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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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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

4.2 out of 5 stars 196 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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!

Chandragupta Maurya
An Indian warlord who commanded an army of drunken war elephants and employed an elite detachment of highly trained female bodyguards

Peter Francisco
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

Bhanbhagta Gurung
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.

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Product Details

  • Series: Badass Series
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061749443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061749445
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (196 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richard D. Holschen on November 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Warning: this book will suck the estrogen right out of you. I would say it was the chronicles of manliness but some of the people covered are women who are apparently more manly than I can ever hope to be. My pregnant wife read this book and the baby spontaneously turned from a girl to a boy. Just sayin'.

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!
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Attention Universe: BADASS: A relentless onlaught of the toughest warlords, vikings, samurai, pirates, gunfighters and military commanders to ever live is the greatest work of literature in the history of the written word.

#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.

[...]
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This book (as well as the others by Ben Thompson) are that amazing combination of history, excitement, swearing, and general awesomeness that makes my 6th grader UNABLE to put the book down. Talk about getting a kid to LOVE reading... holy smokes. Our copies of Ben's earlier books are all ratty (and one has lost its cover) because my son has read them so many times. This book arrived TODAY and he's already nearly finished it. This is a page turner and super fun to read. Plus it's packed with real history - the short stories about real battles get my kid interested and then he's off doing more research on the same topics. What a way to encourage reading!

There is a bit of swearing in the book (and some rude jokes - mostly involving crushed testicles, etc), but nothing super offensive. I think it's perfect for middle schoolers and up. (And also for adults - my husband and I both love these books!) Ben has done a nice job of having a mixture of people in history, so there are badass females too. I appreciate him giving equal badass opportunities!

All in all, this is a super fun book to read. This is the perfect book for "reluctant readers" who may find most books dull. THIS BOOK IS NOT BORING!! :) Our whole family loves it. Lots of excitement, lots of humor, lots of history.
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I love reading history books, as long as they were not approved by the Texas Board of Education(because then they aren't worth a damn, apparently). However, I understand that not everyone shares my love of historical events. A lot of history books are pretty dry, at best. At worst, they are downright boring. This is not that kind of a book. This is one of the coolest history books I've ever read. I had originally bought it for my nephew, but once I actually started perusing the pages I realized that his mother would have a massive coronary if she saw the language. Even if said language adds to the ambience.

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.
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By TaeKwonDodo on November 15, 2009
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I love this book and the website! It is a great mix of real life and screen/literary badasses, told in a very entertaining, lively fashion. The style is such that you actually feel like the author is sitting in the room with you, telling the story and acting it out at the same time. Some of the real life historical people he mentions are seriously badass, performing such incredible acts of crazy courage that it seems foolhardy, and only sheer luck allowed them to be remembered as heroes and not fools. The website is a must - lots more stories and some are expanded over the book (one personal fave - Voytek the soldier bear). Can't wait for a volume 2!
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