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

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  2,377 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
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 candi ...more
Paperback, 640 pages
Published September 1st 1993 by Bantam (first published October 1992)
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الكتاب يتحدث عن قائد قوات التحالف في حرب الخليج 1991، ضد عراق صدام حسين، لتحرير الكويت. يتحدث الكتاب عن دور نورمان شوارتزكوف (أثار البعض بأنه من يهود ألمانيا، علما أن الكتاب لم يتحدث عن ديانته بأي شيء) عن نشأته في ويست بوينت (المدرسة العسكرية للأمريكان، على غرار سانت هريست في بريطانيا) وكيف شارك في حرب الخليج، وكيف تعامل مع الأمير خالد بن سلطان، القائد السعودي للجيش..فقد كان في بعض الأوقات على خلاف معه.

الكتاب في رأيي تمت تشويه ترجمته عمدا والله أعلم. فخالد بن سلطان نفى في كتابه(مقاتل من الصحراء)
James c hart
Aug 02, 2014 James c hart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding book

Outstanding book

I served with General Schwarzkopf in the 24th Infantry division and during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. This book left me with a better understanding of how we fought the war. A must read for all particular the military members. I retired in 1992 after 27 years as a Command Sergeants Major. It was a pleasure to have served under General Schwarzkopf.
May 30, 2015 Jerry rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read-2015
I really enjoyed learning the history of one of the recent commanders in theater. Especially as it pertains to the Middle East. General Schwarzkopf was very simple in detailing his experience and progression through the army. He did not have, or appear to have, political alliances or military agendas he just had the desire to serve his country and serve his soldiers. He was a soldier's soldier. I marveled at the account of desert shield and the back and forth with Washington I executing that pla ...more
Mar 27, 2008 Rae rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio-memoir
Bio of "Stormin' Norman" Schwarzkopf. I enjoyed this book immensely and came away with great respect for the man. Whether you agree with his politics is almost irrelevant here as he has had such an interesting military career that you want to keep reading about him.

"...I am convinced that had a decision been made to invade all of Iraq and capture Baghdad...the only forces that would have participated in those military actions would have been British and American. Even the French would have withd
Michael Gerald
Aug 20, 2013 Michael Gerald rated it really liked it
If you want to read of a person with great leadership qualities, this is one definitely worth picking up.

General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, a West Point graduate who experienced the lows of the Vietnam War and participated in the US military's transformation in the 1980s, just in time for the end of the Cold War, exemplified the qualities of integrity, sagacity, courage, and in-your-face assertiveness that would serve the world well.

Kuwait may have been extravagant and arrogant in its splurging of
Tim Hewlett-parker
May 17, 2013 Tim Hewlett-parker rated it really liked it
This is the second time I have read this book. Since the first time there have been many upheavals globally, including financial and corporate mismanagement on a far reaching scale. When you see how General S. managed a coalition comprising many cultures, his diplomacy and civility with world leaders and his concerns for the 'working man' under his command it makes you think about the integrity and leadership instilled in the military and how it could be best utilized across our government and c ...more
Anthony Mandala
Nov 24, 2013 Anthony Mandala rated it really liked it
The book that made me realize I will never join the military.
Jimmie Kepler
Jun 11, 2011 Jimmie Kepler rated it really liked it
I first read this book in 1995. I have read it once since. "It Doesn’t Take a Hero" by H. Norman Schwarzkopf takes its title 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."

First, I must admit I am a Schwarzkopf fan. He commanded the 1st Brigade, 9th Infantry Division as a colonel while I was serving as a 1LT in the 9th Division. His third child (son) was
Aaron Crofut
May 23, 2013 Aaron Crofut rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, war
The most interesting aspect of this work is that it is a primary source written in 1992 about Iraq. There is not a single mention of Al Qaeda or any other Islamic terrorist group in the entire book; the closest mention is the 1983 attack in Beirut, brought up only because Schwarzkopf was concerned about Iraq committing a similar attack on US forces in Saudi Arabia. The world has changed quite a bit since then and the events of this book played no small role in creating that change. Our role in t ...more
Dec 24, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it
Easy to read and provides the amazing journey of Schwarzkopf from his time in Iran with his dad through his time leading Desert Shield/Storm.
Louis Barbier
Jan 20, 2016 Louis Barbier rated it it was amazing
This is a great book about a man who set high goals and ideals for himself and his men. But he also took care of his people. This is illustrated during the Vietnam War when some troops walked into a minefield and exploded a few. He went in and got them out. One of the troopers was badly wounded and General H Norman Schwarzkopf put the wounded limb in a sling and got him out of the minefield. He took the West Point motto: Duty, Honor, Country and made it his own as his Dad had also done. All grea ...more
Nov 04, 2015 Phaedra rated it it was amazing
I truly loved this book. It's written in the first person, and exceptionally candid (especially for someone of that rank). Schwarzkopf clearly not only understood military tactics and strategy extremely well, but also how important it is to really look after your troops.

It amazes me how reluctant many leaders are to recognize the fact that if you take care of your people, overwhelmingly your people will go above and beyond to serve you in return. Schwarzkopf clearly did not have a hard time lear
Feb 12, 2017 Shaun rated it it was amazing
Really interesting book which shows true love and passion for his troops a star example of a great man and general
Greg Raleigh
Sep 01, 2014 Greg Raleigh rated it it was amazing
This had everything for the military historian. It started with Iran during WWII, described West Point in the early 50's, and the change in Army culture from the mid 50's until 1991. In this vast sweep, General Schwarzkopf described most everything from garrison leadership following the Korean War, to the formation of TRADOC, to the post Soviet era when the US was adapting to being the world's last superpower. All of this, plus first person accounting from two tours in the Vietnamese jungles, th ...more
Amy Muse
Apr 14, 2014 Amy Muse rated it it was amazing
I read this book when I was a young Private stationed in 2ND MP, 2ND ID as a medic. I drew inspiration and character greatly from "It Doesn't Take a Hero". It is nearly 2 decades later. In fact, I just retired from the Army! I just want to say "Thank YOU" General "Stormin'" Norman Schwarzkopf. In so many circumstances, instances, and challenges, your words and spirit were always with me. Most recently, talking candidly with my Command Sergeant Major, I asked him if he felt like he was Gen Colin ...more
Jun 05, 2012 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tom by: Bill Cousins
I gave this book 5 stars,not because it is a classic, but because I found General Schwarzkopf's life and military career particularly interesting, candid and not sugar-coated, and compelling. He vividly illustrates some powerful life lessons that are valuable to any young person in lending perspective on one's life work. One is the value of the "network" and the "small world" syndrome. Another is the value of locating and retaining good mentors. Yet another is the possibility for overcoming amon ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 24, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was amazing
I liked this a lot. I know that a lot of people felt that the Gulf War had broke the curse of the "Vietnam Syndrome" and for that reason embraced Norman Schwarzkopf as a hero. Not his evaluation of himself though. The title comes from an interview he gave to Barbara Walters: 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. I found it fascinating to hear his account of his career in the military. His experience in Vietnam and the lesson ...more
Clara Roberts
Jan 15, 2013 Clara Roberts rated it really liked it
The whole book was really potraying Schwartzkopf as a hero. The book does speak to effective leadership styles. He speaks to the leadership styles of various commanding styles of his commanding officers as he came up the ranks. The best quote of the book came when as a four star general he lead Desert Storm. "I was absolutely dependent on the individual skills, temperaments, and justment of my generals...." "I could establish a framework and convey my intentions and the spirit in which I wanted ...more
David Hill
Jun 17, 2015 David Hill rated it it was amazing
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, an ...more
The first half of this book is terrible and had very little bearing on the second half of this book. Perhaps I was the issue though. I wanted to read the story of a general, not the story of the man with the title and position of general. This book does both, and the first half of the book is the personal story of Gen. Schwarzkopf and his family.

That being read, the second part of the book was well worth it. I would rate the second half of the book a five out of five. The first half brought my
John Nevola
Sep 10, 2012 John Nevola rated it really liked it
Did you ever wonder if a spectacular military success was the result of leadership or simply an aligning of the stars?

The Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm) was one of the most successful military operations (at 100 hours, its difficult to call it a campaign) of all time. How much was due to Schwarzkopf?

A student and a warrior and the master of numerous languages, "Stormin' Norman" was an anomaly in the military. A Vietnam combat veteran, he learned the hard lessons of war the hard way. All is r
Feb 27, 2009 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book's second half gets a bit technical, but it was a good read if only to read about a war that I only remember from snippets on the news as a boy. Schwarzkopf used lessons he learned personally in Vietnam throughout his military career and seems like a commander who really cared.

A few passages in the book indicate that he had an inkling that another war would be fought for Mesopotamia, and it was written in 1992 after he retired from the Army. A good read for those who enjoy military hist
Edwin Martin
Mar 05, 2014 Edwin Martin rated it liked it
Good book overall.

Like a lot of books about famous people, it's more interesting to me in the beginning learning how they grew up and their earlier life and how it made them suited for the things we know about from history. He wrote it only a year after the 1991 Gulf War, so I didn't get any idea what else he did or thought about in retirement. Good first hand telling of how the Army of the 50's and 60's was pretty bad due to no one holding officers accountable for their unit's readiness for war
Jul 29, 2008 Sara added it
I'm reading this for a potential film idea and am enjoying it in many unsuspected ways. He spent a portion of his childhood in Iran while his father was there building up the Shah's forces and I was interested to read his descriptions of the experience.

Also, the connection between his mother's alcoholism and his need for the structure of the military he writes about is fascinating to me. It makes me want to read the biographies of more people in power whose politics/worldview I think I disagree
Roberta Blythe
This was one of those books I couldn't put down! Very well written and engaging. Having grown up during part of the era and also knowing more about the Gulf crisis', it clarified the situation in a much better way than news reporting! While it was lengthy, I did not care as I thoroughly enjoyed the entire book! Thank you General Schwarzkopf for your service to our country and telling us about the United States military and warfare.
James F.
Feb 19, 2016 James F. rated it really liked it
This biography/autobiography is a history of the military career of an American soldier who led the Allied effort in what can arguably be said to have been the most successful war effort the modern world has required to be fought.

My thanks to those who helped shape the education, value system and friendships held by General H. Norman Schwarzkopf. My appreciation to General Schwarzkopf for his service to the people of the United States of America.
Robin Benton
Sep 22, 2013 Robin Benton rated it liked it
Good source for the actual run-up and campaign for Desert Storm, but I would recommend balancing it with other accounts. Very good read for anyone interested in leadership development. I was in the same area in his Vietnam service (and possibly the same minefield at one time) and agree with his comments on the varied levels of leadership in the AO. As does Colin Powell, who overlapped in Americal Division.
Zohar -
May 25, 2010 Zohar - rated it it was amazing
I liked this book much more than Collin Powell's book. It just seems more honest and less self serving, General Schwartzkopf admits mistakes, and positions he has taken for political reasons. It makes a very interesting read about decision making in the higher ranks of the military. If you've read Powell's book, you'd like this one, and if you haven't, read it after this as a great supplement.
Jul 30, 2008 Julie rated it it was amazing
Great book!!! This one really brought to mind the hand of the Lord - in HIS time - to prepare individuals for their future destinies. I hope and pray my sons and grandsons NEVER have to go to war, but if they do I hope and pray it is with a commander such a General Norman Schwarzkoft. Take the time to read this one!
Mar 04, 2016 Brad rated it really liked it
One of the singular heroes of our time. His steady hand at the helm of the greatest modern army during the Gulf War was exactly what was needed. His high morals, ethics, and focus on county gave me an ideal to strive for. Enjoyed this biography very much and have recommended to many young military officers for their reading lists.
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Born in Trenton, New Jersey, Schwarzkopf grew up in the United States and later in Iran. He was accepted into the United States Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army in 1956. After a number of initial training programs, Schwarzkopf interrupted a stint as an academy teacher, and served in the Vietnam War first as an adviser to the South ...more
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