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Air Force chief of staff releases 2012 reading List

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force chief of staff announced his latest professional reading list Jan. 6.

In a letter to all Air Force personnel, Gen. Norton Schwartz said today's Airmen are among the military's best educated and most inquisitive.

"We Airmen are innovators because we embrace the word 'why' and mine it for better, smarter ways to operate," Schwartz said.

The Air Force's history is full of examples of Airmen who have embodied this attitude, facing daunting challenges with little more than their minds and fortitude, the general said.

"Their experiences are one of the cornerstones of the 2012 Reading List," Schwartz said.

This year's list contains 13 books and, for the first time, supplementary films, treatises and Internet-based resources. Schwartz will highlight these books throughout the year, and for the first quarter recommends these three:

"Airpower for Strategic Effect," by Colin Gray, provides a critical, strategic history of airpower as well as a new general theory.

"Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption," by Laura Hillenbrand, is the inspiring true story of a man who lived through a series of almost too incredible catastrophes.

Finally, "Start with Why," by Simon Sinek, looks at the leaders who have had the greatest influence in the world and describes how they all think, act and communicate in the exact same way, something the author calls "The Golden Circle."

The other books in this year's reading list are:

"The Forever War," by Dexter Filkins

"Paradise Beneath Her Feet," by Isobel Coleman

"The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution," by Linda Monk

"The Party: The Secret World of China's Communist Rulers," by Richard McGregor

"Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure," by Tim Harford

"Catch-22," by Joseph Heller

"Freedom Flyers: The Tuskegee Airmen of World War II," by J. Todd Moye

"Physics of the Future," by Michio Kaku

"A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War, and the Conquest of the American Continent," by Robert Merry

"The Hunters," by James Salter

More information on the 2012 reading list can be found at