The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven PressfieldReading this book is like fishing through a landfill site for diamonds; theyre there, just buried under mountains of crap.
The central thesis is that procrastination is often harmful to our long-term success, and of this point I have no disagreement. However the majority of the book is replete with superstition, thinly veiled proselytizing, bullshit facts, and other miscellaneous woo-woo including:
* Hitler was an artist that started WWII because he was procrastinating, and, as a result of this, nobody has seen his paintings. (Seriously, Google his art. He sucked at being a decent human being but was a pretty good artist!)
* Procrastination is the root of erectile dysfunction!
* Terminal and non-terminal cancer patients go into remission because they achieve some goal that makes them happy. (This is a particularly egregious assertion!)
* People that procrastinate develop tumors and mental illness.
* If people overcame procrastination, prisons would magically empty, nobody would get cosmetic surgery or drink alcohol, pharmaceutical companies would collapse, hospitals would close, and all doctors would be out of a job! Dandruff would even cease to exist!
* When you do something to better yourselves, other people may get sick. Indeed, you may allegedly get sick as a way to avoid bettering your life.
* The author makes an unsubstantiated claim that diseases such as ADHD, seasonal affective disorder, and social anxiety disorder are not real and were invented by marketing departments and drug companies to make a quick buck.
* 70-80% of people that go to the doctor arent sick, but are just being dramatic.
* Professionals should without question ignore any and all criticism because all criticism from others is an act of envy, rather than a tool to improve. (Oops!)
* Some mystical bullshit was the driving force behind Hamlet, the Parthenon, and Nude Descending a Staircase, not actual people.
This book is very absolutist and extremist, and fails to take into account the occasions an internal resistance to doing something is not true procrastination, but the cornerstone of good judgment and sometimes even self-preservation. The author even goes so far to say that taking care of your eight month pregnant wife is a form of procrastination! Its almost as if the author hasnt debated the ideas in this book with himself or others, but just started uncritically penning all his unfiltered thoughts into this book.
This book earned its second star for being unintentionally funny in places and for the occasional nugget of crap-coated wisdom. If you read this book, find the wisdom (theres very little), clean it up, and make a note. Discard the rest. Its a short read especially as many of the pages are half, or even two thirds empty; just keep keep your critical thinking skills switched on.
How this book got so many glowing reviews and recommendations is beyond me.
Gates of Fire journal
Sunday, October 31, Journal 4. In fact, most of the book from here on out is descriptions of battles and the like. Eleven are chosen for the night raid on Xerxes' tent, including Dienekes and Xeones. The Spartans sneak up all the way to where Rooster said the tent was, and it isn't there. They soon find the tent, though.
Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Gates of Fire The Battle of Thermopylae between a small force several thousand Spartans and their Greek allies against an overwhelming army from Asia under Persian King Xerxes command in BC is told by the lone surviving Greek a squire named Xeones. Xerxes is the ambitious heir, son of Darius the former great ruler of the Persian Empire, wishing to forge his own glorious legacy through conquest of the Hellenic nations who have been at war with Persia for hundreds of years. With a narrative that jumps forward and back in time throughout, Xeones starts his tale in his childhood before he found servitude as the valet of a young Spartan warrior named Alexandros. At the age of ten he and his older cousin Diomache are orphaned when their families are slain by raiders from Argos. They take to the hills along with a trusted family slave trying just to survive. In the course of their wandering over several years, he is caught stealing and has his hands nailed to a board, she is gang raped by soldiers, and their servant dies of hardship and old age.
Gates of Fire is a historical fiction novel by Steven Pressfield that recounts the Battle of Thermopylae through Xeones, a perioikoi  free but non-citizen inhabitant of Sparta born in Astakos ,  and one of only three Greek survivors of the battle. The novel stresses the literary themes of fate and irony as well as the military themes of honor , duty , stoicism , and esprit de corps. The novel is narrated by Xeones, a perioikoi and one of only three Greek survivors of the Battle of Thermopylae. His story is dictated to King Xerxes and transcribed by his court historian , Gobartes. At Thermopylae , the allied Greek nations deployed a small force of four thousand Greek heavy infantry against the invading Persian army of two million strong. Leading the Greeks was a small force of three hundred Spartans , chosen because they were all "sires" — men who had to have sons who could preserve their blood line, should they fall in battle.
Chapter Analysis of Gates of Fire
Uniformed men start shoveling away the bonfire's remains. Liesel notices three books deep in the pile that haven't burned. She tucks it beneath her shirt and feels the heat from it.
Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides. A Modern Classic. Steven Pressfield reports receiving many emails from military readers deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Spartan Wit. Herodotus remarks that the historical Dienekes was known for wry quips, as Pressfield also portrays him in the novel.