It Doesn't Take a Hero: The Autobiography

( 19 )

Overview

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 ...

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It Doesn't Take a Hero: The Autobiography

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553563382
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/1993
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 640
  • Sales rank: 173,587
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2003

    Insightful

    A must read for anyone who really wants to understand the inner workings of the Gulf War. General Schwarzkopf provides a hands on insight to the struggles that a commander must face. It is a excellent read on the life of a truly great American hero. Many have been quick to criticize the Gulf War command, but upon reading this book they will learn Schwarzkopf knew of all the elements of their criticizim and made his judgments based on the saftey of his soldiers not for the history books. The book provides the best look at the Gulf War and of being a commander that I have read. It is a must read for anyone who wants the real story about the Gulf War and what it means to be a real military hero. The General is a great commander and an inspiration to everyone. I give the book five stars, which Schwarzkopf deserved.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2001

    Inspiring

    A fascinating life that leaves a legacy of service & sacrifice. I found it an enjoyable read as well as an inspiring witness for others.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2001

    A leader who really cared for the troops

    Strormin' Norman tackled the logistics of moving a fighting force thousands of miles from home and held together a coalition of countries who weren't the best of friends. He also took a caring stance to the men and women who served under him, treated us with respect and dignity, and looked after us when other leaders would have been looking after themselves. A great auto from a great leader.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2001

    Soldiering as Diplomacy and Caring

    Military leaders often have statues raised to them. Some go on to become U.S. presidents (including Washington, Grant, and Eisenhower). When General H. Norman Schwarzkopf retired from the U.S. Army, there was not even a ceremony -- unless you call getting handed your retirement papers a ceremony. Although that seems ungrateful for a man who led the allied troops so well in Desert Storm, it somehow seems fitting for the man. In this appropriately titled autobiography, It Doesn¿t Take a Hero, General Schwarzkopf shows himself to be a man focused on the tasks ahead of him as a servant leader rather than as a man searching for a hero¿s accolade. Although General Schwarzkopf accomplished a lot, you get the sense from this book that these accomplishments were heavily influenced by a father, also a West Pointer and U.S. general by the same name. From the time he was quite young, his father and mother made it clear that he was to go to West Point. Clearly, being a dutiful, good son was his primary priority throughout his life. While many will excuse any failings in their own lives by having had a dysfunctional family, General Schwarzkopf seemed to roll with the punches. His mother suffered from alcoholism, no doubt influenced by his father¿s long overseas assignments in Iran. Two particular elements of his life story particularly affected me. While a young officer, he often encountered older, senior officers who disgusted him with their lack of attention to duty and lying. Rather than fleeing from this corrupt connection, he soldiered on encouraged by good officers who pointed out that the system could only be cleansed by good officers rising to the top. He also liked virtually nothing about what he saw in the Vietnam War (either in Vietnam or on the home front), and internalized those lessons for running his own combat commands in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. As a result, loss of life was kept to a minimum, the culture of our Saudi hosts was honored, and politics was kept from shortchanging the troops. I had a chance to hear General Schwarzkopf speak a few years ago. I¿ll always remember his advice to the audience about leadership. ¿Be the leader you would like to have.¿ I would rather have that kind of leader than a hero any day. Understanding that General Schwarzkopf had extensive experience in Iran and Europe as a youngster helped me to appreciate how lucky we were to have a talented general who also knew and appreciated Arabs and their culture. If you are like me, you will enjoy his reactions to the first times he was honored with foods that Americans normally don¿t eat. Like a good soldier, he popped them right down. I also appreciate the candor in the book about his own failings and losses of temper, especially. Some autobiographies airbrush out any flaws or blemishes. That¿s essential to the myth of the hero. Showing the realities, on the other hand, legitimately can inspire all of us to overcome our faults to accomplish what needs to be done. I recently read Stephen Ambrose¿s book, Citizen Soldiers, about the battles in northwestern France following D-Day through to the surrender of Germany. I was struck by how much of the top general¿s job involved diplomacy both with politicians and field commanders. I hope that lesson will be remembered as we begin our new task of stopping terrorism, and as we educate the next generation of military leaders. After you read this book, think about a leader in your organization. What lessons from this book would apply to helping that leader? How can you assist that leader in being able to uncover and benefit from those lessons? ¿Be the leader you would like to have.¿ Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2013

    read

    A real John Wayne.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2014

    I would Highly Recommend this one.

    Gen.Norman Schwarzkopf is a modern hero. A graduate of West Point. This lets you get inside of the man who served in Vietnam along with the South Vietnamese and then became the top General in charge of Desert Storm. A real family man. A man of integrity and honor and love of his country.

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  • Posted August 15, 2014

    It doesn't take one, but he is one....

    I'm reading it now (chapter nine). Our careers were roughly parallel and it's easy to relate to his experiences and character. I admired him when he commanded the I Corps at Ft. Lewis and haven't changed my opinion since. A great warrior and servant of the country. Hooah, Tieu Ta.

    SGM, USA, Ret

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