The Profession

The Profession

4.1 21
by Steven Pressfield, Toby Leonard Moore

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The “master storyteller” (Publishers Weekly) and bestselling author of Gates of Fire, The Afghan Campaign, and Killing Rommel returns with a stunning, chillingly plausible near-future thriller about the rise of a privately financed and global military industrial complex.
The year is 2032. The third Iran-IraqSee more details below


The “master storyteller” (Publishers Weekly) and bestselling author of Gates of Fire, The Afghan Campaign, and Killing Rommel returns with a stunning, chillingly plausible near-future thriller about the rise of a privately financed and global military industrial complex.
The year is 2032. The third Iran-Iraq war is over; the 11/11 dirty bomb attack on the port of Long Beach, California is receding into memory; Saudi Arabia has recently quelled a coup; Russians and Turks are clashing in the Caspian Basin; Iranian armored units, supported by the satellite and drone power of their Chinese allies, have emerged from their enclaves in Tehran and are sweeping south attempting to recapture the resource rich territory that had been stolen from them, in their view, by Lukoil, BP, and ExxonMobil and their privately-funded armies. Everywhere military force is for hire.  Oil companies, multi-national corporations and banks employ powerful, cutting-edge mercenary armies to control global chaos and protect their riches.  Even nation states enlist mercenary forces to suppress internal insurrections, hunt terrorists, and do the black bag jobs necessary to maintain the new New World Order.
Force Insertion is the world's merc monopoly. Its leader is the disgraced former United States Marine General James Salter, stripped of his command by the president for nuclear saber-rattling with the Chinese and banished to the Far East.  A grandmaster military and political strategist, Salter deftly seizes huge oil and gas fields, ultimately making himself the most powerful man in the world.  Salter's endgame is to take vengeance on those responsible for his exile and then come Commander in Chief. The only man who can stop him is the novel's narrator, Gilbert "Gent" Gentilhomme, Salter's most loyal foot soldier and as close to him as the son Salter lost. As this action-jammed, lightning fast, and brutally realistic novel builds to its heart-stopping climax Gent launches his personally and professionally most desperate mission: to take out his mentor and save the United States from self destruction.
Infused by a staggering breadth of research in military tactics and steeped in the timeless themes of the honor and valor of men at war that distinguish all of Pressfield’s fiction, The Profession is that rare novel that informs and challenges the reader almost as much as it entertains.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in 2032, Pressfield's entertaining, thought-provoking thriller looks at an America past its apogee of moral power as it continues to face opponents whose barbarism threatens to make civilized conduct impossible. Old soldier James Salter, a Marine general fired because he dared to stand up for the people of a failed African state against the wishes of U.S. diplomats, refuses to fade away. Instead, Salter becomes the field commander of Force Insertion, a mercenary outfit that makes Blackwater look like mall rent-a-cops. Based in the Middle East, Salter wields the world's ninth largest (and perhaps best trained) army and the fifth largest economy. The old power structure maneuvers to neutralize Salter, but the American people—and his own troops—"think it's about time we had an American commander who wasn't afraid to kick the world in the ass." Evoking Roman history, in particular the friction between republic and empire, Pressfield (Gates of Fire) draws uncomfortable conclusions about the United States' current plight. (June)
From the Publisher
"Gripping. . . provocative. . . a thinking person's techno-thriller."-Wall Street Journal

"'The Profession' is a compelling mix of modern weaponry, modern communications, modern politics and the warrior's ancient ethos of honor and loyalty. It moves quickly and with deadly precision ... This is the modern world taken to its logical and frightening extreme." - Los Angeles Times

"Steven Pressfield, in "The Profession", has written a novel of the near future that is as good and in some cases better than anything Tom Clancy ever wrote in his day."
-Mark Whittington, Yahoo!

"Pressfield’s military thriller stands out from the crowd by speculating on what the next generation of warfare will be like and then dropping the reader right into the action. Clancy fans should give this a shot." -Booklist

"When I read a novel, I want to go someplace, with somebody who's been there.  In THE PROFESSION, Pressfield takes us into the heart of combat—and even deeper than heat of the action: he takes us into the soul of the warrior. This is all the more remarkable because the world he leads us into hasn't happened yet—though we see its possibilities, its unfolding reality, all around us. To give us this book, Pressfield went to the places were soldiers and ideologies are colliding, and he sifted the thoughts, motives and skills of the men at the cutting edge of those conflicts. But best of all, for me, is that he seems to have looked into my heart too."
–Randall Wallace, screenwriter of the Academy Award winner Braveheart

“From owner-operated Apache gunships to The New York Google Times, THE PROFESSION is chilling because it rhymes just enough with today to make us wonder whether this future will be, or only might be. Pressfield's trademark lessons in honor and loyalty are here, woven into the classical tradition of the warrior's way. It's a ripping read.”
Nathaniel Fick, author of the NYT bestseller ONE BULLET AWAY, and CEO of the Center for a New American Security

“Pressfield imagines a world in which private military forces have all the power…When the commander of the largest force around decides to take control of the United states, his top commando—Gilbert “Gent” Gentilhomme—opts to wipe out his commander. Pressfield dominates the military thriller genre, and his works are realistic enough that military colleges like West Point assign them." Library Journal

"Pressfield's impressive research shows throughout this novel.... a book that paints an all-too-plausible future in which American outsources its dirtiest jobs."
Kirkus Reviews

From the Hardcover edition.

Library Journal
Pressfield made his name with novels about ancient Greece (Gates of Fire), then wrote about World War II in Killing Rommel. Now he writes of war in the near future. It is 2032, and the United States no longer has a military presence in the Middle East. It is up to large, well-equipped mercenary armies to maintain a fragile peace. A new war between Iran and Iraq explodes, and the world's economies collapse. There is fear that a fundamentalist Islamic regime will take over the region. Disgraced Marine general James Salter commands a large and devoted mercenary army. He has his own agenda as he takes on his enemies and attempts to redeem himself. VERDICT Some might think that the premise of mercenary armies is a little over-the-top, but is it? This military thriller is thought-provoking and unrelentingly grim. It is filled with multiple treacheries and brutal, depraved, and even barbaric actions from some who allege to be our friends. Purchase for demand. [See Prepub Alert, 12/6/10.]—Robert Conroy, Warren, MI
Kirkus Reviews

This military thriller, which begins in 2032, concerns "Gent" Gentilhomme, a mercenary whose honor and bravery are severely tested.

America contracts its overseas combat to Force Insertion, the "military-contracting superfirm" run by James Salter, an ex-General who has the love and loyalty of men like Gent. A conventional military still operates America's aircraft, drones and satellites, but "the dirt belongs to the mercs." At issue—aside from oil—are the mutual respect and growing conflict between Salter and Gent as their diverging values become evident. Is there an "intersection of Necessity and Free Will," as Salter believes? Is there a line a mercenary cannot cross, as Gent believes? Can America's democracy continue to exist without gasoline costing $40 per gallon? These are fundamental questions in this dystopian thriller. Though a mercenary, Gent is a loyal American who wants to do right by his country. Powerful interests take exception to his actions, so he faces towering and mortal odds. Meanwhile, the men are tough and the women, including Gent's journalist wife, are sexy and tough. She has her own agenda, which is to write a story about Force Insertion with or without Gent's help. It's a recipe for marital strain. Pressfield's impressive research shows throughout this novel, whether in describing weapons systems and military transports or in placing the reader inside Dubai's 2,800-foot-tall Burj Khalifa. References to consolidated news firms such as Trump/CNN convey a sense of the not-too-distant future.

A book that paints an all-too-plausible future in which America outsources its dirtiest jobs. Let's hope Pressfield's research tools didn't include a crystal ball.

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Product Details

Recorded Books, LLC
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Meet the Author

Steven Pressfield is the author of Gates of Fire, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Killing Rommel and The War of Art.  His books are in the curriculum at West Point, Annapolis and the Naval War College, as well as being on the Commandant's Reading List for the Marine Corps. He has an international following for his online series, including 'It's the Tribes, Stupid,' and 'Writing Wednesdays.' He is a graduate of Duke University and lives in Los Angeles.

From the Hardcover edition.

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