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It Doesn't Take a Hero: The Autobiography: General H. Norman Schwartzkopf

4.7 out of 5 stars 298 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0788151828
ISBN-10: 0788151827
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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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 --This text refers to 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Diane Pub Co (February 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0788151827
  • ISBN-13: 978-0788151828
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (298 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,892,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback
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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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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