Steven Pressfield

“We Are Going to War”

By Steven Pressfield | 2 Comments

The following is from “Israel Journal: June, 1967,” a brilliant first-person account of the Sinai battles of the Six Day War by Yael Dayan, the daughter to Moshe Dayan and an accomplished journalist and novelist in her own right (as well as, later in her career, a member of the Israeli Knesset and Deputy Mayor of Tel-Aviv.) Ms. Dayan was twenty-eight at the time of this writing and a lieutenant in the Israel Defense Forces. She accompanied division commander Ariel Sharon (later PM of Israel) as he led his armored forces against the Egyptian army in Sinai. This passage begins…

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A Kindle and Nook Un-Contest

By Steven Pressfield | 80 Comments

Two weeks from today, The Profession goes on sale. We were thinking about having a contest with prizes to celebrate, but we decided that was much too complicated. So instead we’re giving away stuff without a contest. The two grand prizes—attorneys, take note: they’re not really “prizes”—are a Nook (WiFi) and a Kindle (WiFi), both to be loaded with the Random House Pressfield library: The Profession, Gates of Fire, Tides of War, Last of the Amazons, The Virtues of War, The Afghan Campaign and Killing Rommel. Then we’ll throw in six signed first editions of The Profession to a lucky half dozen plucked from those who…

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Scott Oden

By Steven Pressfield | 4 Comments

Hailing from the hills of rural North Alabama, Scott Oden’s fascination with far-off places began when his oldest brother introduced him to the staggering and savage vistas of Robert E. Howard and Harold Lamb. Though Oden started writing his own tales at the age of fourteen, it would be many years before anything would come of it. In the meantime, he had a brief and tempestuous fling with academia before retiring to the private sector, where he worked the usual roster of odd jobs—from delivering pizza to stacking paper in the bindery of a printing company to clerking at a video…

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Sean Van Vleet

By Steven Pressfield | 19 Comments

Sean Van Vleet is a Chicago-based musician, songwriter, and lead singer of the alternative-rock band Empires. In March, Empires released their highly-anticipated sophomore effort Bang and have spent much of 2010 on the road in support of the release, with stops at SXSW, Verve Music Festival, and CMJ Music Fest. MTV.com called the album “great, all ethereal and doomy like the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or the Black Angels, but with a little bit of My Chemical Romance snarl thrown in for good measure.” Alternative Press said the band has “set about doing this right. It’s a sentiment reinforced by these…

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What It Takes

By Steven Pressfield | 61 Comments

I’m going to try something new over the next few months. Remember, a few weeks ago, we commandeered this Writing Wednesdays space to post a series called, with apologies to John Steinbeck, a “A Writer’s Journal of (Finishing) a Novel?” I was, then, in the final writing throes of a book I’d been working on for the past three years, and I posted a blow-by-blow account of that adventure. Well, now I’d like to do that for the next stage: the editing, publicizing and marketing process. This doesn’t mean the end of our regular Writing Wednesdays posts, I promise. But…

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Looking for the Overlap

By Steven Pressfield | 19 Comments

[While the blog takes a short vacation, here’s a post from a few months ago that I’ve always been partial to. See you in two weeks!] Writers and artists get asked all the time, “How do you decide which book to write, which painting to paint?” The person asking the question usually has a million ideas in her head; she’s struggling to determine which one(s) to pursue. Here’s an answer from my experience. A few years ago, in Hollywood, I got a new agent. He was a good agent and he did what a good agent should do: he immediately…

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Sebastian Junger

By Steven Pressfield | 4 Comments

Sebastian Junger is the author of The Perfect Storm, which spent over three years on the New York Times bestsellers list—and was the basis for the motion picture starring George Clooney. He also is the author of New York Times bestsellers Fire, and A Death in Belmont, is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, and has been awarded a National Magazine Award and an SAIS Novartis Prize for journalism. His most recent book, WAR, a New York Times bestseller that follows a single platoon based at a remote outpost in the Korengal Valley of eastern Afghanistan, was released in May 2010.…

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General Hal Moore

By Steven Pressfield | 10 Comments

I met General Hal Moore a few years ago, at a dinner in his honor in Los Angeles, around the time the movie We Were Soldiers was released. Both Joe Galloway and General Moore signed a copy of their book We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young for me. General Moore added a note, citing a quote from my book, Gates of Fire, which he said reminded him of LZ X-Ray and his warriors in that fight. It was the quote about “Any army can win when it still has its legs under it; what counts is what…

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General Sam V. Wilson

By Steven Pressfield | 37 Comments

I’m in awe of everything General Sam Wilson has done. His is a name that everyone should know. He’s accomplished more in his lifetime than many of us dare to dream about. He served as a reconnaissance officer with Merrill’s Marauders in Burma, during WWII; as a CIA spy-ring operator in Berlin, uncovering Soviet secrets; as a director of instruction at the U.S. Army Special Warfare School; as a civilian working with USAID in Vietnam and then in the personal rank of minister at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon; and then back in the military, as a Special Forces Group…

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Joe Galloway

By Steven Pressfield | 15 Comments

Joe Galloway set the standard for today’s journalists. Whether he was reporting from Vietnam with General Hal Moore or the Persian Gulf with General Norman Schwarzkopf, or writing about the battles of today,  his work has been steeped in honesty and integrity. He remains the only civilian to receive a medal of valor from the U.S. Army, for heroism during the Vietnam War—the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device. In 1991, he received a National Magazine Award for his U.S. News & World Report cover story “Vietnam Story.” With General Hal Moore, he wrote the classics We Were Soldiers Once…

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