It Doesn't Take a Hero: The Autobiography of General H. Norman Schwarzkopf
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,479 ratings  ·  77 reviews
He set his star by a simple motto: duty, honor,country. Only rarely does history grant a singleindividual the ability, personal charisma, moralforce, and intelligence to command the respect,admiration, and affection of an entire nation. But sucha man is General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, commanderof the Allied Forces in the Gulf War. Now, in thisrefreshingly candid and typical...more
Paperback, 640 pages
Published September 1st 1993 by Bantam (first published 1992)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about It Doesn't Take a Hero, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about It Doesn't Take a Hero

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,195)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Anaszaidan
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)...more
Rae
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...more
Tim Hewlett-parker
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
Amy Muse
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
Jon
Another biography worth reading. If anyone has ever questioned our involvement in Iraq in the early 1990s, they should definitely read this book.
Jimmie Kepler
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...more
Aaron Crofut
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
James c hart
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.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
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
Richard Lucas
A good read

A good read

This is a well-written account of the Gulf War. When diplomacy fails, as it did after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, the politicians must step aside and allow the military to do its job. This book is a good example of that process.
Tom
Jun 05, 2012 Tom rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Michael Gerald Dealino
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...more
Clara Roberts
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
John Nevola
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...more
Charlie Bone
left me in awe of the logistical goals reached by the planners to stage and implement Desert Storm
oh to be 9 years old growing up in Tehran as Norman did
Laurent
Great read, Gerneral Schwarzkopf gives great insight view of a soldier's life. second time i read this book with great interest
Manish Kumar
An amazing autobiography written by one of the most inspiring military leaders of our times....
Sara
Aug 28, 2009 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...more
Edwin Martin
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...more
Robert
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...more
Layne
Fantastic book! I should have read this one years ago. A true American hero. His example of patriotism serves as an example to all of us.
Robin Benton
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 - ManOfLaBook.com
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.
Suzan
I really liked this book, and I like "Stormin Norman".
He has had an interesting life. He spent some time in the Middle East as a boy...loved the story of him having to eat goat (or was it sheep?) eyeballs...a delicacy!
I admire and respect his patriotism, concern for his soldiers and their families, and his clear view of why we didn't capture Baghdad and invade all of Iraq.
Greg Snyder
Enjoyed to book. It was good to read the General in charge perspectives of the first gulf war. He had and interesting career.
Redparrot
See also Colin Powell review.

Excellent autobiography. A military review of the First Gulf war. Much about leadership in this book as well as the path of Schwartzkopf - how his entire career lead im to the moment of the First Gulf War. Elements of his youth and military career made him uniquely qualified to lead the ground war.

Julie
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!
Taepo
An interesting look at the Gulf War I at the highest levels. You will also get to know about General Schwartzkopf and his family in this book and the surprising connection to the Lindbergh Baby's kidnapping. If you read this, you might want to also read General Franks' book, American Soldier.
Em
This was a great book. What an amazing man. I was very impressed with how concerned he was over the families of the troops he led. I also thought it was amazing how well he coordinated the Gulf War and his relationship with the Arab Nations who took part. Fascinating man. I really recommend it.
Paul Recanzone
After reading General Schwarzkopf's book, I was left with the unfortunate feeling that I certainly am glad it doesn't take a hero. General Scwarzkopf came across as having simply worked the system to get to his position and it was simply his position that put him in Iraq.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 73 74 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • My American Journey
  • About Face: Odyssey Of An American Warrior
  • American Soldier
  • War as I Knew It
  • Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir
  • Into the Storm: On the Ground in Iraq (Commanders)
  • A Soldier's Story
  • Yeager: An Autobiography
  • Patton
  • The Fourth Star: Four Generals and the Epic Struggle for the Future of the United States Army
  • Patton: A Genius for War
  • Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War
  • Crusade in Europe
  • The Commanders
  • Patton: Ordeal and Triumph
  • Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq
  • Marine! The Life of Chesty Puller
  • Baa Baa Black Sheep
19841
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
More about Norman Schwarzkopf...
Tampa Bay: A Taste of the Good Life West Point The Emperor's New Clothes We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam West Point: An Inside Look at the Long Grey Line

Share This Book