Steven Pressfield
Steven Pressfield is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 novelist and author of screenplays, principally of military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 historical fiction
Historical novel
According to Encyclopædia Britannica, a historical novel is-Development:An early example of historical prose fiction is Luó Guànzhōng's 14th century Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which covers one of the most important periods of Chinese history and left a lasting impact on Chinese culture.The...

 set in classical antiquity
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

. His historical fiction is well-research
Research can be defined as the scientific search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method...

ed, but for the sake of dramatic flow, Pressfield may alter some details, like the sequence of events, or make use of jarring contemporary terms and place names, his stated aim being an attempt to capture the spirit of the times
Zeitgeist is "the spirit of the times" or "the spirit of the age."Zeitgeist is the general cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual or political climate within a nation or even specific groups, along with the general ambiance, morals, sociocultural direction, and mood associated with an era.The...


To enhance his readers' immersion in ancient times, Pressfield typically writes his novels from the point of view
Point of view (literature)
The narrative mode is the set of methods the author of a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical story uses to convey the plot to the audience. Narration, the process of presenting the narrative, occurs because of the narrative mode...

 of the characters
Fictional character
A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr , the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of...

 involved. For instance, The Virtues of War is told from the first-person
First-person narrative
First-person point of view is a narrative mode where a story is narrated by one character at a time, speaking for and about themselves. First-person narrative may be singular, plural or multiple as well as being an authoritative, reliable or deceptive "voice" and represents point of view in the...

 perspective of Alexander.

His epic novel Gates of Fire
Gates of Fire
Gates of Fire is a 1998 historical fiction novel by Steven Pressfield that recounts the Battle of Thermopylae through Xeones, a Spartan Helot and the sole Greek survivor of the battle....

is on the Commandant of the Marine Corps' Reading list. It is taught at U.S. Military Academy
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

 and United States Naval Academy and at the Marine Corps Basic School at Quantico , and according to the L.A. Times, "has achieved cult status among Marines."

Pressfield served in the United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 in the 1960s, and later graduated from Duke University
Duke University
Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina, United States. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco industrialist James B...



  • The Legend of Bagger Vance (book)] (see The Legend of Bagger Vance (film)
    The Legend of Bagger Vance
    The Legend of Bagger Vance is a 2000 American film directed by Robert Redford and starring Will Smith, Matt Damon and Charlize Theron. It is based on the 1995 book of the same title by Steven Pressfield and takes place in the U.S. state of Georgia in 1931...

    for the movie), about a young man trying to come to terms with his spiritual demons through the medium of golf
    Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

  • Gates of Fire, about the Battle of Thermopylae
    Battle of Thermopylae
    The Battle of Thermopylae was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states, led by King Leonidas of Sparta, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I over the course of three days, during the second Persian invasion of Greece. It took place simultaneously with the naval battle at Artemisium, in August...

  • Tides of War, A Novel of Alcibiades
    Alcibiades, son of Clinias, from the deme of Scambonidae , was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. He was the last famous member of his mother's aristocratic family, the Alcmaeonidae, which fell from prominence after the Peloponnesian War...

     and the Peloponnesian War
    Peloponnesian War
    The Peloponnesian War, 431 to 404 BC, was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens and its empire against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases...

  • Last of the Amazons, in which Theseus
    For other uses, see Theseus Theseus was the mythical founder-king of Athens, son of Aethra, and fathered by Aegeus and Poseidon, both of whom Aethra had slept with in one night. Theseus was a founder-hero, like Perseus, Cadmus, or Heracles, all of whom battled and overcame foes that were...

    , the legendary King of Athens, sets sail to the north coast of the Black Sea inhabited by a race of female warriors (2002)
  • The Virtues of War, about Alexander the Great (2004)
  • The Afghan Campaign, about Alexander the Great's conquests in Afghanistan (2006)
  • Killing Rommel (2008), a fictionalized account of a patrol of the British Long Range Desert Group
    Long Range Desert Group
    The Long Range Desert Group was a reconnaissance and raiding unit of the British Army during the Second World War. The commander of the German Afrika Corps, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, admitted that the LRDG "caused us more damage than any other British unit of equal strength".Originally called...

     during the North African Campaign
    North African campaign
    During the Second World War, the North African Campaign took place in North Africa from 10 June 1940 to 13 May 1943. It included campaigns fought in the Libyan and Egyptian deserts and in Morocco and Algeria and Tunisia .The campaign was fought between the Allies and Axis powers, many of whom had...

     of World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

  • The Profession (2011), Pressfield's first book set in the future, where military force is for hire everywhere. Oil companies, multinational corporations and banks employ powerful, cutting-edge mercenary armies to control global chaos and protect their riches.


  • The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, a motivational book that investigates the psychology of creating art and how "writer's block" can be cured (2002)
  • Do The Work,Do The Work takes you step-by-step from the project's inception to its ship date, hitting each predictable 'Resistance point' along the way and giving techniques and drills for overcoming each obstacle. (2011)
  • The Warrior Ethos (2011) Written for our men and women in uniform, but its utility, Pressfield hopes, will not be limited to the sphere of literal armed conflict.

Online series

  • Writing WednesdaysAn ongoing, blog-version of The War of Art. It's the chapters Pressfield would have written if he'd kept on writing the book.
  • What It Takes A journal of the campaign to create a bestselling book.
  • The Warrior EthosThe series is intended for our young men and women in uniform, and for warriors in other walks of life.
  • [It's the Tribes, Stupid] a blog about the tribes in Afghanistan
  • War Stories a blog dealing with issues of honor and virtue and courage in the face of adversity.
  • The Creative ProcessA Q&A with a wide range of creative people—from writers to business entrepreneurs and beyond—probing how they do that thing they do.

Film work

Prior to publishing his first original works of fiction, Pressfield wrote several Hollywood screenplays, most notably 1988's Above the Law
Above the Law (film)
Above the Law is a 1988 action film directed by Andrew Davis, probably best-known for being the film debut of Steven Seagal. This came about after a successful screen test, financed by Michael Ovitz, led to Seagal being offered a contract by Warner Bros...

starring Steven Seagal
Steven Seagal
Steven Frederic Seagal is an American action film star, producer, writer, martial artist, guitarist and reserve deputy sheriff. A 7th-dan black belt in Aikido, Seagal began his adult life as an Aikido instructor in Japan...

 and directed by Andrew Davis
Andrew Davis (film director)
Andrew Davis is an American film director, producer and cinematographer, noted for the action films Code of Silence, The Fugitive, Chain Reaction, Collateral Damage, Above the Law, The Guardian and Under Siege.-Biography:Born on the south side of Chicago, Illinois, Davis has directed several films...

, 1992’s Freejack
Freejack is a 1992 science fiction film directed by Geoff Murphy, starring Emilio Estevez, Mick Jagger, Rene Russo, Jonathan Banks, Grand L. Bush and Anthony Hopkins. Upon its release in the United States, the film received mostly negative reviews. The story was adapted from Immortality, Inc., a...

, a work of science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 starring Emilio Estevez
Emilio Estevez
Emilio Estevez is an American actor, film director, and writer. He started his career as an actor and is well-known for being a member of the acting Brat Pack of the 1980s, starring in The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo's Fire...

, Mick Jagger
Mick Jagger
Sir Michael Philip "Mick" Jagger is an English musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist and a founding member of The Rolling Stones....

, and Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins, KBE , best known as Anthony Hopkins, is a Welsh actor of film, stage and television...

, and 1993's Joshua Tree
Joshua Tree (1993 film)
Joshua Tree, also known as Army of One, is a 1993 action film directed by Academy Award and BAFTA-winning stunt coordinator Vic Armstrong, written by Steven Pressfield and starring Dolph Lundgren, Kristian Alfonso, and George Segal...

(a.k.a. Army Of One) starring Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren is a Swedish actor, director, and martial artist. He belongs to a generation of film actors who epitomise the movie action hero stereotype including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme.A graduate in chemical...

 and George Segal
George Segal
George Segal is an American film, stage and television actor.-Early life:George Segal, Jr. was born in 1934 Great Neck, Long Island, New York, the son of Fannie Blanche and George Segal, Sr. He was educated at George School, a private Quaker preparatory boarding school near Newtown, Bucks County,...

. Joshua Tree was directed by Academy Award and Bafta winning stuntman
Stunt double
A stunt double is a type of body double, specifically a skilled replacement used for dangerous film or video sequences, in movies and television , and for other sophisticated stunts...

 Vic Armstrong
Vic Armstrong
Victor Monroe Armstrong is a BAFTA winning British film director and stunt double -- the world's most prolific according to the Guinness Book of Records...


His novel The Legend of Bagger Vance was made into a 2000 film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 starring Matt Damon
Matt Damon
Matthew Paige "Matt" Damon is an American actor, screenwriter, and philanthropist whose career was launched following the success of the film Good Will Hunting , from a screenplay he co-wrote with friend Ben Affleck...

 as the golf pro and Will Smith
Will Smith
Willard Christopher "Will" Smith, Jr. , also known by his stage name The Fresh Prince, is an American actor, producer, and rapper. He has enjoyed success in television, film and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him the most powerful actor in Hollywood...

 as his spiritual guide
A guide is a person who leads anyone through unknown or unmapped country. This includes a guide of the real world , as well as a person who leads someone to more abstract places .-Guide - meanings related to travel and recreational pursuits:There are many variants of...


Steven Pressfield also appeared as one of the historians in The History Channel
The History Channel
History, formerly known as The History Channel, is an American-based international satellite and cable TV channel that broadcasts a variety of reality shows and documentary programs including those of fictional and non-fictional historical content, together with speculation about the future.-...

's 2007 documentary "Last Stand of the 300".

External links

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