Badass: A Relentless Onslaught of the Toughest Warlords, Vikings, Samurai, Pirates, Gunfighters, and Military Commanders to Ever Live

Badass: A Relentless Onslaught of the Toughest Warlords, Vikings, Samurai, Pirates, Gunfighters, and Military Commanders to Ever Live

by Ben Thompson


View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Want it by Wednesday, September 26  Order now and choose Expedited Shipping during checkout.
    Same Day shipping in Manhattan. 
    See Details


Badass: A Relentless Onslaught of the Toughest Warlords, Vikings, Samurai, Pirates, Gunfighters, and Military Commanders to Ever Live by Ben Thompson

The badasses populating the pages of Badass are the most savagely awesome historical figures to ever strap on a pair of chain mail gauntlets and run screaming into battle. Author Ben Thompson—considered by many to be the Internet’s foremost expert on badassitude—has gathered together a rogues’ gallery of butt-stomping rogues, from Julius Caesar and Genghis Khan to Blackbeard, George S. Patton, and Bruce Lee. Their bone-breaking exploits are illustrated by top artist from the fields of gaming, comics, and cards—DC Comics illustrator Matt Haley and Thomas Denmark, illustrator for the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. This is not your boring high school history—this is tough, manly, unrelentingly Badass!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061749445
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/27/2009
Pages: 334
Sales rank: 278,823
Product dimensions: 6.08(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.76(d)

About the Author

Ben Thompson has run the warhammer of a website 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.

Table of Contents

The Bone-Crushing Principles of Complete and Utter Badassitude 1

Section I Antiquity: Destroying your enemies from the beginning of human history to the fall of Rome in 476 CE 7

1 Ramses II 9

Egyptian pharaoh who built an empire through propaganda, war, and giant sculptures of his grimacing face

2 Leonidas 15

His 300 Spartans fought the most famous last stand in history

3 Xenophon 23

Trapped deep behind enemy lines, he led a small band of mercenaries on an epic odyssey worthy of Homer himself

4 Alexander the Great 29

Conquered most of the known world before his thirty-third birthday

5 Chandragupta Maurya 37

Indian warlord who commanded an army of war elephants and an elite detachment of highly trained female bodyguards

6 Liu Ji 47

This impoverished peasant clawed his way from nothing to become the emperor of China's most powerful dynasty

7 Gaius Julius Caesar 55

Rome's most daring general was a military genius who laid the foundation for an empire that would last centuries

8 The Surena 63

Parthian warlord who inflicted, one of the worst defeats the Romans ever suffered

9 Julia Agrippina 69

The cunning black widow of Rome was the real power behind the throne of three emperors

10 Alaric the Bold 77

Ruthless ruler of the Visigoths and the first barbarian king to sack Rome in nearly a millennium

Section II The Middle Ages: Getting medieval on their asses: the fall of Rome to the destruction of Constantinople in 1453 85

11 Khalid bin Walid 87

The "Sword of Allah" crushed the Persian and Byzantine Empires with just a handful of battle-hardened warriors

12 Justinian II 95

Brutal Byzantine emperor who let nothing stand in the way ofhis quest for vengeance

13 Charles Martel 103

The Hammer of Christendom won the battle that would forever keep the Moors out of Western Europe

14 Wolf the Quarrelsome 109

Mysterious barbarian leader who only appears in history twice-and both times he's kicking someone's ass

15 William the Conqueror 117

This crazy bastard's ruthless invasion of England would change the course of history for centuries to come

16 Harald Hardrada 125

The last of the great Viking sea kings decapitated fools up and down the Mediterranean

17 El Cid Gampeador 133

Spain's most legendary knight, this hero of the Reconquista never tasted defeat on the field of battle

18 Tomae Gozen 139

Tough female samurai distinguished herself in countless battles, fighting with the ferocity of ten men

19 Genghis Khan 145

The tyrannical khan of khans forged history's most expansive empire-one giant pile of human skulls at a time

20 Vlad the Impaler 153

The real Count Dracula wasn't actually a vampire, but he wasn't exactly a nice guy, either

Section III The Age of Gunpowder: Blowing crap up from 1453 to the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 159

21 Miyamoto Musashi 161

Wandering samurai swordsman won sixty duels between the ages of thirteen and thirty

22 Peter the Great 169

The almighty tsar of imperial Russia crushed his enemies and partied like a seventeenth-century rock star

23 Blackbeard 177

Many sailors believed this fearsome cutthroat was the devil incarnate-they may have been right

24 Anne Bonny 165

One of the only documented female pirates was also one of history's most dangerous

25 Peter Francisco 193

Unsung hero of the American Revolution who fought the redcoats with a massive five-foot-long broadsword

26 Horatio Nelson 201

One-eyed, one-armed British admiral who spent his life blasting French warships into driftwood

27 Napoleon Bonaparte 209

Corsican commoner seized control of France and repeatedly beat the crap out of Europe's most powerful empires

28 Aguslina of Aragon 219

The Maid of Saragossa fearlessly defended her city against a rampaging French army

29 Bass Reeves 227

Runaway slave who became one of most successful lawmen and gunfighters of the American West

30 Nikola Tesla 237

The greatest mad scientist of all time spent his final days developing a massive atomic death ray

Section IV The Modern Era: Mechanized chaos and full-auto destruction: World War I to 2009 243

31 Manfred von Richthofen 245

The Red Baron struck fear into the hearts of everything over the skies of Europe, except maybe a few species of birds

32 Henry Lincoln Johnson 255

From humble beginnings to American war hero, he took on the Germans in hand-to-hand combat to rescue his comrade

33 Eliot Ness 261

His small group of hard-boiled, "Untouchables" took down the most notorious crime lord in American history

34 Jack Churchill 269

Swashbuckling British officer fought World War II with a longbow, a broadsword, and a set of bagpipes

35 Irina Sebrova 277

Soviet pilot flew daring raids over German airspace at the head of an all-female bomber unit known as the "Night Witches"

36 Bhanbhagta Gurung 285

Gurkha soldier cleared out six enemy bunkers with grenades, a knife, a rock, and anything else he managed to get his hands on

37 George S. Patton 291

The toughest military commander in American history tossed out traditional military tactics in favor of all-out assaults

38 Carlos Hathcock 299

Operating deep behind enemy lines in-North Vietnam, this Marine sniper earned a reputation as the deadliest man alive

39 Bruce Lee 309

The legendary martial arts master honed his body to become the ultimate killing machine

40 Jonathan Netanyahu 317

Israeli Special Forces commander personally led one of the world's most successful counterterrorist operations

Bibliography 323

Acknowledgments 333

Illustration Credits 335

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Badass 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The title will kick most people's butts as BADASS is a not fiction, but a terrific forty entry short biographical accounts of some of the toughest warriors in history. The book is divided into four sections (Antiquities, The Middle Ages, The Age Of Gunpowder, and The Modern Era) with ten entries in each. The Antiquities and The Middle ages are fascinating for those who are lesser known like Julia "the black widow of Rome" Grippina and Indian Warlord Chandraguupta Maurya although the writings on Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, von Richtofen of Snoopy and music renown and Leonids of 300 Men fame are quite good. The other three sections contain some ass whippers from Napoleon to Pattern to Bruce Lee to Testa. All the entries are fun to read as gender and location is not a prerequisite to warriors entering a butt kicking battle in which the leader knows he or she will leave dead and maimed on the battlefield, but as Ben Thompson cites Mike Tyson with "I want your heart. I want to eat your children". This is what makes a true BADASS and this biography an entertaining read as real persona like Wolf the Quarrelsome barbarian and Bhanbhagta Gurung the fearless Gurkha make this fun for the armchair warrior. . Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing most history buffs wouldn't already know, however the writing style had me laughing continuously. If my teachers spoke like this in school, they would have definitely kept my attention for the whole class
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
fiber_lover More than 1 year ago
As my husband was recuperating from hip surgery, he would help me fix supper by reading one of these chapters. It was an awesome way to improve his mood and help me through the chores. All ages will enjoy it!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the read. It was very entertaining and will buy the other book that Ben Thompson wrote.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These are fast reads, well written, highly entertaining, and when possible, well researched. chapters range from Micheal the Archangel and Beowolf to a super human Marine sniper and the even Mr. T and a disabled was veteran who long ago lived in a galaxy far, far away. My favorite chapter was on Sampson from the Old Testament book of Judges. Great stuff. I have bought several copies of both books and give them as a set as gifts. Worth it!
Bulldog056 More than 1 year ago
I liked his first book a little better but found this one just as good. Kept my attion all the way through and did not disapoint in the humor department at all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MichaeltheNookGuy More than 1 year ago
I found this book very original and fun. Any fans of history and mythology with some humor thrown in will love this book. Writing in the language of today's youth, the author gives thorough overviews of all of our favorite heroes from mythology. From Zeus to Dirty Harry, they are all covered here. -Michael
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago