Speed Reads

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John Kelly reads a depressing 1936 novel to remind himself how not to be a leader

Some people re-read books because they like those books. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly apparently re-reads books as a grave warning to himself, The Wall Street Journal reports:

Soon after accepting the chief of staff position, Mr. Kelly picked up C.S. Forester's novel, The General. The 1936 novel chronicles a British officer's rise through the ranks until finally his mediocrity catches up with him and he causes thousands of men to be unnecessarily killed. Mr. Kelly had also read it six months ago when he was given the job of Homeland Security secretary, and before taking top command posts as a Marine general — as a reminder of what to avoid as a leader. [The Wall Street Journal]

The book might hit especially close to home, too: "Everyone in the White House likes referring to [Kelly] as 'General,'" said former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). Read more about how Kelly is adjusting to the White House, and how the White House is adjusting to Kelly, at The Wall Street Journal.