Steven Pressfield (born September 1, 1943) is an American author of historical fiction, non-fiction, and screenplays, including his 1995 novel The Legend of Bagger Vance and 2002 non-fiction book The War of Art.

Steven Pressfield
Steven Pressfield, June 2011
Steven Pressfield, June 2011
Born (1943-09-01) September 1, 1943 (age 80)
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Alma materDuke University (BA)
GenreHistorical fiction
Military fiction
Notable worksThe Legend of Bagger Vance
Gates of Fire
The Afghan Campaign
The Virtues of War
The Warrior Ethos

Early life Edit

Pressfield was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1943, while his father was stationed there, in the U.S. Navy.

Education Edit

Pressfield graduated from Duke University in 1965. In 1966, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps, serving as an infantryman.[1][2]

Career Edit

Pressfield was an advertising copywriter, schoolteacher, tractor-trailer driver, bartender, oilfield roustabout, attendant in a mental hospital, fruit-picker in Washington state, and screenwriter.[2] His struggles to make a living as an author, including the period when he was homeless and living out of the back of his car, are detailed in his 2002 book The War of Art.[2]

Pressfield's first book, The Legend of Bagger Vance, which was loosely based on the Bhagavad Gita, was published in 1995, and was made into a 2000 film of the same name directed by Robert Redford and starring Will Smith, Charlize Theron, and Matt Damon.[3]

His second novel, Gates of Fire (1998), is about the Spartans and the battle at Thermopylae.[4] It is taught at the U.S. Military Academy,[5] the United States Naval Academy, and the Marine Corps Basic School at Quantico.[6][7]

In 2012, Pressfield launched the publishing house Black Irish Books with his agent Shawn Coyne.[8]

Works Edit

Fiction Edit

  • The Legend of Bagger Vance, about a young man coming to terms with his spiritual demons through the medium of golf (1995). Adapted into the film The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000).
  • Gates of Fire, about the Battle of Thermopylae (1998), ISBN 0385492510. The novel is studied at West Point, the USNA and other military institutions, and topped the list of bestsellers in Greece.
  • Tides of War, a novel of Alcibiades and the Peloponnesian War (2000), ISBN 0385492529
  • Last of the Amazons, in which Theseus, the legendary King of Athens, sets sail to the north coast of the Black Sea inhabited by a race of female warriors (2002), ISBN 038550098X
  • The Virtues of War, about Alexander the Great (2004), ISBN 0385500998
  • The Afghan Campaign, about Alexander the Great's conquests in Afghanistan (2006), ISBN 038551641X
  • Killing Rommel (2008), a fictionalized account of a patrol of the British Long Range Desert Group during the North African Campaign of World War II, ISBN 0385519702
  • The Profession (2011), ISBN 9780385528733. 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.
  • 36 Righteous Men (2020), ISBN 0393358402, a futuristic noir thriller.
  • A Man at Arms (2021), ISBN 9780393540970, a novel set in Jerusalem and the Sinai desert in the first century AD.

Non-fiction Edit

Filmography Edit

Prior to publishing his first original works of fiction, Pressfield wrote several Hollywood screenplays including 1986's King Kong Lives, 1988's Above the Law starring Steven Seagal and directed by Andrew Davis, 1992's Freejack, a work of science fiction starring Emilio Estevez, Mick Jagger, and Anthony Hopkins, and 1993's Joshua Tree (a.k.a. Army of One) starring Dolph Lundgren and George Segal. Joshua Tree was directed by Academy Award and Bafta winning stuntman Vic Armstrong.

His novel The Legend of Bagger Vance was made into a 2000 film starring Matt Damon as the golf pro and Will Smith as his spiritual guide and was widely criticized for its use of the "Magical Negro" as a plot device.

Pressfield also appeared as one of the historians in The History Channel's 2007 documentary Last Stand of the 300 and a commentator on an episode of the History Channel's Decisive Battles series featuring Alexander the Great on July 30, 2004.[9]

References Edit

  1. ^ Inner Wars and Outer Wars Steven Pressfield. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c Pressfield, Steven. "About". Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  3. ^ "The Legend of Bagger Vance". Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  4. ^ Gal Perl Finkel, Wars are won by preparation and not by courage alone, The Jerusalem Post, April 8, 2017.
  5. ^ Samet, Elizabeth D. (September 30, 2007). "Matriculation: In the Valley of the Shadows". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  6. ^ Pressfield, Steven. "About". Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  7. ^ Perry, Tony (June 28, 2008). "Hunting 'the Desert Fox'". Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ Pressfield, Steven. "Announcing Turning Pro". Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  9. ^ "Steven Pressfield: Exploring Ancient Greece through Fiction".

Additional sources Edit

  • Pressfield, Steven. (2012 ed.). War of Art. New York/Los Angeles: Black Irish Books. ISBN 978-1-936891-02-3
  • Pressfield, Steven. (2012 ed.). Turning Pro. New York/Los Angeles: Black Irish Books. ISBN 978-1936891-03-0

External links Edit