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The Profession Hardcover – 14 Jun 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY) (14 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385528736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385528733
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 3.3 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,238,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Gripping. . . provocative. . . a thinking person's techno-thriller."-"Wall Street Journal"
"'The Profession' is a compelling mix of modern weaponry, modern communications, modern politics and the warrior's ancient ethos of honor and loyalty. It moves quickly and with deadly precision ... This is the modern world taken to its logical and frightening extreme." -" Los Angeles Times"
"Steven Pressfield, in "The Profession," has written a novel of the near future that is as good and in some cases better than anything Tom Clancy ever wrote in his day."
-Mark Whittington, Yahoo!
"Pressfield's military thriller stands out from the crowd by speculating on what the next generation of warfare will be like and then dropping the reader right into the action. Clancy fans should give this a shot." -"Booklist"
"When I read a novel, I want to go someplace, with somebody who's been there. In THE PROFESSION, Pressfield takes us into the heart of combat--and even deeper than heat of the action: he takes us into the soul of the warrior. This is all the more remarkable because the world he leads us into hasn't happened yet--though we see its possibilities, its unfolding reality, all around us. To give us this book, Pressfield went to the places were soldiers and ideologies are colliding, and he sifted the thoughts, motives and skills of the men at the cutting edge of those conflicts. But best of all, for me, is that he seems to have looked into my heart too."
-Randall Wallace, screenwriter of the Academy Award winner "Braveheart
"From owner-operated Apache gunships to "The New York Google Times," THE PROFESSION is chilling because it rhymes just enough with today to make us wonder whether this future "will" be, or only "might" be. Pressfield's trademark lessons in honor and loyalty are here, woven into the classical tradition of the warrior's way. It's a ripping read."
--Nathaniel Fick, author of the NYT bestseller ONE BULLET AWAY, and CEO of the Center for a New American Security
"Pressfield imagines a world in which private military forces have all the power...When the commander of the largest force around decides to take control of the United states, his top commando--Gilbert "Gent" Gentilhomme--opts to wipe out his commander. Pressfield dominates the military thriller genre, and his works are realistic enough that military colleges like West Point assign them." -- "Library Journal
""Pressfield's impressive research shows throughout this novel.... a book that paints an all-too-plausible future in which American outsources its dirtiest jobs."
--"Kirkus Reviews"

"From the Hardcover edition." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Steven Pressfield is the author of "Gates of Fire," "The Legend of Bagger Vance," "Killing Rommel" and "The War of Art." His books are in the curriculum at West Point, Annapolis and the Naval War College, as well as being on the Commandant's Reading List for the Marine Corps. He has an international following for his online series, including 'It's the Tribes, Stupid, ' and 'Writing Wednesdays.' He is a graduate of Duke University and lives in Los Angeles.

"From the Hardcover edition." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'll start by saying I have read two books by Steven Pressfield prior to this one and loved both. Gates Of Fire remains one of my favourite books and regularly encourage others to do the same, and also found Killing Rommel to be a gripping, if rather short, read. I therefore approached The Profession firm in the knowledge that Pressfield would again tell another geat tale of honour, brotherhood and military mayhem that makes the likes of Tom Clancy look like he is playing at it. Let's just say that Pressfield does not disappoint in this futureshock tale of a yet-to-be American Caesar in a world where the dominant forces are no longer national governments but where power rests in the hands of media and oil barons. Everything is here from full-blooded battles, scheming powermongers, deceit, murder and love in a blockbuster that has shades of George Orwell and Joseph Conrad. The military research is very impressive and the sheer scale and chutzpah of the novel will leave you in a spin. I ploughed through this book in less than 48 hours.

So why only 4 stars? Well, the main prlem for me was the military research is just a bit too much. I'm all for a detailed explanation of military tactics and descriptions of action sequences, but Pressfield has once again litters his work (just as he did in Kilig Rommel) with entire paragraphs that amount to little more than lists of military hardware. More than that, his descriptions are peppered with acronyms and serial numbers that mean nothing to a non-military person like me. In short, whole paragraphs are pretty tedious. While not doubting Pressfield has spent a lot of time and energy getting the military details just right, some of his other reserch is simply woeful.
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By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First posted on on 9/06/2012

Another reviewer on has already spotted the several dimensions that this book explores: techno-thriller, military science fiction, a cautionary tale of the future, and, in particular, of America's future more than anything else, but also the personal story of a "lost" soldier who becomes a 21th century mercenary and is torn between what is left of his ideals and his deep sense of loyalty towards his brothers in arms and his commander officer.

The last theme is one that Pressfield has already got us rather used to. You find it in particular in his "Tides of War" and his "The Afghan Campaign". There are even a couple of hints to these pieces of historical fiction in this one, for instance the passing reference to a sergeant named Telamon, from Akadia in the USA - the very same place and name as that of a mercenary solddier that pops up here and there in Pressfiled's novels taking place in Antiquity.

Another familiar element is Pressfield's ability to make the story gripping and ripping, so that, at least at times, it seems almost "real" for the reader, especially for the action and combat scenes. Although, to be honest, I am no soldier, so I could probably not tell to what extent the story is plausible anyway, the way the operations are presented correspond to what I would imagine them to be like.

What is more original for Pressfield, is the story which takes place in 2032, with numerous "flash-backs" of events that have taken place since 2016. The period has seen the rise of Private Military Companies (PMCs) - mercenaries in other words - to the extent that these - and one of them in particular - have become a major force capable of fielding tens of thousands of soldiers.
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Format: Kindle Edition
For those of you like me, who thought the "Gates of Fire" was one of the best historical novels ever written and that "Killing Rommel" was a cracking good read, you might be a little disappointed with the latest Pressfield novel.

The book portrays a vision of the future as a mixture of big oil companies, politics and small mercenary armies. So far so good, but then the main protagonist takes it upon himself to explain to the reader, in 'long-hand', who those power brokers are and how the world has, and continues to change under their political and military influence.

I don't do this often but I gave up on this book three quarters of the way through. In short, I found the book dull. The characters are two dimensional, you just don't care about them, there's no suspense and no thrills. It's more akin to a well researched governmental report on future global power players that the author has struggled to translate into an entertaining novel. Lots of American patriotism, lots of merged companies (Fox/BBC ...), lots of military acronyms, but just no soul.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like the other reviewers, I have absolutely loved previous works by Mr Pressfield, Gates of fire is, for me, the best in the genre. However, this book is a bit of a leap forward by the author to the near future, set in both the USA and middle east. It centres round the assumption that in future, wars will be paid for directly by the oil companies. I think that the book starts well, and has some decent characters. the main protagonist is interesting as is his mentor and god, the general. The problem with the book for me was that the story just doesn't flow that well. while liking the lead, you never actually love or care for him that much and that is what, in my opinion, Mr Pressfield does best, making you will on his heroes to either victory or a glorious death. Still worth a read, and still a good book for his fans, but I hope next time we can see Mr Pressfield going back to the past and return to what he does best!
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