The United States Navy’s latest reading list for its sailors does not include any woke books after last year’s list sparked outrage among Republicans who blasted it for spreading ‘anti-American’ ideals.
The Navy’s Professional Reading Program list for 2022 comprises a dozen books mainly focusing on the Navy and military strategy.
Among the books on this year’s list are ‘A Brief Guide to Maritime Strategy’ by James Holmes, ‘China as a 21st Century Naval Power’ by Michael A. McDevitt and ‘Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War.’
That is a marked difference from last year’s list of nearly 50 books, which included the controversial critical race theory tome ‘How to Be an Antiracist’ by Ibram X Kendi, as well as ‘Sexual Minorities and Politics: An Introduction’ by Jason Pierceson and ‘The New Jim Crow’ by Michelle Alexander.
Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday said in a statement that he chose the new books because ‘a learning mindset is essential to accelerating our warfighting advantage.’
‘A Navy that learns, adapts and improves the fastest will be the most successful,’ he noted, adding that ‘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.
Among the books on this year’s Professional Reading Program are ‘A Brief Guide to Maritime Strategy’ by James Holmes and ‘Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War’
Admiral Mike Gilday (pictured) said the books on this year’s list encourage Sailors ‘to have an independent quest for knowledge
Last year’s list, though, was criticized by Republican lawmakers, who argued in letters to Gilday that they promote ‘a radical form of Marxist philosophy’ and ‘reinforce the view that America is a confederation of identity categories of the “oppressed” and their “oppressors.”
They also urged the removal of what the books, which they said could ‘poison’ the military.
The US Navy’s 2022 non-woke reading list
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
The first to speak out against the 2021 list was Rep. Jim Banks, a Republican from Indiana, who sent a letter to Gilday that February specifically taking aim at the inclusion of ‘How to Be an Antiracist.’
He argued in his letter that it was ‘explicitly anti-American’ and called on Gilday to explain the Navy’s decision to include it on the list, FOX News reported at the time.
‘The views promoted in “How to Be an Antiracist are explicitly anti-American,’ Banks, a Naval Reserve Officer and the ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies and Information Systems, wrote in his letter.
‘According to Kendi, America is fundamentally racist, so anti-Americanism is a moral imperative.’
‘In Kendi’s own words, the defining idea behind the book is that “there is no such thing [as] a not racist idea” there are only “racist ideas and antiracist ideas.”
‘Although this sounds harmless, it’s radically opposed to foundational American documents like the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and more recent anti-discrimination protections like the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Banks argued that the ideas expressed in the book are ‘divisive and will undermine morale and weaken our national security.’
He also said he was left ‘flabbergasted’ by the Navy’s decision to officially endorse ‘such a harmful and subversive book’ and called on Gilday to either provide him with a written response explaining how “How to Be an Antiracist” cultivates a culture of warfighting excellence’ or eliminate it from the list.
In the weeks that followed, Republican Reps. Doug Lamborn, of Colorado, and Vicky Hartzler, of Missouri, also wrote their own letter to Gilday.
They argued that the three woke books ‘reinforce the view that America is a confederation of identity categories of the oppressed and their oppressors, rather than a common homeland of individual citizens who are united by common purposes and fidelity to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Constitution.’
And Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, a NAVY SEAL, also tweeted that ‘I can’t believe this is happening in the Navy I love: pushing overtly leftist propaganda on their OFFICIAL reading list, threatening the longstanding tradition of political neutrality.
‘The Chief of Naval Operations needs to correct this,’ he wrote.
Rep. Jim Banks, a Republican from Indiana (pictured in April), slammed last year’s list for its inclusion of ‘How to Be an Antiracist’ by Ibram X Kendi
Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Navy SEAL, also criticized last year’s list on Twitter, saying it pushes ‘overtly leftist propaganda’
But Gilday refused to back down at the time, writing in a March 12, 2021 letter that he would not remove the books from his list because he wants all Navy personnel to achieve the same level of ‘self-reflection,’ FOX News reports.
He said specifically of ‘How to be an Antiracist:’ ‘It evokes the author’s own personal journey in understanding barriers to true inclusion, the deep nuances of racism and racial inequalities.’
Gilday also noted that some of the books on the list were recommended from Task Force One Navy, which he had commissioned ‘to identify and remove racial barriers, improve inclusion efforts, create new opportunities for professional development and eliminate obstacles to enter the Navy.’
‘While I do not endorse every viewpoint of the books on the reading list, I believe exposure to varied ideas improves the critical thinking of our Sailors,’ he said at the time.
‘My commitment to them is to continue to listen, make sure their voice is heard, and make the Navy a shining example of an organization centered on respect, inclusive of all.’