Harper, Oct 27 2009, $16.99
The title will kick most people’s butts as BADASS is a not fiction, but a terrific forty entry short biographical accounts of some of the toughest warriors in history. The book is divided into four sections (Antiquities, The Middle Ages, The Age Of Gunpowder, and The Modern Era) with ten entries in each. The Antiquities and The Middle ages are fascinating for those who are lesser known like Julia “the black widow of Rome” Grippina and Indian Warlord Chandraguupta Maurya although the writings on Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, von Richtofen of Snoopy and music renown and Leonids of 300 Men fame are quite good. The other three sections contain some ass whippers from Napoleon to Pattern to Bruce Lee to Testa. All the entries are fun to read as gender and location is not a prerequisite to warriors entering a butt kicking battle in which the leader knows he or she will leave dead and maimed on the battlefield, but as Ben Thompson cites Mike Tyson with “I want your heart. I want to eat your children”. This is what makes a true BADASS and this biography an entertaining read as real persona like Wolf the Quarrelsome barbarian and Bhanbhagta Gurung the fearless Gurkha make this fun for the armchair warrior.