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About Steven Pressfield
Steven Pressfield is the author of The War of Art which has sold over a millions copies globally and been translated into multiple languages. He is a master of historical fiction with Gates of Fire being on the required reading list at West Point and the the recommended reading list of the Joint Chiefs. His other books include A Man at Arms, Turning Pro, Do the Work, The Artist's Journey, Tides of War, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Last of the Amazons, Virtues of War, The Afghan Campaign, Killing Rommel, The Profession, The Lion's Gate, The Warrior Ethos, The Authentic Swing, An American Jew, Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t, and The Knowledge.
His debut novel, The Legend of Bagger Vance was over 30 years in the making. He hasn't stopped writing since.
Steve lives and writes in California. You can following him on IG @steven_pressfield. Sign up for his weekly writing newsletter at stevenpressfield.com
"It is one thing to study war, and another to live the warrior's life."
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Books By Steven Pressfield
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Since 2002, The War of Art has inspired people around the world to defeat "Resistance"; to recognize and knock down dream-blocking barriers and to silence the naysayers within us.Resistance kicks everyone's butt, and the desire to defeat it is equally as universal. The War of Art identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.Though it was written for writers, it has been embraced by business entrepreneurs, actors, dancers, painters, photographers, filmmakers, military service members and thousands of others around the world.
"As I closed The War of Art, I felt a surge of positive calm. I now know I can win this war. And if I can win, so can you." - From the foreword by Robert McKee, screenwriting guru"
[The War of Art] aims to help readers channel creative energy, unlock potential and overcome the fears that stop us from reaching our fullest potential. With courage, following the right formula and working hard, the book proposes that passion can be turned into purpose." - Ellen Degeneres book pick
"Resistance is the voice in the back of our head telling us to back off, be careful, go slow, compromise. . . . [Steve Pressfield is] the godfather of the resistance, the five-star general in the war against fear." - Seth Godin
"A vital gem . . . a kick in the ass." - Esquire
"I've never read a self help book that wasn't fatuous, obvious and unhelpful. Until The War of Art. It's amazingly cogent and smart on the psychology of creation. If I ever teach a writing course this would be one of the first books I'd assign, along with the letters of Flannery O'Connor." - Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City and Brightness Falls
"Yes, The War of Art is hell. But Steven Pressfield is our Clausewitz who shows how you too can battle against The Four Horsemen of The Apologetic: sloth, inertia, rationalization and procrastination. Shakespeare, Rembrandt and Beethoven all are proof of what you can do with talent and General Pressfield." - Frank Deford, author and NPR commentator
"A marvelous help for anybody who has ever encountered the resistance of a blank page, an empty canvas or an unyielding musical scale."
- Stan Berenstein, co-creator of The Berenstein Bears
Steven Pressfield is the author of the novels The Legend of Bagger Vance (made into the movie starring Matt Damon and Will Smith), Gates of Fire, Tides of War, Last of the Amazons, Virtues of War, The Afghan Campaign, Killing Rommel, and The Profession. His nonfiction includes The War of Art, The Warrior Ethos, and the upcoming Turning Pro. His books are included in the curriculum at West Point and the Naval Academy, and are on the Commandant's Reading List for the Marine Corps.
In 2012, Pressfield will launch his independent publishing company, BLACK IRISH BOOKS with his longtime editor, agent, publisher, and friend, Shawn Coyne.
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"You don't need to take a course or buy a product. All you have to do is change your mind."
TURNING PRO IS FREE, BUT IT'S NOT EASY.
When we turn pro, we give up a life that we may have become extremely comfortable with. We give up a self that we have come to identify with and to call our own.
TURNING PRO IS FREE, BUT IT DEMANDS SACRIFICE.
The passage from amateur to professional is often achieved via an interior odyssey whose trials are survived only at great cost, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. We pass through a membrane when we turn pro. It's messy and it's scary. We tread in blood when we turn pro.
WHAT WE GET WHEN WE TURN PRO.
What we get when we turn pro is we find our power. We find our will and our voice and we find our self-respect. We become who we always were but had, until then, been afraid to embrace and live out.
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There's a mantra that real writers know but wannabe writers don’t. And the secret phrase is this:
NOBODY WANTS TO READ YOUR SH*T.
Recognizing this painful truth is the first step in the writer's transformation from amateur to professional.
From Chapter Four:
“When you understand that nobody wants to read your shit, you develop empathy. You acquire the skill that is indispensable to all artists and entrepreneurs—the ability to switch back and forth in your imagination from your own point of view as writer/painter/seller to the point of view of your reader/gallery-goer/customer. You learn to ask yourself with every sentence and every phrase: Is this interesting? Is it fun or challenging or inventive? Am I giving the reader enough? Is she bored? Is she following where I want to lead her?"
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The answer is Do the Work, a manifesto by bestselling author Steven Pressfield, that will show you that it’s not about better ideas, it’s about actually doing the work.
Do the Work is a weapon against Resistance – a tool that will help you take action and successfully ship projects out the door.
“There is an enemy. There is an intelligent, active, malign force working against us. Step one is to recognize this. This recognition alone is enormously powerful. It saved my life, and it will save yours.”
Available in both a 5-pack and 48-pack for you to share, as well as a special collectible edition, Do the Work may be just what you need to get out of your own way.
"No one's insights about the craft and journey of being an artist have guided me in the day-to-day struggle of this profession more than Steven Pressfield. Wherever you are, whatever you've been called to make, you need to read this book...and everything else he has written."
— Ryan Holiday, Bestselling Author of Ego Is the Enemy and The Obstacle Is the Way
YOU ARE AN ARTIST ... AND YOU HAVE AN ARTIST’S JOURNEY
I have a theory about the Hero’s Journey. We all have one. We have many, in fact. But our primary hero’s journey is the passage we live out, in real life, before we find our calling.
The hero’s journey ends when, like Odysseus, we return home to Ithaca, to the place from which we started.
The passage that comes next is The Artist’s Journey.
On our artist’s journey, we move past Resistance and past self-sabotage. We discover our true selves and our authentic calling, and we produce the works we were born to create.
You are an artist too—whether you realize it or not, whether you like it or not—and you have an artist’s journey. Will you live it out? Will you follow your Muse and do the work you were born to do?
Ready or not, you are called.
"A life-changer...Inspirational!" Marie Forleo, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything is Figureoutable
Are you losing your "war of art"?
Are you being defeated by a tendency to procrastination, self-doubt, fear, distraction, and perfectionism? Are you self-sabotaging your loftiest artistic entrepreneurial dreams?
The antidote is in nine words: PUT YOUR ASS WHERE YOUR HEART WANTS TO BE.
Can you shift your artistic identity—your "ass"—from the shallow, fearful, superficial Ego to the wise, loving fearless Self? Can you commit to your dream for the long haul and for keeps? In this book, bestselling author Steven Pressfield delivers the tough-love inspiration to help you make this life-altering transformation.
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In the Sunday Times bestseller Gates of Fire, Steven Pressfield tells the breathtaking story of the legendary Spartans: the men and women who helped shaped our history and have themselves become as immortal as their gods.
'Breathtakingly brilliant . . . this is a work of rare genius. Savour it!' DAVID GEMMELL
'A tale worthy of Homer, a timeless epic of man and war, exquisitely researched and boldy written. Pressfield has created a new classic' STEPHEN COONTS
'A really impressive book - imaginatively framed, historically detailed and a really gripping narrative' ***** Reader review
'Beautifully written and a great joy to read' ***** Reader review
Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
That here, obedient to their laws, we lie.
480 BC: At a bleak pass in a far-flung corner of eastern Greece, three hundred Spartan warriors faced the army of King Xerxes of Persia, a massive force rumoured to be over a million strong.
Their orders were simple: to delay the enemy for as long as possible in order to buy time for the main Greek armies to mobilize. For six days the Spartans held the invaders at bay. In the final hours - their shields broken, swords and spears shattered - they fought with their bare hands before being overwhelmed . . .
It was battle that would become synonymous with extraordinary courage, heroism and self-sacrifice.
It was a battle called Thermopylae.
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We are all warriors. Each of us struggles every day to define and defend our sense of purpose and integrity, to justify our existence on the planet and to understand, if only within our own hearts, who we are and what we believe in. Do we fight by a code? If so, what is it? What is the Warrior Ethos? Where did it come from? What form does it take today? How do we (and how can we) use it and be true to it in our internal and external lives?
The Warrior Ethos is intended not only for men and women in uniform, but artists, entrepreneurs and other warriors in other walks of life. The book examines the evolution of the warrior code of honor and "mental toughness." It goes back to the ancient Spartans and Athenians, to Caesar's Romans, Alexander's Macedonians and the Persians of Cyrus the Great (not excluding the Garden of Eden and the primitive hunting band). Sources include Herodotus, Thucydides, Plutarch, Xenophon, Vegetius, Arrian and Curtius--and on down to Gen. George Patton, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, and Israeli Minister of Defense, Moshe Dayan.
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A dazzling and profoundly moving tale of love and war, honour and revenge from Steven Pressfield, author of the Sunday Times Bestseller Gates of Fire.
"Beyond the best battle scenes I've ever read - brutal, bloody and thoroughly gripping" -- DIANA GABALDON
"Steven Pressfield...makes the distant past seem real and immediate. This is historical fiction elevated to the status of myth." -- DANIEL SILVA
"Pressfield writes with a quality and style akin to classical legend...a joy to read" -- JOHN WHITBOURN
"A gripping, un-put downable read!" -- ***** Reader review
"Great reading. Thrilling, exciting and then some." -- ***** Reader review
TO THEM HONOUR AND LOYALTY WERE EVERYTHING...
1250 BC: Theseus, king of Athens and slayer of the Minotaur, set sail on a journey that brought him to the land of 'tal Kyrte', the 'Free People', a nation of fiercely proud and passionate warrior women whom the Greeks called 'Amazons'.
Lovers and fighters they owed allegiance to no man and distrusted the Greeks with their boastful talk of cities and civilization. When their illustrious war queen Antiope fell in love with Theseus and fled to Athens with the king and his followers, so denying her people, the Amazon tribes were outraged. Seeking revenge, they raised a vast army and marched on Athens.
History tells us they could not win, but for a brief and glorious moment, the Amazons held the Attic world in thrall before vanishing into the immortal realms of myth and legend.
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—General Stanley McChrystal, U.S. Army, ret.; author of My Share of the Task
June 5, 1967. The nineteen-year-old state of Israel is surrounded by enemies who want nothing less than her utter extinction. The Soviet-equipped Egyptian Army has massed a thousand tanks on the nation’s southern border. Syrian heavy guns are shelling her from the north. To the east, Jordan and Iraq are moving mechanized brigades and fighter squadrons into position to attack. Egypt’s President Nasser has declared that the Arab force’s objective is “the destruction of Israel.” The rest of the world turns a blind eye to the new nation’s desperate peril.
June 10, 1967. The Arab armies have been routed, ground divisions wiped out, air forces totally destroyed. Israel’s citizen-soldiers have seized the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan. The land under Israeli control has tripled. Her charismatic defense minister, Moshe Dayan, has entered the Lion’s Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem to stand with the paratroopers who have liberated Judaism’s holiest site—the Western Wall, part of the ruins of Solomon’s temple, which has not been in Jewish hands for nineteen hundred years.
It is one of the most unlikely and astonishing military victories in history.
Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews with veterans of the war—fighter and helicopter pilots, tank commanders and Recon soldiers, paratroopers, as well as women soldiers, wives, and others—bestselling author Steven Pressfield tells the story of the Six Day War as you’ve never experienced it before: in the voices of the young men and women who battled not only for their lives but for the survival of a Jewish state, and for the dreams of their ancestors.
By turns inspiring, thrilling, and heartbreaking, The Lion’s Gate is both a true tale of military courage under fire and a journey into the heart of what it means to fight for one’s people.
A sweeping, thrilling story of bravery, determination, and grit. I couldn’t put it down.”
—BRIAN KILMEADE, author of George Washington’s Secret Six
“The finest military writer alive, bar none.”
“No one writes better historical fiction than Steven Pressfield.”
“Rarely does an author manage to recreate a moment in history with such mastery, authority, and psychological insight.”
"Superbly researched and superbly written ... My tears flowed as the paratroopers made their way to and beyond the Western Wall, bringing that sacred spot back into the possession of the original owners ... "
—JOE GALLOWAY, co-author of We Were Soldiers Once ... And Young.
“Steven Pressfield is one of the most important writers of our day. Few others so adroitly weave together the stories of war in a way that captures the human side of a conflict. The Lion’s Gate gives us a rare glimpse into the different perspectives of a single historical event and proves to us there is always more than meets the eye.”
—SIMON SINEK, author of Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last
From the pen of Steven Pressfield, author of The Sunday Times Bestseller Gates of Fire comes a captivating, gripping and atmospheric novel of military might and war.
"Awesome...this is an extraordinary work - an instant classic." -- DAVID GEMMELL
"Gripping, moving and literate...rarely does an author manage to recreate a moment in history with such mastery, authority and psychological insight." -- NELSON DEMILLE
"No one writes better historical fiction than Steven Pressfield" -- VINCE FLYNN
"This book doesn't 'grab you from the first page'; it slowly envelops you in silken claws until you realise that this story owns you" -- ***** Reader review
"Powerful and insightful" -- ***** Reader review
"Absolutely brilliant" -- ***** Reader review
WHAT LENGTHS WILL THEY GO TO TO ACHIEVE VICTORY?
330 BC: Alexander The Great launches his bloody and brutal campaign in the Afghan Kingdoms...
Among the ranks of Macedonian infantry is Matthias. The youngest of three brothers, he is eager to prove himself, but as he joins the front-line, he comes to realise that warfare has changed. The Macedonians face a new kind of enemy, and must learn to fight a new kind of war.
Experiencing fear, euphoria, horror and shame, Matthias and his comrades undergo a rite of passage as they, soldiers of a Western force whose code is secular and humanist, confront a proud Eastern warrior people who possess a fervent willingness to die for their cause.
Just to survive, Alexander's men must shake off the trappings of 'civilization' and adopt the same unorthodox and barbaric tactics as their foe - but is that a price worth paying?
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In the Depression year of 1931, on the golf links at Krewe Island off Savannah's windswept shore, two legends of the game—Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen—meet for a mesmerizing thirty-six-hole showdown. Another golfer will also compete—a troubled local war hero, once a champion, who comes with his mentor and caddie, the mysterious Bagger Vance. It is Vance, sage and charismatic, who will ultimately guide the match, for he holds the secret of the Authentic Swing. And he alone can show his protege the way back to glory.
Written in the spirit of Golf in the Kingdom and The Natural, The Legend of Bagger Vance reveals the true nature of the game in a story that is unforgettable.
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