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The Warrior Ethos Paperback – March 11, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
We all know where bravery and military values come from... but do we REALLY know where they come from? Pressfield deconstructs the Warrior Ethos and puts it's many facets in the context of history. All the usual suspects are there: the Spartans, the Macedonians, the Athenians, etc... this book reads like a collection of essays, but a collection that can be enjoyed individually, or as a whole. I read this book all in one sitting, and was so impressed that I immediately ordered three dead-tree copies for my three Squad Leaders as professional development material.
You don't have to be a Soldier or Marine to learn from the Warrior Ethos, and practice it in your life. This book will put you on the right path to learning not only what is it, but how it came about.
I am a big fan of Victor Davis Hanson, and this book compares well to Hanson's "Carnage and Culture."
I read the book in one sitting and it was phenomenal. The look at warriors and their psychology through history both as warriors, leaders, and humans combined with a look at how those attitudes show up today is nothing short of insightful.
If you are looking for a good place to start, this is it, when are are done with this read Marcus Aurelius Meditations Letters from a Stoic by Senenca Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics) then move on to The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene The 33 Strategies of War (Joost Elffers Books).
A very good read for any leader.
What disappointed the most was Pressfield's work cited page; the book itself is full of quotes or attributed thoughts (which he initially does say he is projecting upon the historical people being discussed) and when I got to the end and perused the citation page, it reads in part "The stories and anecdotes come from the following sources (although the author admits he sometimes can't remember which came from where."
There is no way I would let my high school composition students get away with admitting "I think this is kind of sort of what I read, but I am too lazy to check for sure." It takes away from the essential authority of book.
Good overall, but not authoritative.
This is a different sort of Pressfield book. Unlike the historical fiction genre in which he's written such best-sellers as "Gates of Fire," "The Afghan Campaign, and "The Profession," "The Warrior Ethos" is the culmination of years of discussions Pressfield's been having with Marines and others who were taken with the blend of courage-under-fire and humanity shown by Leonidas, Dienekes, Matthais, Gent, and the other characters in his books.
"I wanted to give something back to our men and women fighting overseas," Pressfield wrote, "so I put together the best anecdotes and stories from all my research about the Spartans, Alexander's Macedonians, the Romans, and Rommel. My goal was to boil down what is the 'warrior ethos' into a short book that can fit into the cargo pocket of utility trousers" he said.
The warrior ethos is a code of conduct, Pressfield writes, that embodies a life where integrity, loyalty, honor, and selflessness, and courage are one's guide.
Starting thousands of years ago with the hunters, these concepts evolved into the warrior societies where protection for the tribe was best achieved as a group working together. The rudimentary laws arising from the successful tribes evolved into the warrior ethos practiced by the Spartans and others where courage, cooperation, and acknowledging the strength of the group over that of the individual, enabled the tribe or the nation to survive.
At that point in history, the ability to fight was of paramount importance, he notes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is filled with great quips from the past! From ancient Athens to Thermopoli and many from Alexander the Great himself, the book is filled with lessons, attitudes and... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Steve Krzyzanowski
LOVE Pressfield, all his books are fabulous, but this one was particularly inspirationalPublished 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
A very useful and attractive read for anyone looking for inspiration and for a "center", specially for people with military service experience - in this case I write from e... Read morePublished 9 days ago by ojuarezs
This is by far one of my favorite books. I look forward to reading it again and again throughout my life.Published 15 days ago by jenny sal
Great book really puts the way a warrior should think or act into perspective and how great warriors are madePublished 16 days ago by Jared H.