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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest account from an honest man.
"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...
Published on 14 Jun 2007 by Ned Middleton

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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 6 months ago by Keith Taylord


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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
By 
Ned Middleton (British professional underwater photo-journalist & author) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: It Doesn't Take a Hero (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. Others are less than ordinary and not even worth the single star one is required to donate to the charitable cause that best describes that particular offering in print.

Then I find a biography from a retired general who came to prominence during the first Gulf War, the biography of a man who recognised it does not take a hero to order men into battle, the biography of an ordinary bloke who did good, served his country and the cause of freedom well and expects nothing in return.

Buy it. Read it. Only then will you also appreciate what I mean by having "read" a book. There will come a time when you will read it again.

NM
Retired British Army major.
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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
By 
Mr. David Newton "D Newton" (Newcastle, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: It Doesn't Take a Hero (Paperback)
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
By 
T. T. Rogers - See all my reviews
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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
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This review is from: It Doesn't Take a Hero (Paperback)
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
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: It Doesn't Take a Hero (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. He also liked virtually nothing about what he saw in the Vietnam War (either in Vietnam or on the home front), and internalized those lessons for running his own combat commands in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. As a result, loss of life was kept to a minimum, the culture of our Saudi hosts was honored, and politics was kept from shortchanging the troops.
I had a chance to hear General Schwarzkopf speak a few years ago. I'll always remember his advice to the audience about leadership. "Be the leader you would like to have." I would rather have that kind of leader than a hero any day.
Understanding that General Schwarzkopf had extensive experience in Iran and Europe as a youngster helped me to appreciate how lucky we were to have a talented general who also knew and appreciated Arabs and their culture. If you are like me, you will enjoy his reactions to the first times he was honored with foods that Americans normally don't eat. Like a good soldier, he popped them right down.
I also appreciate the candor in the book about his own failings and losses of temper, especially. Some autobiographies airbrush out any flaws or blemishes. That's essential to the myth of the hero. Showing the realities, on the other hand, legitimately can inspire all of us to overcome our faults to accomplish what needs to be done.
I recently read Stephen Ambrose's book, Citizen Soldiers, about the battles in northwestern France following D-Day through to the surrender of Germany. I was struck by how much of the top general's job involved diplomacy both with politicians and field commanders. I hope that lesson will be remembered as we begin our new task of stopping terrorism, and as we educate the next generation of military leaders.
After you read this book, think about a leader in your organization. What lessons from this book would apply to helping that leader? How can you assist that leader in being able to uncover and benefit from those lessons?
"Be the leader you would like to have."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, 18 April 2014
By 
Chris Downing "Chris Downing" (Chippenham, Wilts England) - See all my reviews
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read., 3 April 2014
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Well worth reading and an interesting insight to some of the things the US military would prefer nobody knew about.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one, 10 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: It Doesn't Take a Hero (Paperback)
i red it seven tiems its one of the best books that i ever read. Jonathan Zimmerli Switzerland
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Schwarzkopf is a great read, 2 Dec 2010
This review is from: It Doesn't Take a Hero (Paperback)
This book was very easy to read, thoroughly interesting and a great demonstration for what a leader should be.
The straightforward approach and modest self review makes Schwarzkopf endearing to the reader and the historical coverage from DESERT STORM in 1991 is clear and concise. I read this in conjunction with other commanders from the Gulf and there was nothing of any importance that queried or questioned the content of Schwarzkopf's book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good Read, 18 Mar 2010
By 
Mr. A. ZAKY (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: It Doesn't Take a Hero (Paperback)
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 operates in higher ranks.
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It Doesn't Take a Hero
It Doesn't Take a Hero by H.Norman Schwarzkopf (Paperback - 1 Jan 1920)
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