“His aggressiveness is informed by a personal library that once contained 7,000 books. “I’ll bet I read about 90 percent of them,” he said. “I wouldn’t claim I read all of them, but by and large, yeah. I don’t get a book unless I’m going to read it.”
And underline it, as he did with his copy of “The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius,” the Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher. “I would carry copies of this in my rucksack when I was overseas,” he explained.
From “Meditations of Marcus Aurelius”:
“Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil.”
– Interview with General James Mattis
Financial Times, September 2019.