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The Code of the Warrior


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Table of Contents

Foreword Acknowledgments 1 Why Warriors Need a Code 2 The Homeric Hero: A Hector Who Wins? 3 The Two Faces of Rome 4 Vikings: Vengeance, Valkyries, and Valhalla 5 "Never to do outrageousity nor Murder...": The Code of the Warrior in the World of Mallory's Morte d'Arthur 6 Indigenous Americans: Warriors of the Sacred Plains 7 Chinese Warrior Monks: The Martial Artists of Shaolin 8 The Soul of the Samurai: Duty, Devotion, and Death 9 Revelation and the Rules of Engagement: Sultan Saladin and the Warriors of Islam 10 The Warrior's Code Today: Do We Need New Ethics of War? Index About the Author

About the Author

Shannon E. French is the Inamori Professor of Ethics, Director of the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, and a tenured member of the Philosophy Department at Case Western Reserve University.


With amazingly smooth writing, this absorbing and valuable book studies the ethics governing warriors throughout history. Written with impressive erudition, balance, and wit, it will be agreeable reading for warriors, warriors in training, or anyone interested in their welfare. * Publishers Weekly *
This excellent work is worthwhile reading for military personnel and individuals interested in ethics. Highly recommended. * Library Journal *
Waiting until the fog of war has descended is too late to determine where the thin line between warrior and murderer is drawn. In The Code of the Warrior, French enlightens our thinking on this important question, offering fascinating historical examples and the kind of penetrating analysis that can only come from a philosopher devoted to the character development of our future warriors. -- Admiral Leon A. Edney, U.S.N. (Retired); former commander-in-chief, U.S. Atlantic Command
The horrific nature of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States stirred national feelings of anger and hate that may accompany some U.S. warriors into the battle against terrorism. Without the internalized code of conduct French so eloquently describes, the combination of emotion and vastly superior U.S. military power puts our warriors at risk of becoming arrogant, detached, and in some ways like the enemies they despise. Her work is both timely and timeless. -- Captain Karl M. Hasslinger, U.S.N. (Retired)
In The Code of the Warrior, Shannon French captures the essence of the military's core values, history, traditions, the benchmark of its leadership, the raison d'etre of servicemembers' development of character and honor. -- Senator John McCain, from the foreword
Relying on her extensive knowledge of the history of warrior cultures, starting with the Greeks and Trojans, Shannon French has produced an outstanding work that will be of great value to the fledgling warrior, the current practitioner, or the veteran reflecting on his past performance. This book is an important text for anyone involved in warfare, which now includes almost everyone in a society confronting terrorism. -- Vice Admiral Jerry Miller, U.S.N. (Retired), combat veteran of three wars
From start to finish, The Code of the Warrior has powerful and useful applications for all service members and law enforcement officers. But French's book is more than a must-read for those who carry weapons in service to their nation-now, as we enter into a clash of cultures with a War on Terrorism, this book charts the path for honorable conduct for our entire nation. It should be read by every politician and concerned citizen. -- Lt. Col. David Grossman, author of On Killing
An interesting panorama of warrior codes and a glance at how American warriors see martial values today. -- Alan Gropman * The Washington Times *
A successful effort to explore the moral limits that soldiers place on their own conduct in battle. * The Weekly Standard *
Thought-provoking opening and closing chapters. * Special Warfare *
This is a rich survey of military values in diverse cultures, from ancient Greek and Roman to medieval Scandinavian, from Native American to Chinese and Japanese. The book also has the virtue of treating each of its disparate traditions in depth and with care. The Code of the Warrior is an impressively researched and eloquent work, well worth careful study by military professionals and others interested in martial values. It permits us to achieve insights regarding the similarities and differences between our contemporary American military code and those of more distant times and places, thus imparting authentic humanistic wisdom. * Parameters *

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