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Badass: A Relentless Onslaught of the Toughest Warlords, Vikings, Samurai, Pirates, Gunfighters, and Military Commanders to Ever Live (Badass Series) Paperback – October 27, 2009
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From the Back Cover
An unstoppable collection of the most hardcore figures who ever strapped on chain mail and ran screaming into battle
Throughout history—from the bone-crushing age of antiquity to the sack-tearing modern era—there have been larger-than-life ass-kickers with a natural talent for unleashing their epic bloodlust on anyone who crossed them. They built empires, smashed armies, and ravaged civilizations for wealth, glory, and ultimate supremacy. Sometimes villains, sometimes heroes, sometimes criminally insane, they had one thing in common: They were all . . . Badass!
An Indian warlord who commanded an army of drunken war elephants and employed an elite detachment of highly trained female bodyguards
An unsung hero of the American Revolution, this powerful giant battled the British with a massive five-foot-long broadsword
Wolf the Quarrelsome
A mysterious barbarian leader who only appears in history twice—and both times he's kicking someone's ass
A fearless Gurkha who won the Victoria Cross by clearing out six Japanese foxholes with nothing more than grenades, a bayonet, and a knife
From Alexander the Great to George S. Patton, from Genghis Khan to Bruce Lee, this pantheon of ass-kicking awesomeness should inspire you to quit your stupid job and dive headfirst into a new career as a professional badass.
About the Author
Ben Thompson has run the warhammer of a website badassoftheweek.com since 2004, and has written humorous history-related columns for outlets such as Cracked, Fangoria, Penthouse, and the American Mustache Institute. Even though he's never flown a jetpack over the Atlantic Ocean or punched someone so hard that his head exploded, he is considered by many to be the world's foremost expert on badassitude. He is the author of Badass and Badass: The Birth of a Legend.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The writing style is humorous and light, but admittedly it sometimes borders on juvenile. There are obvious embellishments (I've never actually seen someone crushed under the weight of testicles, but there are things on earth I haven't seen). However, I give the writing style a thumbs up because the author presented a lot of good history in a form that would even keep the attention of a 13 year old boy.
The author does have an odd fetish with faces. He mentioned "face" 105 times in the book, mainly accompanying words like "crush", "stab", or "burn." Oorah!
#1: BADASS is very, very good. So good, it is as though Odin himself reached into Valhalla, chose the 40 best heros of history and penned their history into this wonderfully illustrated tome.
#2: After I purchased BADASS, I opened the book to the Library of Congress page. I was immediately slapped in the face by the sheer awesomeness of it. I was transported through history and witnessed, FIRST HAND, the amazing exploits of the legendary historic characters. Once I regained consciousness I actually read it.
#3: This book is so funny that I laughed until my nose bled. I got blood on the pages of the book (it seemed appropriate), but the blood was absorbed by the pages. I think the book was feeding on it.
#4: The information in this book is all historically accurate. And I should know. I work at a university.
The author, Ben Thompson, runs a site called [...]. He searches the history books for badasses. Not all of the badasses are men, nor are they all from the 20th century, which is refreshing. Thompson relates the stories with gusto, like a teenaged/college aged boy would describe a videogame boss fight to his friends--and this generates interest. The stories of these people maintain that interest. The humor seals the deal. There may be a bit of 'embellishment' in relating the stories, but this doesn't detract in the least. And each chapter is only at most five pages long--perfect for a short attention span or when you only have a minute here or there to read. So of course, I read the whole thing in a couple of hours, with a pause here and there.
This might be a good book for a person who doesn't read a lot to improve their reading skills with a high interest book. It would be perfect for a reader who has trouble with maintaining attention when reading. In short, this is a perfect book to encourage reading in older teenaged boys. The language is really the only thing I think that a parent might take issue with, but since the profanity is a part of the schtick and not specifically gratuitous, I wouldn't have a problem if my 15 year old decided to read it.
Though I should have known from the title, the rhetorical style of the author is something akin to a fourteen-year-old comic book nerd who has learned a few words of how “real men” talk and parrots them ad nauseam in attempt at Spike TV-type “manliness”. A few pages in, it becomes extremely tiresome, and it is sustained throughout the books 300+ pages, for the most part. I bought the book as a review of some interesting figures in history—and it does contain interesting figures—including some of my heroes like Miyamoto Musashi, Khalid bin Waleed, and Bruce Lee. But one cannot help wondering if it is an extended satirical piece mocking those who would worship testosterone. Sadly, it seems to have been written in earnest with an attempt at humor. It rarely is successful in its attempts. Crassness is not the same as humor.
Unfortunately, the majority of his history is nothing but the shallowest of readings in unquestioning military propaganda where the ideological bias of the author is very much in evidence. For me, a clear indication of the author’s truly retarded vision of history is when he calls the Civil War, the “American Civil War of Northern Aggression Between the States” (234).
Annoying misusage of an important term: He misuses even common contemporary terms like “chicana”, applying it to indigenous (or mestizo?—it is unclear who he generally refers to) women during the time of the conquistadors in Central America, while the terms “Chicano” and “Chicana” apply only to Mexican Americans.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this book! I learned about so many straight-up badass mofos from history (some I didn't even know about! Read morePublished 22 days ago by D.M.C.
Bought this for my bf's dad after i got it for my father who LOVED it. Great writing, the voice of the author feels like a guy telling the stories to his friends at a bar.Published 2 months ago by Laura Velarde
On page 25 of this truly relentless onslaught, which is as far as I got before throwing it away, the author makes the statement , "He was obviously a little more eloquent than... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Todd A. Clark
Came in perfect condition in good speed. Very interesting and easy reading level.Published 5 months ago by S. Blank
Badass is a kickass collection of tiny biographies of historical figures from Leonidas of the 300 to the pirate Anne Bonny to the Western legend called Bass Reeves concluding with... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Bill Williams
Even though many Americans love barbequing and watching fireworks on Independence Day, they find the actual history of how we achieved our independence from Britain boring. Read morePublished 7 months ago by T. Henkle
Repetitively written, this one joke pony beats that one pony to death throughout, using misplaced modern similes to jack worthy historical figures and make them into caricatures. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Eidetic Reader