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Heroes: From Alexander The Great To Mae West [Paperback]

Paul Johnson
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 7.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

16 April 2009

HEROES ranges widely across human experience, achievement and character. The biblical heroes Deborah and Judith appear along with King David and Samson. Mary Queen of Scots is contrasted with Queen Elizabeth I.

There are inspiring national leaders, military geniuses and warrior-queens. On a lighter note, Lady Pamela Berry represents the heroism of the hostess and Jane Carlyle the heroic wife. He ends with three figures who dismantled the Soviet empire: Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II.

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Heroes: From Alexander The Great To Mae West + Modern Times Revised Edition: World from the Twenties to the Nineties (Perennial Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (16 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753825740
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753825747
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 832,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Just as no man is a hero to his valet, so no hero in this potboiler is a paragon of virtue to his ecomiast." (THE TIMES )

"There is no taking Paul Johnson for granted. No matter how many times he has left you gobsmacked he can always do so again." (DAILY TELEGRAPH )

'Paul Johnson's manly prose is a tonic to the mind... he is a hero worth revering.' (SUNDAY EXPRESS Christopher Silvester )

"crisply written... in their directness and clarity , his thoughts are always stimulating to discover. ... puts one more in mind of a hot-cross bun, sweet and seasonable." (THE SPECTATOR ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Heroic men and women from every epoch

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"Just another" beautifully written book from Paul Johnson.

A personal, slowhand, approach backed by Epic Knowledge ... a perfect example of that "offhand genius" style that you see in great masters (in any field) who are fully matured.

It's sort of like watching BB King or Eric Clapton (as old men) play guitar.
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By Darren Simons TOP 500 REVIEWER
In Heroes, Paul Johnson describes the life and contribution of a series of people he has considered to be heroic. Obviously the choice of hero is a personal matter (he's chosen 3 US Presidents: Washington, Lincoln and Reagan yet misses our Franklin Roosevelt completely to my surprise) and Johnson is quick to highlight that this is not intended to be a definitive list of "Biggest Heroes Ever". Each chapter is dedicated to either the hero or in some cases several heroes who it makes sense to consider historically as one (eg. Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II).

There's two things I really liked about this book: firstly it's thought provoking - throughout Johnson continues to try to refine his definition of a hero and has deliberately examined across a broad spectrum of people - warriors, politicians, martyrs, villains. Secondly, I found it educational - his detail of the contribution of Joan of Arc, Nelson, Wellington and Charles de Gaulle were particularly interesting for me as I did not know much of the history before.

However, I do have to raise two negative comments as well: I found some of the writing style to be overly arrogant - at one point in describing the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Johnson suggests that one piece of work was so complicated that anyone who claims to understand it is a liar... for me, what this actually means is the author cannot fathom someone having more knowledge than himself. There's also a little too much of who he met and when... it really didn't interest me - I was far more interested in the detailed research he had done for each mini-biography.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so good as the previous ones 5 Aug 2009
I have become a Paul Johnson enthusiastic reader in the past couple of years. In particular, I enjoyed the Creators and Intellectuals predecessors of this book, but I must say Heroes leaves much to be desired. On occasion it is too British, and the concept of heroism is too many times too much out of the way for me. Still, it is enjoyable, but it comes a distant third.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By L.P.
How can a book claiming to be on heros and written in recent times, fail to include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ?
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