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It Doesn't Take a Hero: The Autobiography of General Norman Schwarzkopf [Kindle Edition]

Norman Schwarzkopf
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $2.00 (25%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

He set his star by a simple motto: duty, honor,  country. Only rarely does history grant a single  individual the ability, personal charisma, moral  force, and intelligence to command the respect,  admiration, and affection of an entire nation. But such  a man is General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, commander  of the Allied Forces in the Gulf War. Now, in this  refreshingly candid and typically outspoken  autobiography, General Schwarzkopf reviews his  remarkable life and career: the events, the adventures, and  the emotions that molded the character and shaped  the beliefs of this uniquely distinguished  American leader.

Note: The photo insert is not included in this edition. 

Editorial Reviews


"Remarkably emotional... a gripping  book."--The New York Times Book  Review.

"A fine and lucid book, teeming  with vitality... Schwarzkopf is a compelling  storyteller.--Los Angeles Times.

"A must-read... a riveting reminder that one man  can influence major events."--Detroit  Free Press.

"An excellent book by an  excellent man."--The Wall  Street Journal

From the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

He set his star by a simple motto: duty, honor, country. Only rarely does history grant a single individual the ability, personal charisma, moral force, and intelligence to command the respect, admiration, and affection of an entire nation. But such a man is General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of the Allied Forces in the Gulf War. Now, in this refreshingly candid and typically outspoken autobiography, General Schwarzkopf reviews his remarkable life and career: the events, the adventures, and the emotions that molded the character and shaped the beliefs of this uniquely distinguished American leader.

"Remarkably emotional... a gripping book." -- The New York Times Book Review

"A must-read... a riveting reminder that one man can influence major events." -- Detroit Free Press

Product Details

  • File Size: 6308 KB
  • Print Length: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Bantam Paperback Ed edition (September 22, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0042JSO3U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,888 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A soldiers story... January 1, 2003
"It doesn't take a Hero" is the remarkable story of a remarkable man, the title of which comes from a quote Schwarzkopf gave during an interview with Barbara Walters in 1991; "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."
Schwarzkopf's story is very different from his compatriot, the now Secretary of State, Colin Powell. The two men are of completely different temperaments, and their tales are told in ways that reflect their personalities. Powell's book is rather dry, with the occasional flash of self-depreciatory humor... and you get the feeling that this was included on the advice of his co-author!
"It doesn't take a Hero" is full of blunt, sometimes brutal, soldiers wit; one of the funniest examples concerns a Sergeant who swore relentlessly, and had to tell his assembled troops that they were now being commanded by a Colonel - not Schwarzkopf by the way - who didn't take to profanity in any way, shape, or form. The sergeant lined them up, and cursing with practically every other word, told them to cut out the ... swearing or else! Although this may look terribly contrived, when you read the book, you simply know that it happened, just the way Schwarzkopf says it did.
When you read Powell's story you respect him for what he achieved, mainly his rise from immensely humble origins to high political office, but when you read Schwarzkopf's, you can't help but like the man, warts and all.
As well as the brutal humor, Schwarzkopf is also brutally honest about his home life. He came from a well-to-do middle class family, his father was a West Point graduate, who later led the hunt for the Lindbergh kidnappers, and served President Roosevelt on a special assignment in Iran between the Great Wars.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
One of the things that stood out, and something most probably don't know about Gen. Schwarzkopf, is what a truly interesting life he had. Living all over the world, he absorbed a lot of the culture which certainly helped him later in life, and especially during the Gulf War.
Having been in the military, I was struck at his absolute love and admiration he had for the "grunts" in the field. He loved every one of them....something you don't often see much of.
I lent my copy of this book to my father to read, and have never gotten it back. I only wish I could have gotten a hardcover copy when it first came out. Go ahead...spend the money and read a book which is truly worth reading.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very readable military autobiography January 8, 2003
The book begins with a young Norman Schwarzkopf. As with many autobiographies, there is not a vast amount of childhood memories, but here, enough memories are included to show the influence on a soldier.
From his childhood, Schwarzkopf lived a military life. With all the skills and languages he learned, as well as the cultures he experienced, the reader sees how all these were put to good use in the many duties and functions he has carried out for the United States.
His tale not only covers the events of his life, but the reader also sees how the Army has changed since Vietnam. His perspective provides us with a bit of insight that all non-soldiers should see. Although he uses some military terminology, this book is very easy to understand.
What really struck me was that he left out the names of many people he really disagreed with to prevent attacking them personally. He does mention names when he is giving praise. This, I feel, added a lot of class to my image of the general.
As expected, quite a bit of this book covers the Desert Shield and Desert Storm operations. Also, the book ends rather abruptly after the operations were over.
I would recommend reading this book, and I thank him for sharing this.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, filled with adventure... June 23, 2004
By Harry
This is a great book written like a novel. Norm takes us with him, we feel like we are there reliving his life events. We also get to see the softer side of Stormin Normin, as he nearly punches out a MP in Vietnam who was less than respectful of an asian college. Softer, you ask? Read the rest of the book to see what he gets like when mad. I also liked the part of the book where Norm was talking about the problem with the NVA attacking, then running across the Cambodia border so the USA Army could not attack. One day Norms platoon is attacked and the NVA runs away, so Norm calls another soilder and asks for the map. The other soilder points to Cambodia and says "they crossed the border". Norm takes the map, licks his thumb, and proceeds to erase/smudge the part of the map that shows the border. Norm then says "Nah, they are still in Vietnam, lets go get em".
Just be warned, after reading this book you might feel like going to the local Army recruiting station. It is a great book!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive biography of the general. February 5, 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
H. Norman Schwarkopf provides us with a detailed look at his professional life in this fine book. Schwarzkopf describes his life from his formative years through his entire military career. This look allows the reader to see how his outlook on military operations and strategy developed and how he put forth in action his military philosophy during Desert Storm.
Schwarzkopf candidly reviews the performance of his army and it's officers during the conflict with Iraq. This assessment has got him into hot water with the U.S. military establishment, but for the reader it delivers an outstanding behind the scene look at the operation.
My only complaint about the book is it's editing. Many of the stories, while providing a personal glimpse of Schwarzkopf, could have been omitted and the book still would have had the same effect. But overall, this is an outstanding read and given the current events of 2003, almost a must read for people who want to understand the current conflict with Iraq.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book. Pretty long, but may be necessary to provide details.
Published 7 hours ago by Wendell
4.0 out of 5 stars a fast moving but seemingly detailed account of the building ...
a fast moving but seemingly detailed account of the building of a leader's personality. I'm not all the way through yet but the accounts of his early years and activities in... Read more
Published 13 hours ago by CaptnKrunch
5.0 out of 5 stars thoroughly enjoyed it!
Well written book, thoroughly enjoyed it!!
Published 15 hours ago by Danny Rouen
5.0 out of 5 stars wow what a great read!
Fantastic, informative, and I for one will never look at life in the military or war the same! General Schwarzkopf my son is in the Army and you helped me as his mother, the feel... Read more
Published 1 day ago by S Alexander
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This was a great story of a hero in our time. I found it very interesting and it filled in information of history.
Published 1 day ago by Henry
5.0 out of 5 stars Account of history
Well written account of history. It was interesting to read about the military from an insiders view.
Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the read
Very interesting book when it got to the Gulf war, but I feel he held back when it came to criticizing other's performance. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the read.
Published 2 days ago by Marker
5.0 out of 5 stars A well written description of a competent and successful military ...
A well written description of a competent and successful military career. I suspect that many, if not all, 4 star officers have a similar story, but Gen S. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Thomas G Rumney
5.0 out of 5 stars What it takes to become an outstanding leader
An outstanding book! Well organized, thoroughly researched. Excellent review of the development of Desert Storm. Once I started it, I could not put it down.
Published 4 days ago by Ward W. Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Heros Have Different Roles
Just finished this well written book of a modern military leader and an outstanding American. You will marvel at his management skills and his ability to focus on his objectives. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Packard38
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