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Gates of Fire

by Steven Pressfield

Gates of Fire puts you at the side of valiant Spartan warriors in 480 BC for the bloody, climactic battle at Thermopylae. There, a few hundred of Sparta’s finest sacrificed their lives to hold back the invading Persian millions. The time they bought enabled the Greeks to rally - saving, according to ancient historian Herodotus, “Western democracy and freedom from perishing in the cradle.” How did the Spartans accomplish this superhuman feat? This is what the King of Persia hopes to learn from the sole Spartan survivor. The squire’s story indeed reveals the incredible rigors of Spartan training - and more importantly, how the whole culture fostered the mindset of fearlessness.

Steven Pressfield has skillfully combined scholarship and storytelling to bring the whole world of ancient Sparta brilliantly to life. George Guidall’s dramatic delivery enhances the richness and feeling of this inspired recreation.

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Recommendations: 1

Categories: Literature & Fiction

Reading time: 1011 hours


Chris Fussell
Former Navy SEAL

And I think what Pressfield does masterfully is talks about the culture that supports that. So it was probably the only book in that genre that I constantly recommend to wives, as well. Because I think Pressfield, wisely, give as much credit to the women of Sparta as he does to the soldiers that went forward, making the case that this wouldn’t exist without a home network thatmade it possible in the first place. One of the greatest strengths of the JASOC community, for sure, is the women at home that raise the kids, take care of the family, and live through years and years of deployments in very honorable way. So I think that’s top of the list.