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It Doesn't Take a Hero Paperback – 1 Jan 1920


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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: 10.7 x 3.6 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 269,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ned Middleton HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 14 Jun 2007
Format: Unbound
"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 By Mr. David Newton on 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 By T. T. Rogers on 4 Dec 2012
Format: Hardcover
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 By Ricardo D C Santos on 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris Downing TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 April 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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. Try reading "So Good They Can't Ignore You" alongside this book. You'll see things differently afterwards.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 July 2004
Format: Paperback
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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