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The Deadliest Men
The World's Deadliest Combatants Throughout the Ages

Paul Kirchner

For any reality based self-defense instructor, martial art student, cyber-warrior or plain old street punk who thinks he's tough ... they may have another thing coming when they peruse the tales incorporated within this book.

Paul Kirchner has profiled the 50 whom he considers the "world's deadliest men." Those he chose include Alexander the Great, Jim Bowie, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Geronimo, Andrew Jackson, Audie Murphy,  Alvin York and 'Wild Bill' Hickok, as well as a variety of lesser-known -- but equally deadly -- fighters:

    -- "Jelly" Bryce, the FBI's top gun during the gangster era
    -- Egil Skallagrimmson, the Viking warrior who spouted poetry after each of his many duels
    -- Jean-Louis,the Haitian emigrant who became the greatest swordsman in Napoleonic France.
    -- Jose "Pepe" Llulla, the New Orleans duelist who owned a private cemetery said to be filled with his victims.
    -- La Maupin, the licentious swordswoman who cut a swath through 17th century Paris
    -- Shaka, the Zulu chief who conquered much of Africa by revolutionizing Zulu war tactics
    -- Lance Thomas, the Los Angeles jeweler who successfully defended himself in five armed robberies.

These men had what many people hope their training will instill: Namely the ability to look death in the eye and, not only continue to function, but overcome. A reader will glean from these pages what it takes to be a true warrior. These incredible warriors faced overwhelming odds, survived terrible wounds and pulled hairbreadth escapes. Their stories read like fiction, but are all the more compelling because they are true.

The Deadliest Men: The World's Deadliest Combatants Throughout the Ages (Paladin Press) 2001, 418 pages, ISBN 1-58160-271-5

Softcover, Item# Bdeadliest
Book -- $23      Retail, $25

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Reviews of this book include:
A note from the author:
I have always been fascinated by extraordinary fighting men like Alexander, Jim Bowie, Andrew Jackson, Alvin York and Audie Murphy, men who actually performed the sorts of exploits depicted by action heroes in the movies. I decided I would collect the stories of as many of these figures as I could find. I wound up with 50 profiles, averaging about 2,000 words. Each focuses on "the good parts" with only enough biographical detail and historical context to set the stage. I got photos, prints, or did drawings of nearly everyone included.

Only honorable fighting men were considered, men who fought face to face in single combat, or against multiple opponents. I included no one who preyed on the defenseless. I wanted variety -- only so many fighter pilots or western gunfighters. I wanted to cover as much history and geography as possible, and to feature masters of many individual combat systems -- the fist, the spear, the sword, the pistol, the rifle and the fighter plane. I didn't include anyone who didn't fight for blood, whatever the level of prowess he may have demonstrated -- no dojo warriors or IPSC champs. I wanted a mixture of familiar and obscure figures, and their stories had to have enough detail and drama to make for good reading.

Are these, strictly speaking, 'The Deadliest Men?' That's debatable, but they're the most interesting, most impressive fighting men I could find, each distinctly different, and I'm confident each has a seat at Valhalla's head table.

Inspired by my lifelong fascination with warriors and weaponry, I spent five years researching and writing The Deadliest Men.
-- Paul Kirchner


This is a unique book. A collection of 44 mini-biographies of some of the most remarkable men (and a few women) of courage, honor and duty. The selection is eclectic: lawmen, outlaws, soldiers, fighter pilots, warriors and an assortment of others. Some are well known, some are obscure. Some are admirable for their virtue, others are scoundrels. What they have in common is an unwillingness to take the easy way out when things got rough.

In an era when masculinity has become suspect and courage is seen as psychopathology, it is a fine thing to read about men who refused to surrender their honor for the illusion of safety. Men for whom the concept of duty was inviolable and for whom courage was central to their being.

The author knows how to tell a grand tale. He avoids the temptation to engage in melodrama or psychological interpretation. I had to ration myself to reading just a few chapters at a time, the temptation was to race through the book.

My only complaint is that this book should have been presented in a hardback edition. I know I will be rereading this book from time to time for years to come.

To be sure, this book will give great pleasure simply as remarkable tales of remarkable people. However, I believe this book would be useful in the character education of any young man or women. The fact that not all of the people included are "nice guys" adds a depth that can be used to fully explore the nature of such characteristics as honor, duty and courage.
-- Kenneth Robinson, USA


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