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Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior Hardcover – February 19, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

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The title sums up the percentage of SEAL applicants who actually join the operational teams after surviving the notoriously rigorous selection and training. The author, a former director of basic and advanced SEAL training, makes it clear that Rambo-types need not apply, unless they can match their physical prowess and weaponscraft with their ability to mesh everything they do with their teammates every second of the mission, and most of the rest of the time as well. This is a life-or-death matter and makes running the training almost as stressful as undergoing an actual operation—something that this book makes clearer than ever before, even to the seasoned student of special-ops warriors. --Roland Green


"With all the SEALs' recent successes, we have been getting a level of acclaim we're not used to. But something important has been missing in this warm burst of publicity... Correcting that is my mission here. My own SEAL dream was launched by a book. My hope is that this one teaches lessons that go far beyond the battlefield, inspiring a fresh generation of warriors to carry on that dream."―Lieutenant Commander Rorke Denver

"If you've ever wished you could read the testament of a Jedi knight, here it is. Damn Few takes us inside the mind of a born warrior. LtCdr Denver has trained SEALs and led them in combat. He tells us what it takes to reach the super-elite level, why he does it, what it means to him, what he thinks the future holds. This is timeless stuff, worthy of being read in the era of Caesar, Alexander, Leonidas--or a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away."―Steven Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire and The War of Art

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books (February 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401324797
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401324797
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (464 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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112 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Joan Reeves on February 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Some may wonder why I, a romance novelist, am reviewing Damn Few, a book about training America's elite warriors, the Navy SEALs. That's easy to answer. It's because I am a romance novelist. I write books wherein the male lead is always a hero: a man who does the right thing for the right reasons.

I've read and reviewed quite a few military memoirs. I admire men who put themselves in harm's way for the greater good of their fellow soldiers and their country. Rorke Denver, former head of Basic and Advanced SEAL Training is one of these men. In his book, he shares his own experience as a SEAL and later as the man who directed SEAL Training, as well as his philosophical insights into the mental and emotional makeup of a candidate who successfully completes SEAL training and wins the Trident, the gold pin that is the visible symbol of being a SEAL.

Of all the books I've read about Navy SEALs, this is the first that offers the perspective of an officer who was an active duty SEAL and who was the officer in charge of a SEAL team. Denver shows the hard decisions an officer must make to consider the risk and reward of every operation, to deploy his team effectively, and to know that every decision he makes will affect not only a SEAL in his command but also the wife, children, parents, and siblings waiting stateside for that SEAL to return.

Although not characterized by "war stories" of firefight after firefight, Denver's story has power that comes from the emotion and philosophy he infuses. To be perfectly honest, he had me from the first line of the dedication: "For my wife, my heartbeat." There is not a woman on this earth who would not be affected by such a declaration of love.
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Mike Atkinson on April 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I recently finished reading Damn Few by Rorke Denver. I will admit I am biased as Rorke is a friend, and I have a great deal of respect and admiration for him. I highly recommend his book to anyone interested in the SEAL Teams. The top reason being, of the SEAL author genre, it is singularly unique. It is so because of the sort of person Rorke is. He is the humble, quiet, highly accomplished professional that the vast majority of SEALs are, or at least strive to be. As far as the quiet part of professional goes, I believe Rorke to be the near polar opposite of the rest of SEAL authors. While a handful of the other writers are, like Rorke, exceptionally well regarded in an operational capacity, (Mark Owen), it's no surprise that many others decided to write books as they feed outsized egos.

It was an accident of fate and a fortuitous set of circumstances for the Teams that Rorke was selected to work on the Act of Valor project. Rorke and the cast deserve a great deal of credit for making what is going to be the seminal SEAL recruitment device for the next decade.

In Damn Few, the reader gets an exceptionally candid look at the Naval Special Warfare Community through the eyes of a well-respected operator and officer. Plus, the reader gets inside the head of a man who continued a mission in print that he started with the movie: to set a shining example to those who will come after him.

I hope that Damn Few becomes Act of Valor`s literary equivalent for recruitment. Saying that a book is the sort of quality that will inspire the right sort of men being inspired to become SEALs, is the highest praise that I can give. Read it for yourself and see.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Linda on February 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I chose the Enhanced Edition through IBooks in order that I would get the audio version of the author describing his experience. I also have a hard copy I will treasure.

The book for me was a continuation of a novice's outlook of the true meaning of Act of Valor other than what the word depicts. I had seen the movie and was moved by the authenticity and portrayal of every SEAL. One knew the SEALS were a close brotherhood and the special operations team you wanted in every terrorist act. I lived through the Vietnam era and the world for a period of time at least the United States appeared safe. The landscape changed on 9/11. Each one of us can remember where we were sitting, what we were doing, and how our minds and bodies reacted to the horror and what potentially may happen.

As the reader moves through the chapters of joining the SEALS, feels their bodies in the cold wash of the Pacific with the SEALS, carrying boats above their heads, running obstacle courses designed for machines, it suddenly brings to light the intelligence, the psychology, the finite details of planning every facet of becoming a seal. It defines the small number in this special breed of warriors.

The master plans designed in missions were so strategic, so detailed, that even a dropped M & M from the target was something a SEAL would never miss. Signs, not words, were just an added language that made their entrance and victory over missions accomplished.

Threaded throughout the stories of being a SEAL, training SEALS, and leading missions were beautiful quotes from past books Rorke read that influenced his life and influences it to this day. They were woven so well one found themselves in his boots in raw sewage thinking of Winston Churchill and that defined this Warrior.
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