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It Doesn't Take a Hero [Paperback]

H.Norman Schwarzkopf
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Jan 1920
He set his star by a simple motto: duty, honor,  country. Only rarely does history grant a single  individual the ability, personal charisma, moral  force, and intelligence to command the respect,  admiration, and affection of an entire nation. But such  a man is General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, commander  of the Allied Forces in the Gulf War. Now, in this  refreshingly candid and typically outspoken  autobiography, General Schwarzkopf reviews his  remarkable life and career: the events, the adventures, and  the emotions that molded the character and shaped  the beliefs of this uniquely distinguished  American leader.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 625 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam USA (1 Jan 1920)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553563386
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553563382
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 10.7 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest account from an honest man. 14 Jun 2007
"Cometh the hour, cometh the man" is an adage that was penned for men such as General H. Norman Schwarzkopf.

It is very easy for Englishman to prefer British heroes over those from other countries. Some might say it is even easier for United States citizens to acknowledge the achievements of their own citizens whilst deprecating those of any other nation. Eisenhower, for example, was a great man - but so was Montgomery!

This book, however, is about a man who is not in open comparison to any. He tells an account of his own life which, as others have already stated, is so honest as to be brutally so. How odd that the fickle finger of fate is able to steer any man towards his ultimate destiny. What if Eisenhower (or even Montgomery) had joined the Navy?, what if Norman Schwarzkopf had railed against his father's wishes and "not" joined the US Army?

But they did and I am unable to avoid that cliché which demands that "the rest is history." Having said that, I would suggest General Schwarzkopf's contribution to that history is as great as any man's.

Other reviewers have sought to express their views in their own ways and quite rightly so! Some of those reviews give the reader a quick impression - "it's a great book" and all that, whereas others seek to paraphrase the book and, is so doing give the reader a better impression of what is found within it's pages.

Me, well, for the very first time in a long time, I feel as though I have read a book. Just think about that. Take a moment to look at any of my book reviews, then click on that button which says "see all my reviews" and you will see what I mean. Some of those books are on subjects I feel very passionate about. Some are great books and well worth the 5 star rating given.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read 23 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this cheap on Amazon and read it continuously until finished. Norman S had a very interesting military career culmination in the Gulf War. A very good read about a very interesting character. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hero who affects modesty 4 Dec 2012
The full quote is: "It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle." The quote just about sums-up the way General Schwarzkopf comes over in this appealing autobiography. The impression is of a regular, likeable sort of man who starts out as a fairly ordinary Army infantry officer, but is soon promoted through the ranks and ends up negotiating the cut-and-thrust of military politics in operational commands around the world and in the Pentagon. I enjoyed reading this book and the author's pride and passion in serving his country is obvious. I do not know if he was genuinely a 'great' general, but he is a kind of hero. The only downside of the book is that he writes in the same way that he served: that is to say, he means to toe the line, which after all is how he rose to such a high rank, so don't expect a serious critique or anything too controversial. For the most part, this is just an account of what he did and why he did it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting. 14 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As far as a biography is concerned, I think this is one of the best, not only because he has a very interesting history/life, but also because the book gives us another approach on the wars that mark the 20'th century. It allows people to know a bit better the person behind the general and understand many of its choices and commitments.
I felt something like reading a fictional drama or novel, because there was so many things happening in the beggining of his life that it looks like it really belongs to a movie script, being that rich in episodes.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soldiering as Diplomacy and Caring 6 July 2004
Military leaders often have statues raised to them. Some go on to become U.S. presidents (including Washington, Grant, and Eisenhower). When General H. Norman Schwarzkopf retired from the U.S. Army, there was not even a ceremony -- unless you call getting handed your retirement papers a ceremony. Although that seems ungrateful for a man who led the allied troops so well in Desert Storm, it somehow seems fitting for this man. In this appropriately titled autobiography, It Doesn't Take a Hero, General Schwarzkopf shows himself to be a man focused on the tasks ahead of him as a servant leader rather than as a man searching for a hero's accolade.
Although General Schwarzkopf accomplished a lot, you get the sense from this book that these accomplishments were heavily influenced by a father, also a West Pointer and U.S. general by the same name. From the time he was quite young, his father and mother made it clear that he was to go to West Point. Clearly, being a dutiful, good son was his primary priority throughout his life. While many will excuse any failings in their own lives by having had a dysfunctional family, General Schwarzkopf seemed to roll with the punches. His mother suffered from alcoholism, no doubt influenced by his father's long overseas assignments in Iran.
Two particular elements of his life story particularly affected me. While a young officer, he often encountered older, senior officers who disgusted him with their lack of attention to duty and lying. Rather than fleeing from this corrupt connection, he soldiered on encouraged by good officers who pointed out that the system could only be cleansed by good officers rising to the top.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
Not only a great story of someone who's been there and done stuff, but a great book to read about how and what to do to develop yourself. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Chris Downing
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read.
Well worth reading and an interesting insight to some of the things the US military would prefer nobody knew about.
Published 17 days ago by Mr. Peter Crosland
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
Needed this book for a project. Was good to read, but would not pick it up again. Enjoy . .
Published 3 months ago by Keith Taylord
2.0 out of 5 stars Run of the mill autobiography
Nothing revelatory here about a general who certainly had a very colourful TV image during the 1990-1991 Gulf War. Few insights into his innermost thoughts. Read more
Published on 15 Mar 2012 by Mike Obermaier
5.0 out of 5 stars Schwarzkopf is a great read
This book was very easy to read, thoroughly interesting and a great demonstration for what a leader should be. Read more
Published on 2 Dec 2010 by James C
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good Read
It's a must read book for anyone who studies or have interest in Middle East History. It gives you a very unique insight to Gulf War 1991 and also to how the American Military... Read more
Published on 18 Mar 2010 by Mr. A. ZAKY
5.0 out of 5 stars Study work for the true facts of being a Soldier.
I read this book back when it was first published, I have returned to the pages many times to refresh my thoughts of being a soldier. Read more
Published on 14 Aug 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I liked this book much more than Collin Powell's book. It just seems more honest and less self serving, General Schwartzkopf admits mistakes, and positions he has taken for... Read more
Published on 30 July 1999
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