically different view of the meanings of those terms than I do.

The Warwolf by Hermann Lons

This is one of the few novels on this list. A student in a class asked me if I had ever read it. When I said no, he sent me a copy. I will admit, with the relationship to the post-WW2 “werwolf” resistance organizations, I was leery, until I realized it was written in 1910, and was about a resistance movement during the Thirty Years War.

Whether you read The Mountain Guerrilla because you are concerned about organizing a resistance movement, or because you are concerned about the ongoing fall of the American Empire, or you just like a good adventure tale, or you are interested in the medieval period, or you are just interested in military science, read this novel.

All the things that SF UW doctrine discusses, happens in this story. Seriously, read the fucking book.

Culture of the Teutons by Wilhelm Gronbech

Gronbech was a professor of religion at the University of Copenhagen at the beginning of the 20th Century. This is an ethnographic study of the cultural beliefs and social structures of pre-Christianization Germanic tribal cultures. When readers email me asking me for suggested reading about “tribes and building tribes,” this is always the first book I recommend.

Like a lot of the others, this is really dense, and really academic, but…if you dig into it, you’ll find most of it resonates on a very deep level, because in a lot of ways, it is the same culture we recognize as traditional American culture.

Military/Paramilitary Professional Reading

You’re not going to learn to fight and win from a book, but they serve as a useful reference for developing a training program, as well as keeping your mind in the game.

SH21-75 The Ranger Handbook. I grew up with the 1992 edition, and still have my old, stained, dog-eared copy that I carried as a Ranger private, through Suck School, and as an NCO. I just don’t know what box it’s packed away in. I currently use a 2006 edition, and while there were some changes, they’re really not that big a deal. I also saw the other day that they have a 2010 edition out.

Any edition should suffice. This is the BIBLE of small-unit tactics. Learn it, know it, live it.

FM 7-8 The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad. The non-Ranger Bible of SUT. Get the 1992 edition. The new, differently numbered one from 2003 is ridiculously long and focuses as much on vehicle convoy operations in Strykers as it does on SUT. While it’s certainly useful to have, and know, the 1992 edition, if you don’t have a Ranger Handbook, is more user-friendly and will fit in the cargo pocket of a pair of BDU or ACU trousers.

Nagl, John, LTC; Eating Soup with a Knife. This is a discussion of the counter-insurgency efforts of the British Army in Malaysia and the U.S. Army in Vietnam. I have the newer, paperback edition, which discusses some of the efforts that the author’s unit made in Iraq to transition from a conventional force armor unit to performing unconventional, COIN operations. Good read.
Mao Tse-Tung on Guerrilla Warfare; Samuel Griffith translation. Mao is, in most circles, considered the quintessential resource on successful guerrilla operations. While, like much Oriental literature, it can talk around a subject in a very obtuse manner, it’s worth reading several times, slowly, and contemplating what he is saying, to fully grasp the understanding.
Howarth, David; We Die Alone; This is the story of a single operator escaping and evading Nazi forces in Norway during WW2. Essential reading for understanding the reality of E&E. It’s not some Hollywood adventure epic.
Howe, Paul MSG; Training for the Fight, and The Tactical Trainer; MSG Howe was a SFOD-D gunslinger. He’s a horrendous writer, God bless him, and needs a seriously talented editor. That having been said, despite my background, and having attended many of the same schools, I managed to learn quite a bit from both of these books. There is now a second edition of Training For the Fight available, that combines both titles into one volume and is readily available through mainstream booksellers like Barnes and Nobles.
Lundin, Cody; 98.6 Degrees, and When All Hell Breaks Loose; A long-haired, back-to-nature kind of guy, it’s pretty apparent that Lundin knows his shit. I’ve taught these skills, in different venues, and I don’t disagree with anything the guy says. I really appreciate the humorous, irreverent attitude he takes, even though I probably couldn’t pull it off. Essential reading for the time you need to dump everything and hit the tree line on the run, with nothing but a pocket knife.
Anderson, Steve; Refinement and Repetition: Dry Fire Drills for Dramatic Improvement; A book of dry-fire pistol training drills, written for the gamer crowd, this is nevertheless, a spectacular book on developing fundamental shooting skill with dry-fire.
Seeklander, Michael Ross; Your Competition Handgun Training Program; Mike is a close friend of some close friends of mine. He is a spectacularly good coach, by all accounts. I also like that he uses the same “end goal, performing goals, enabling goals” model that I was taught. It’s also focused on gaming pistol craft, but again, it will do a lot for improving your shooting abilities. It’s also easy to modify his program for your carbine/rifle.
Mike has two other books in this series, Your Defensive Handgun Training Program and Your Defensive Carbine Training Program. Don’t bother. Stick with the first one.
Starr, Bill; The Strongest Shall Survive; Bill was one of the first professional strength and conditioning coaches in the NFL (if not THE first). He focuses on multi-joint, compound movement strength training exercises; the kind that builds the strength you want to win fights. This, and Rippetoe’s book are my primary references when I develop strength training programs for people.
Gallagher, Marty; The Purposeful Primitive; Gallagher is the same kind of power-lifting/O-lifting advocate as Rippetoe and Starr. This is an interesting compilation of articles on legendary stars of the strength game and how they train. (Once, watching another special operations unit perform CQC, I saw an operator enter the room, following the breach, and have his MP5SD malfunction. With a “bad guy” role player directly in front of him, on the other side of a couch, I watched said operator hurl the couch at the BG—one-handed! The couch hit the role-player so hard, it knocked him out, as his head got bounced off the wall. I’m a BIG advocate of serious strength for combat. It certainly seldom hurts.)

Rippetoe, Mark; Starting Strength; This is THE quintessential beginner’s guide to getting seriously strong in a hurry. Focusing on developing proper form on the most important, multiple-joint, compound movement exercises of strength training, and solid exercise programming, you will NOT go wrong following the strength training advice of Rip.


Wendler, Jim; Beyond 531; This is basically the second edition of Jim’s popular 531 strength training program. While I disagree with his thoughts on conditioning/cardio, because of different athletic focus, this is arguably the single best intermediate/advanced strength training program for all-around and tactical athletes.

Stanford, Andy; Combat Rifle Marksmanship Exercises and Surgical Speed Shooting; I’m 100% sold on the “Modern Isosceles” pistol shooting method. Stanford’s Surgical Speed Shooting is the reference I hand to people when I am trying to describe the value and benefits to die-hard Weaver Stance advocates. I don’t agree with the value of all the exercises in CRME, but I do use some of them. If I didn’t have the background and experience I do, I feel confident that training the drills in this book would put me light years beyond most gun owners, including military and law-enforcement veterans.
STP 31-18-SM-TG Soldier’s Manual and Trainer’s Guide, MOS 18, Special Forces Common Tasks; This is the “bible” of individual skills training for all SF soldiers. While not all the skills will apply to the actual guerrilla, developing the useful ones will go a long way towards making you an effective guerrilla/unconventional warfare fighter. I doubt you’ll find a copy, since it’s a restricted document. I happened to keep mine when I ETS’d.
FM3-05.222 Special Forces Sniper Training and Employment; I got my hard copy from a buddy who is still at Group. I’ve since found that this is—strangely—pretty commonly available online in PDF form. I say strangely, since it’s also a restricted document. Apparently, someone didn’t appreciate OPSEC. Bad on them, good for you, right?
FM21-75 Scouting, Patrolling, and Sniping, 1944; My father picked up this hard copy somewhere, several decades ago. Initially, I held on to it because I kind of aspire to collecting old books. I think in some ways however, these older tactical manuals will have more value for inexperienced guerrillas. They were written for draftees, not professional soldiers, so they are much more plainly written. I’ve also found this one available as a PDF recently, as I was looking for downloadable resources I can point right-minded people towards.
Chittum, Thomas; Civil War Two: The Coming Break-Up of America; While I don’t agree with Chittum that Balkanization will be strictly along racial lines, I do think he gets a lot of the ideas right. I don’t see all other ethnic groups as my enemy, any more than I expect a Black man to see me as his enemy solely on account of my race. Unfortunately, too many people in influential positions are busy leveraging this bullshit into creating fractures in the social network.
Wade, Paul; Convict Conditioning; A look at serious, bodyweight-only strength conditioning, as opposed to the typical calisthenics bullshit. Good shit for the guerrilla who won’t have ready access to a weight room. While it’s certainly not the equal of a solid iron-game based strength training program, it’s far superior to the old-school calisthenics for building endurance type of PT program.
FM3-25.150 Combatives; The Army’s combative doctrine. A well-written manual on utilizing grappling-based combatives system, and a training program. SFC Matt Larsen, the primary author, was one of my instructors at RIP. I remember him being a seriously scary dude. Available on-line in PDF form.
Lamb, Kyle, SGM; Green Eyes, Black Rifles and Stay in the Fight! A former SFOD-D shooter as well, SGM Lamb currently owns Viking Tactics. While I don’t agree with the focus on 25M and closer CQM that USASOC has, at least for the guerrilla, these are spectacular beginner references. We need to be able to shoot BETTER than Federal forces, so we need to master these skills, but at a more extreme level. Study these manuals and check out the SGM’s YouTube channel for specific drills. Then, practice the drills at longer distances (out to 50 meters is my standard).
Poole, H. John; Tactics of the Crescent Moon, The Last Hundred Yards, and The Tiger’s Way; While Poole is, in some circles, considered persona non grata within the special operations community and the conventional force as well, this is unfortunate, since the man has a lot of value to add to the conversation. While he has a disturbingly gay fascination with the “ninja” mythology, I can overlook his apparent love of bad 1980s action movies. Poole does a good job at pointing out not only the tactical lessons that are to be learned from the enemy, but also ways to improve the training of western forces. His belief that the U.S. military lacks any true light infantry capability is certainly spot-on in my experience. When we’ve got “light infantry” guys packing 120-130 lbs loads up the mountains, trying to chase down experienced mountain guerrillas who are carrying twenty pounds, at the maximum, we need to seriously re-think the fieldcraft we are teaching (actually, we don’t really teach fieldcraft in the conventional force anymore, do we….?)

Diaz, David; Tracking: Signs of Man, Signs of Hope; Written by a former SF soldier, who is a little bit of a legend in some SF circles for his tracking abilities, this is one of two absolute, must-have manuals on tracking that should be in the library of every UW student-practitioner.

Kearney, Jack; Tracking: A Blueprint for Learning How; Kearney was a Border Patrol agent for decades, and is THE godfather of USBP tracking. This is THE first book on tracking skills development that the UW S-P should have on his shelf. More importantly, between this and Diaz’s book, if you actually get off your ass and go practice it, and LEARN the material, you will end up as a damned good journeyman man-tracker, at the least.

Hurth, John; Combat Tracking Guide; Written by another former SF soldier, from 1SFG(A), president of TYR Tactical. A solid manual not only on learning to man-track, but the tactical implications of the task, as well as battle drills and collective skills training issues specific to Tactical Tracking. Highly recommended and should definitely be on the top of the list. Additionally, for those of you on FB, he puts out a lot of instructional material on his company FB page.


  1. Castor Pollux permalink

    The series from “The Resister” of reprints from British Home Guard training materials is available at a Yahoo group called ThePartisanResister. They are still under copyright, for private use only.

    Given the current situation, the one covering the defense of houses might be worth reading.

  2. Brian permalink

    If you’re interested in learning to track you could look up Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School. Classes are pricey.

    • If you wanted to learn from a fucking douchecanoe fraud who couldn’t track a muddy dog through a hospital, by all means, attend Brown’s clown school.

      • Mike permalink

        Holy shit that’s funny! You are right in the x ring on that. Tom and his arrogant as fuck son who couldn’t hit anything with a bow but was announced as a “primitively weapons expert” can kiss my ass. Please go find another school for tracking or survival.

      • Brian permalink

        Mike, Guerrilla, if you guys have better recommendations, by all means, please recommend them. My little pat tribe and I were anticipating some high speed low drag training from a member of the SF community, until the Dow farted, he got spooked, then cancelled on us at the last minute. So I made the decision to attend the Tracker school, and despite growing up in the woods of northern Michigan, I did learn a thing or two concerning tracking and wilderness survival. The Marine Corps. didn’t have the Combat Hunter program when I was in, and we lowly grunts were not worthy of all that SS/FR training. We can’t get anyone to come teach us, so I had to make a decision. Being a paramedic, I am limited financially, so I can’t attend a school, decide it sucks, then go off to another school. I can afford to attend about one class a year. I had to do some research and try to make a decision based on what I found. The Tracker School has been around for years. It is established. These other schools that are popping up all over the map are not. I did not want to base my children’s’ survival on a fad, or on the hopes that my tribe would be blessed by an appearance from a super warrior. At the end of the day, I don’t give a shit if Tom or his kid can hit a target. I’m not going to drag my kids to NJ and expect them to provide for my family. I wanted the knowledge, and I got some. Now it is my responsibility to practice these skills and pass them along to my kids. I have plenty more to learn, so again, if you gentlemen have better recommendations please provide them. Tracker School does have some worthy education. One of my instructors was a former Marine Capt. who was involved in the Combat Hunter program. He loved the Tracker School and loved to teach. His goal is to establish a national standard for tracking. He wants to teach law enforcement to track down bad guys here at home, and he wants to teach SAR to find lost kiddies in the woods. As a public servant, if I can track down a five year old who wandered away from home in early spring or late fall and bring him/her home safely, or if my local sheriffs dept. can hunt down some asshole who just killed a family of five, so that my family doesn’t endure the same fate, I think that’s worth spending a little time and money to learn new skills. Now knowing how much education is available to our military nowadays, and the fact that our Marine Capt. from Combat Hunter has made the decision to stay and teach at the Tracker School in NJ, doesn’t that make you wonder if there might be something of value there?

      • MoreSigmasThanYou permalink

        I’m not going to defend Tom Brown’s personality flaws. I will say this: experienced trackers I know who took classes with him may have disliked him personally and questioned the legitimacy of some methods he taught; but they all said he was amazingly good at tracking.

        If you want a technically rigorous and totally non-ego-driven tracking school, I suggest:

        They also sell a tracking book which I’ve read, and can compare to Tom’s book. Compare the free information on both websites first. Then try buying a book, and do tracking exercises on your own. Then if you can decide which school you’re interested in more, go take a course. I’ve done a few tracking courses from the one I recommend, and have never done one from Tom Brown, even though I started learning tracking from one of Tom’s students.

  3. Clay Daniel Jones permalink

    I Concur.If you want to learn tracking go to the best instructor I know of: a Coyote.

  4. joe permalink

    Im not a fan of convict conditioning, too much marketing bs and questionable routines. What would be some other recomended reading on pt? Specifically functional fitness for “prepared citezens”. How would you rate fm 7-22? Or Ross Enamaits stuff? or tactical fitness by stew smith? Its hard to find info on this specific type of fitness ,everythings geared towards pure strength or general fitness.

    • Convict Conditioning is simply limit strength training without weights. There are good insights in it for those that could use the information. The point being, just as mentioned here, you don’t need a whole bunch of shit to get truly strong. It isn’t about met-con, or endurance, but limit strength, period. I good piece of knowledge to have when you need to rehab or during times when time, space, and training gear may be in short supply.

      If you want comprehensive plans with the guesswork removed, go to Rob Shaul at Strong, Swift, Durable aka Mountain Athlete) He has a ridiculously detailed plan for as broad or specific a goal as you might have in mind. My first exposure was his Afghanistan pre-deployment program, and it was murder. If you can’t find what you need on his downloadable programs, then I really don’t know what to tell you. He has a scientific approach and produces real world results.

  5. Jon permalink

    Are there any other US military manuals that should be in ones private library?

  6. Good list; if I may shine a light on another good book (exactly how it is spelled)…

    “The Defence of Duffer’s Drift”.

    It helped me to better appreciate the battle space from perspectives other than my own.

  7. Joe permalink

    Im not sure of the relationship between Max Velocity and John fMosby so my bad if this is a bad question but Whats the general consensus on “Contact” by Max Velocity?

  8. phoenixfire177 permalink

    Just for your SA: your link to “” no longer works.

  9. agentbuzz permalink

    I got a copy of “Highland Folk Ways” by Dr. Grant. Good book, and thank you for recommending it!

  10. Is the following not the same as STP 31-18-SM-TG Soldier’s Manual and Trainer’s Guide, MOS 18, Special Forces Common Tasks?

    STP 31-18-SM-TG Special Forces Common Skills – Skill Levels 3 and 4: Soldier’s Manual and Trainer’s Guide –

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Mosby: Professional Reading | Western Rifle Shooters Association
  2. Professional Reading | Reality Check
  3. Supplementary Materials – 1 June Small Unit Tactics Class | Georgia Force On Force
  4. Material To Be Covered During Upcoming Exams | Western Rifle Shooters Association

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