Natural Born Heroes: online Mastering the Lost Secrets of Strength 2021 and Endurance outlet online sale

Natural Born Heroes: online Mastering the Lost Secrets of Strength 2021 and Endurance outlet online sale

Natural Born Heroes: online Mastering the Lost Secrets of Strength 2021 and Endurance outlet online sale
Natural Born Heroes: online Mastering the Lost Secrets of Strength 2021 and Endurance outlet online sale__right

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Product Description

Christopher McDougall’s journey begins with a story of remarkable athletic prowess: On the treacherous mountains of Crete, a motley band of World War II Resistance fighters—an artist, a shepherd, and a poet—abducted a German commander from the heart of the Axis occupation. To understand how, McDougall retraces their steps across the island that birthed Herakles and Odysseus, and discovers ancient techniques for endurance, sustenance, and natural movement that have been preserved in unique communities around the world.

His search takes us scrambling over rooftops with a Parkour crew in London, foraging for greens with a ballerina in Brooklyn, tossing heavy pieces of driftwood on a Brazilian beach with the creator of MovNat—and, finally, to our own backyards. Natural Born Heroes will inspire readers to unleash the extraordinary potential of the human body and climb, swim, skip, throw, and jump their way to heroic feats.

Review

“A mash note to physical endurance. . . . McDougall redefines the heroic ideal, establishing heroism as a skill set rather than a virtue. . . . [And] schools the reader in the art of the champion. . . . The essential narrative here, the twisty tale of a kidnapping that incredibly goes right, is exciting. It is balanced out with the journalistic account of McDougall’s entry into the world of the hero. His personal quest to ‘rewild the psyche’ might seem an awkward fit with war storytelling. But under McDougall’s sure hand the combination improbably works. Kind of like kidnapping a German general on an island swarming with Nazi troops.” — NPR Books

Natural Born Heroes provides a blueprint of the essential ideas of how to move, what to eat, and the spirit in which to approach our everyday lives. I connected with this book on a primal, emotional, and intellectual level, and have been profoundly inspired by McDougall’s work.” —Laird Hamilton

“Fascinating. . . . Show[s] that heroism not only can be taught—it can be mastered.” — New York Post

“A fast-paced, enlightening tale of everyday heroes. . . . A victory lap for McDougall.” — Deseret News (Salt Lake City)

“McDougall traveled to Crete to examine the physical and mental capacity of Greek war heroes [and] studied natural movement, endurance, and nutrition to understand how regular people are capable of extraordinary athletic feats. . . . We can all adapt the tools of the athletes featured in McDougall’s new book.” — Real Simple

“McDougall sets his rediscovery of fitness concepts against the backdrop of a great tale of espionage, kidnapping, and harrowing escapes. . . . The fascinating story provides anecdotal proof for the theories and, perhaps, the encouragement you need to try them in your life.” — Women’s Running

“A heady confection that encompasses, among other subjects, military history, archaeology, Greek mythology, neat ways to kill a man and ideas on health and fitness that might just change your life. . . . [McDougall] constructs a fascinating edifice of ideas . . . and eventually finds a modern-day hero of his own. But the pleasures of the book are as much to do with the fascinating panoply of characters, war heroes all, British, Commonwealth and Cretan, whose exploits contributed so much to Hitler''s downfall.” — The Independent (London)

“In the thoroughly absorbing Natural Born Heroes, which tracks heroism from the times of Zeus and Odysseus to the World War II bravery of a motley crew of fighters, Christopher McDougall makes it clear that . . . heroes, both ancient and modern, are not somehow supernaturally endowed after all. Indeed, they may come by their skills quite naturally. . . . His extensive knowledge of fitness training, nutrition and physiology winds artfully around a tale of superhuman resistance during the Nazi occupation of the Greek island of Crete. . . . [McDougall] solves this mystery with a witty eye for every detail, inspiring his own captive audience along the way.” — BookPage
 
“Compelling . . . engaging . . . provocative . . . with inquiries into the nature of heroism. . . . True heroism, as the ancients understood, isn’t about strength or boldness or even courage. It’s about compassion.” — Kirkus Reviews
 
“Riveting. . . . A well-done recounting of a truly heroic episode of WWII. . . . In absorbing detail, McDougall describes how . . . ‘ordinary’ men who were far from stereotypically tough, battle-hardened warriors . . . trekked across tortuous mountain terrain while avoiding a massive German dragnet..” — Booklist

About the Author

Christopher McDougall is the author of  Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. He began his career as an overseas correspondent for the Associated Press, covering wars in Rwanda and Angola. He now lives and writes (and runs, swims, climbs, and bear-crawls) among the Amish farms around his home in rural Pennsylvania.
 
Christopher McDougall is available for select speaking engagements. To inquire about a possible appearance, please contact Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau at speakers@penguinrandomhouse.com or visit www.prhspeakers.com
 
www.chrismcdougall.com

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

You’ve got to put yourself in the Butcher’s shoes.
            You’re General Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller, one of two German commanders on the Greek island of Crete. Hitler is worried that something terrible is about to happen right under your nose, something that could severely damage the German offensive, but you’ve got it all under control. The island is small and your manpower is huge. You’ve got 100,000 seasoned troops, with search planes prowling the mountains and patrol boats monitoring the beaches. You’ve got the Gestapo at your service, and you’re scary enough to be called the Butcher. No one is going to mess with you.
            And then you wake up on the morning of April 24, 1944, to discover the other you is gone. Your fellow commander, General Heinrich Kreipe, has disappeared. There’s no hint of foul play: no shots fired, no bloodshed, no signs of a scuffle. Stranger yet, the general vanished from somewhere around the capital, the most heavily guarded corner of the island. Whatever happened, it happened right in front of the general’s own men. Kreipe was no toy soldier, either; he was a serious hard case, a Great War survivor with an Iron Cross who’d battled his way up through the ranks and just transferred in from the Russian front. He had a personal security force and an armed driver and a villa surrounded by attack dogs, razor wire, and machine-gun posts.
            So where was he?
            All the Butcher knew was this: shortly after 9 p.m., General Kreipe left his command base and drove into the center of town. It was Saturday, so foot traffic was thicker than usual. Troops from outlying garrisons had been bused in for a movie, and the streets were jammed with strolling soldiers. The movie had just let out; the Butcher knew this because hundreds of soldiers had seen the black sedan with the general’s flags on the bumper inching its way through the streets. General Kreipe’s driver had to honk them out of the way, even rolling down his window at one point to holler, “GENERAL’S WAGEN!” Kreipe was right there in the front passenger seat, nodding his head and returning salutes. Every road in every direction at every half-mile was guarded by checkpoints. The general’s car passed Gestapo headquarters and funneled through the last checkpoint, the narrow opening at the Canae Gate. “Gute Nacht,” the general’s driver called. The sedan slid beneath the crossbar and exited the city.
            Early the next morning, the general’s car was discovered on a scruff of beach just outside the city. The general and his driver were gone, as were the eagle flags from the front bumper. Around the car was a weird scattering of rubbish: an Agatha Christie novel, Cadbury milk chocolate wrappers, a bunch of English “Players” cigarette butts, and a green British commando beret. On the dashboard was a letter. It was addressed to “The German authorities on Crete” and said that Kreipe had been captured by a British raiding force and taken off the island. The letter was ceremonially sealed with red wax and signet rings, and included a jaunty postscript:
            We are very sorry to have to leave this beautiful motor car behind.
            Something didn’t add up. The general must have been grabbed after he left the city, but his car was found only a twenty-minute drive away. So within that brief window, these mystery men had executed an ambush, disarmed and subdued two prisoners, smoked a pack of cigarettes, shared some snacks, lost a hat, melted wax, and what else—browsed a paperback? Was this an abduction or a family vacation? Plus that stretch of coast was floodlit by klieg lights and patrolled by planes. Why would seasoned commandos choose the most exposed part of the island as their extraction point? From that beach, their escape boat would have had to head north into hundreds of miles of German-occupied waters, making them sitting ducks as soon as the sun came up.
            Whoever did this was trying very hard to look very British, very cool and under control. But the Butcher wasn’t buying it. He was in the midst of his second World War and to his knowledge, no general had ever been kidnapped before. There was no precedent for this sort of thing, no tactics, so they had to be making it up as they went along. Which meant that sooner or later, they’d make a blunder and fall right into his hands. Already, they’d made a big mistake: they’d badly underestimated their opponent. Because the Butcher had seen through their feints and realized two things:
            They were still on his island, and they were running for their lives.      
 
 
            On a spring morning in 2012, I stood where the general’s car was found, wondering the same thing as the Butcher: where could they possibly go?
            At my back is the Aegean Sea. In front, there’s nothing but a snarl of chest-high brambles leading to a sheer cliff. In the far distance and cutting the island in half like a giant border fence is the craggy range of snowy Mount Ida, the highest climb in Greece. The only possible escape is the southern coast, but the only way to get there is up and over that eight-thousand-foot peak. The trek alone would be a challenge, but pulling it off with a belligerent prisoner in tow and a massive manhunt hot on your heels? Impossible.
            “Ah!” There’s a shout from somewhere inside the brambles, then a hand jerks up like it’s hailing a cab. “Come toward me.”
            Chris White remains rooted in place, his arm high so I can find him and his eyes pinned on whatever he’s spotted. I heave my backpack over my shoulders and begin fighting my way toward him, thorns tearing at my clothes. No one alive knows more about what happened to General Kreipe than Chris White, which is odd, because there’s no reason Chris White should know anything about what happened to General Kreipe. Chris isn’t a scholar or a military historian. He doesn’t speak Greek or German, and as a lifelong pacifist he has no real taste for war stories. By day, Chris is a social worker who manages care for the elderly and the mentally disabled in the quiet English city of Oxford. But at night and on weekends, he’s buried in a stack of topographical maps and out-of-print books in a little wooden shack behind his country cottage. In the great tradition of British amateur obsessives, Chris has spent the past ten years piecing together the mystery the Butcher faced on the morning of April 24, 1944: how do you make a German general disappear on an island swarming with German troops?
            It was a magical idea. That’s what Chris White loved about it. The scheme was so perfectly, defiantly un-Nazi: instead of force and brutality, the plan was to trip Hitler up with ingenuity and finesse. There would be no bullets, no blood, no civilians in the middle. Killing the general would have made him just another casualty of war, but not killing him would flip the tables and inflict a touch of fear in the men who were terrorizing Europe. The sheer mystery would make the Nazis crazy and plant an itch of doubt in every soldier’s mind: if these phantoms could get the most protected man on a fortified island, then who was safe?
            But getting him was only the beginning. The Butcher would throw everything he had into the manhunt, and what he had was a lot. He’d have troops swarming the woods, attack dogs searching for scent, recon planes buzzing the mountains and clicking photos of goat trails for ground scouts to later follow on foot. The Gestapo would offer bribes and rewards and activate its network of local traitors. The Butcher had more than one soldier for every four civilians, giving him a tighter security ratio than you’d find in a maximum-security prison. And that’s what Crete had become: a prison fenced in by the sea. Crete had never been an ordinary island in the first place, at least not in Hitler’s eyes. The Führer counted on Crete as a crucial transit point for German troops and supplies heading to the Russian front, and he intended to keep it safe as a bank vault. The slightest hint of any Cretan resistance, Hitler had ordered, should be crushed with eine gewisse brutalität—“a good bit of brutality.”
 
 
            Chris White parted the brambles and pointed. In the dirt, a thin scuff led to a low tunnel through the brush. It wasn’t much of a scuff, but it was the best we’d seen all morning.
            “They went this way,” Chris said. “Let’s go.”
            Chris took point. Brambles twined across the trail like netting and the footing was a loose jumble of scrabbly stone. The scuff kept twisting places it shouldn’t—veering back on itself, disappearing into overgrown gullies—but Chris was unstoppable. Whenever the trail seemed to die for good, Chris would disappear in the mess until eventually, his hand shot back up: “AH!”
            No, my gut kept telling me. This is all wrong. Why would anyone blaze a trail that runs smack into a boulder? Or in and out of a gully instead of alongside it? I had to remind myself we were steering by goat logic; on Crete, goats break the trail and goatherds follow, adapting themselves to the animals’ feel for the landscape. And once I stopped doubting the goat logic, I noticed the slickness of the stones and remembered something else: water only travels in one direction. No matter how weirdly these washouts twisted us around, we had to be gaining altitude. Imperceptibly, we were wormholing our way up the cliff.
            “Doesn’t it take your breath away?” said Chris. “Before we came, it’s possible no one had walked through here since the German occupation. It’s like going into an ancient tomb.”
            Soon Chris and I were beetling along at a steady clip. Well, Chris beetled and I followed. He broke the trail and ranged ahead while I was focused on just keeping pace. I’m ten years younger than Chris and I thought in much better shape, so it was humbling to face the fact that this sixty-year-old social-services administrator who never works out and looks like he’s best suited for a comfy chair and a Sunday paper could shame me with his endurance and uphill agility.
            “It must come naturally,” Chris shrugged.
            Did it? That’s what I was on Crete to find out.
            The ancients called Crete “the Sliver,” and when your plane is coming in for a landing with no hint of land below, you’ll know why. Right when you think you’re about to plunge into the sea, the pilot banks and the island bursts into view, frothy around the edges as if it just popped up from the deep. Looming in the harbor behind the airport is a gloomy stone fortress, a sixteenth-century Venetian relic that only adds to the sensation that you’re punching through a portal in time and about to enter a world summoned back from the past.
            Crete has another nickname—“the Island of Heroes”—which I’d only discovered by accident. I was researching Pheidippides, the ancient Greek messenger who inspired the modern marathon, when I came across an odd reference to a modern-day Pheidippides named George Psychoundakis, better known as “the Clown.” The Clown was awe-inspiring. When Hitler’s forces invaded Crete, he transformed himself overnight from a sheep farmer into a mountain-running messenger for the Resistance. Somehow, George was able to master challenges that would stagger an Olympic athlete: he could scramble snowy cliffs with a sixty-pound pack on his back, run fifty-plus miles through the night on a starvation diet of boiled hay, and outfox a Gestapo death squad that had him cornered. George wasn’t even a trained soldier; he was a shepherd living a sleepy, peaceful life until the day German parachutes popped open over his home.
            Until then, I’d thought the secrets of ancient heroes like Pheidippides were either half myth or lost to antiquity, but here was a normal man pulling off the same feats 2,500 years later. And he wasn’t alone: George himself told the story of a fellow shepherd who singlehandedly saved a villageful of women and children from a German massacre. The Germans had come to search for weapons and became suspicious when they realized all the men were missing and none of the women were talking. The German commander had the women lined up for execution. Just as he was about to say “Fire!” his skull exploded. A shepherd named Costi Paterakis had raced to the rescue through the woods, arriving just in time to take aim from a quarter-mile away. The rest of the Germans scattered for cover—and fell right into the crosshairs of Resistance fighters who arrived on Costi’s heels.
            “It still seems to me one of the most spectacular moments of the war,” said a British Resistance operative whose own life was saved by the silence of those brave women. The story is so stirring, it’s easy to forget what it really required. Costi had to ignore self-preservation and propel his body toward danger; he had to cover miles of cross-country terrain at top speed without a stumble; he had to quickly master rage, panic, and exhaustion as he slowed his pounding heart to steady his gun. It wasn’t just an act of courage—it was a triumph of natural heroism and physical self-mastery.
            The more I looked into Crete during the Resistance, the more stories like that I found. Was there really an American high school student fighting alongside the rebels behind German lines? Who was the starving prisoner who escaped a POW camp and turned himself into a master of retaliation known as the Lion? And most of all: what really happened when a band of misfits tried to sneak the German commander off the island? Even the Nazis realized that when they landed on Crete, they’d entered an entirely different kind of fight. On the day he was sentenced to death for war crimes, Hitler’s chief of staff didn’t blame the Nuremberg judges for his fate. He didn’t blame his troops for losing, or even the Führer for letting him down. He blamed the Island of Heroes.
            So what exactly were the Cretans tapping into? There was a time when that question wouldn’t be a mystery. For much of human history, the art of the hero wasn’t left up to chance; it was a multidisciplinary endeavor devoted to optimal nutrition, physical self-mastery, and mental conditioning. The hero’s skills were studied, practiced, and perfected, then passed along from parent to child and teacher to student. The art of the hero wasn’t about being brave; it was about being so competent that bravery wasn’t an issue. You weren’t supposed to go down for a good cause; the goal was to figure out a way not to go down at all. Achilles and Odysseus and the rest of the classical heroes hated the thought of dying and scratched for every second of life. A hero’s one crack at immortality was to be remembered as a champion, and champions don’t die dumb. It all hinged on the ability to unleash the tremendous resources of strength, endurance, and agility that many people don’t realize they already have.
            That’s why the Greeks didn’t wait for heroes to appear; they built their own instead. They perfected a hero’s diet, which curbs hunger, boosts power, and converts body fat into performance fuel. They developed techniques for controlling fear and adrenaline surges, and they learned to tap into the remarkable hidden strength of the body’s elastic tissue, which is far more powerful and effective than muscle. More than two thousand years ago, they got serious about the business of releasing the hero inside us all. And then they were gone.
            Except on one small island, where a certain ancient art endured.

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Helton
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Read This at the Perfect Time
Reviewed in the United States on October 3, 2016
This book came to me at a perfect time: I was overtraining and I needed to take a breather (to be more specific, my body had forced me to do so). I get all up in this book''s face in 2 different ways: (1) The nutritional "diet"/ training it speaks about, and (2) the... See more
This book came to me at a perfect time: I was overtraining and I needed to take a breather (to be more specific, my body had forced me to do so). I get all up in this book''s face in 2 different ways: (1) The nutritional "diet"/ training it speaks about, and (2) the backstory that blankets the entire book.

(1) I know little to nothing about nutrition, and shouldn''t be trusted very much in regards to advice in that arena, but the book has steered me in a right direction in terms of changing the foods that make up my daily diet---what to limit, what to increase---and that (among other recommendations from actual trainers) has drastically improved not only my athletic performances, but I just simply feel healthier. Like McDougall suggests we all do, I''m just trying to get to a state of holistic health to where I can function like, well, a kid in a playground. To that end, his writings are incredibly thought-provoking and damn-near mindblowing.

(2) The unbelievable story of a bunch of rag-tag nobodies kidnapping a Nazi high-ranking officer already has my attention (and I''m sure McDougall is keenly aware of how cool this story is), and tale itself from beginning to end is as captivating as you might imagine. Great job of teasing it out.

Toward the latter parts of the book, I thought that some of the time-jumping (you switch between his present-day adventures, WWII, and sometimes somewhere in between) got confusing, and it made me do some re-reading in case I glossed over some important points. Not a deal-breaker for me, but thought you should know.

In the end, I think that this book has a TON of information about eating/fueling/exercising in a notably different way than I''m used to, but it is also bursting at the seams with little asides for subjects that could have their own book of this size or even greater (Crossfit movement, why humans were so successful at hunting, heart rate training, performing athletically under said proper heart rate, extracting essential foods from your local surroundings, etc.). I would heartily suggest that you read this and use it as a springboard to other subjects within that interest you. McDougall''s book has set me on a course of heart rate training that I had been postponing for years, and I can say without question that I''m an improved athlete and a healthier person due to his research and experiences. Is this for everyone? Why, of course not. Each athlete has their own set of eccentricities and particular things that their body responds positively to, and I would humbly ask that you take that into account if you execute anything within here.

Remember: even if you hate exercise, it''s got one hell of a WWII story, so there''s that.
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Larry Ellis
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
How the Allies Won The War!
Reviewed in the United States on September 27, 2017
I think someone said that the farther we get away from historical events the better we understand them. World War II is almost beyond living memory now and yet stories keep emerging about till now unsung but consequential contributions to the Allied effort – the effort... See more
I think someone said that the farther we get away from historical events the better we understand them. World War II is almost beyond living memory now and yet stories keep emerging about till now unsung but consequential contributions to the Allied effort – the effort that kept the world from coming under the thumb of Hitler and his Third Reich.
One such story is the battle for Crete. And that story, fantastic as it is, serves as the backbone of Christopher McDougall’s latest book, Natural Born Heroes.
McDougal came to fame as an author with the success of his first book, Born To Run, which told the story of an obscure, hidden indigenous tribe somewhere in the wilds of Mexico that produces men who are able to run unbelievable distances at unbelievable speeds – without shoes. Like that book, Natural Born Heroes is also concerned with local, untrained men who are able to accomplish almost unbelievable physical feats.
I would describe this book as layered. It’s not strictly chronological. It weaves back and forth between the main story – the capture of a German General during the occupation of Crete during World War II – and stories about Greek culture and the daily lives of the type of men who carried off this breathtaking capture and escape. The book is filled with stories about the various kinds of physical and dietary regimens being discovered and practiced today that mimic or approximate the native lifestyle of the hardy Cretan. He writes about Parkour, primal eating and various kinds of self-defense systems.
I read a lot of books, but it has been a long time since I enjoyed a book so thoroughly. I found myself making time in my days to get back to it and looking forward to the hours set aside for it. The story of the battle of Crete is enough, in and of itself, to rivet one’s attention. As the book tells us, when Hitler’s Chief of Staff was being tried for war crimes, he blamed the loss of the war not on the resolve of the British or the entry of the Americans intro the European theater but on the dogged resistance of the Cretan citizenry whose efforts stymied the German plan for immediate subjugation. Hitler had planned to move his armies to the Russian front in the spring and defeat the Russians in battle there before the terrible winter set in and his troops be caught in ice and snow.
But the Greeks gave him more trouble than he ever imagined. In fact, it took longer for Germany to establish its command on the tiny island of Crete than it did for them to conquer France. Because of the resistance of the Cretans, Hitler was not able to move his armies to the Russian front in a timely way and because of that they did get mired in the awful Russian winter and because of that they lost on the Russian front and, according at least to Hitler’s number one man, because of that , they lost the war.
That is saying a mouthful: that the freedom that the world has enjoyed for the last seventy years or so is due in large part to the pranks and hardheadedness of a local citizenry that prevailed against incredible odds.
But the other stuff is great, too. The forays back into the ancient history of Greece and Crete. The stories of King Minas and the Minotaur. The stories of Aristotle and Plato. The stories of Troy and Sparta; of Odysseus and Achilles and Ajax.
McDougal has been criticized elsewhere for filling the book up with stories that are unrelated to each other. I disagree with that criticism. Even if the ancient myths and the character of the men who participated in the resistance in 20th century Crete are separated by millennia, it all makes sense to me. The past does matter and it does affect the character of a place and its inhabitants.
The stories of modern day exercise and diet, even if not precisely the same as that of the Cretans, is nonetheless dramatic and informative. We ought to be stronger and more healthy than we are and this book is a kind of expose for why we aren’t and what we might do to improve our lot.
Overtime: A Basketball Parable
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Eternal Student
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Prepare to go to unexpected places. It''s all about the journey, not the destination.
Reviewed in the United States on February 12, 2020
What a journey, reading this book! I went to many unexpected places and met many new people. I know a book is good when I have to put it down for a bit, to pursue a particular twist in the narrative. My goodness! This is one of the very few books that I have... See more
What a journey, reading this book! I went to many unexpected places and met many new people. I know a book is good when I have to put it down for a bit, to pursue a particular twist in the narrative. My goodness!

This is one of the very few books that I have read that will necessitate a second, slower, read. I have the Kindle version, and you should see all the highlights and notes! I love multi-disciplinary stories, and this book delivered, big time.

The mainline of the story is the kidnapping of a German general during WWII (an amazing story, all by itself). From that baseline, we wind up visiting experts in nutrition, fitness, heroics (I know... "Heroics?" You''ll understand when you read the book), physiology, psychology, etc. As a non-fiction author myself, I know what it is to exhaustively research something, and I was extraordinarily impressed with the range and depth of research for this book. This book has given me many things to do, things that will affect my life tremendously (already has!).

Thoroughly recommended!
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c.mckee
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Long and Wandering
Reviewed in the United States on July 19, 2020
I''ve enjoyed all the books by this author even though he has a tendency to "wander" down other paths. This book had a great story to tell about the resistance on the island of Crete during World War II. About half way through I was skipping the pages with the Odyssey... See more
I''ve enjoyed all the books by this author even though he has a tendency to "wander" down other paths. This book had a great story to tell about the resistance on the island of Crete during World War II. About half way through I was skipping the pages with the Odyssey references. The first ones where ok but after that I felt like it was so far off from the story I didn''t want to read anymore. The other "wanderings" where interesting, but towards the end of the book I just wanted to know, what happened to the resistance group on Crete????
6 people found this helpful
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Sean Silvestri
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
"Ponder that, America."
Reviewed in the United States on August 8, 2020
I wanted to like this book and this author, as it was starting off great with interesting correlations of mythological Greek heroism to real life scenarios, fascinating abilities of the human mind, and unbelievable physiological feats of the human body, and so on.... See more
I wanted to like this book and this author, as it was starting off great with interesting correlations of mythological Greek heroism to real life scenarios, fascinating abilities of the human mind, and unbelievable physiological feats of the human body, and so on.

But the at the beginning of Chapter 6, pages 32-33, he writes about a rather vague WW2 possibility, or theory, in which Germany would conquer Russia via Hitler''s Operation Barbarossa plan and become unstoppable, stating "...no power on earth could defy him.", and furthermore writing "...the Third Reich would have the biggest, fastest, best-equipped fighting force the world had ever seen." Those statements can be assumed possible but none the less are bold statements without presenting any numbers or hard facts, let alone the lack of considering other consequential factors(I explain below) that would have been equally safe to assume and possibly debunked those statements.

But what ticked me off a tad and makes me wonder about his loyalism to the USA is when he goes further by writing these words immediately after, "Ponder that, America", with "that" in italics.

I''m sorry? Isn''t he American?!? That sentence sounds more like it''s coming from someone who isn''t American, or an American with a bit of resentment toward their home country. Regardless, those words, in my opinion, coming from a "Patriot", reflect a lack of loyalty and respect.

For the sake of argument, let''s "Ponder" his assumptive statements with some facts, figures, and consequential outcomes, something that he should have done when writing a book with such a bold claim...

If the Operation Barbarossa theory was successful, I think it''s just as safe to assume that at that moment the USA would have joined Britain, and other allies, in the war effort. McDougall goes on writing that the Japanese Navy and German U-boats would strangle American shipping. This theory fails to recognize the power of the Royal Navy in combination with US Navy. It also fails to mention the power of Royal and American Airforce and their influence on naval war at the time. Mind you the Royal Navy accounted for 1/3rd of the worlds Merchant Navy at the beginning of the war, and the USA''s Navy became the largest in the world by the end of the war. Regardless of Japan''s Naval size and the 1,000+ German U-boats(which were slow and couldn''t stay under long), the power of Royal and American Navy and Airforce combined would have been at least an formidable opponent, if not overpowering. Let''s be real though, this is all speculation, but McDougall fails to expose this as well.

Let''s not forget the US made the horrific decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan to ultimately end the war and most likely save many more thousands of lives. My heart goes out to all the innocent Japanese citizens killed during those two events, and equally to all other innocent people who lost their lives to the hands of Germans or any other army for that matter during the war. Let''s also not forget the Holocaust, if it wasn''t for the Americans making that cruel yet necessary decision to use atomic weapons who knows how many more Jewish captives would suffer or have been murdered.

Yet McDougall states, "Ponder that, America". Well we just pondered that, and without America there''s no telling how much worse the WW2 could have turned out, but I think it''s safe to assume it could have been much, much worse.

McDougall, if you read this, please explain what you mean with that statement. Please hear me in that I am not trying to be rude, or combative, or argumentative. I could be "reading" you wrong, I''m simply going with my intuition on what I have said in this review. To be honest I felt rather disturbed by that statement and somewhat responsible in voicing my opinion considering the unthinkable amount of sacrifice made by America and all people around the world during that terrible time.
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Sophie
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Motivating, Highly Informative and Entertaining
Reviewed in the United States on September 25, 2018
I loved to read Christopher McDougall''s Born to Run and I love reading Natural Born Heroes. Like in Born to Run, Christopher combines a fascinating story with superb advice for your body and health. I knew that Crete played a significant role in the fight against the Nazis,... See more
I loved to read Christopher McDougall''s Born to Run and I love reading Natural Born Heroes. Like in Born to Run, Christopher combines a fascinating story with superb advice for your body and health. I knew that Crete played a significant role in the fight against the Nazis, but I didn''t know about these superhuman resistance fighters in the mountains. A few years ago, I hiked in the White Mountains in Crete and it''s a beautiful landscape with remarkable people but hiking there can be tough (rocky paths, steep gorges, extreme heat in the summer).

The advice/information—wonderfully integrated into the stories—is again (like in Born to Run) outstanding. It was an inspiration to rethink my exercise and nutrition. In terms of nutrition, I also recommend Plant Victorious: How Athletes Can Push Their Performance Limits With Plants –not such an amazing story like in Natural Born Heroes but a lot of helpful facts in a compact format.

McDougall not only tells this incredible story of Crete resistance fighters but also tells unique stories about today''s heroes (like in the streets of London) and heroes of ancient Greece: Eumastas lifted a huge stone (1,058 pounds!), 2,600 years ago. Pheidippides ran “more than ten consecutive marathons, nonstop, racing up and over mountains for three straight days.” All these stories are so encouraging for every modern athlete because there is so much more potential in modern sports if we look back to natural born heroes of our history.
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David Boothman
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Diverse and Informative Book on Many Subjects
Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2015
Many diverse ideas brought into a fascinating tale which cover from diet to how the people of Crete probably changed the outcome of WW2 making the German army''s late leaving to invade Russia which led to their repeat of Napoleon''s demise just short of Moscow as winter snows... See more
Many diverse ideas brought into a fascinating tale which cover from diet to how the people of Crete probably changed the outcome of WW2 making the German army''s late leaving to invade Russia which led to their repeat of Napoleon''s demise just short of Moscow as winter snows and freezing moved in. Their diet allowed them to be such fierce adversaries, for example, running double marathons through the mountains without eating. Junk scientific research misunderstood the Cretan diet which has now become the Mediterranean diet espoused by supposed diet experts. In fact In fact it was the rigid fasting regime of the Greek Orthodox Church and the high protein and high fat diet is what made them so metabolically strong. If interested in this aspect read Nina Teicholtz''s book "Big Fat Surprise" which details how the misbegotten science came about creating the Mediterranean diet.
7 people found this helpful
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Sidi
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not as good as his first book, but still very worthwhile.
Reviewed in the United States on November 2, 2020
It''s a strange mix of history and science/wellness, but for the most part, it works. If you enjoyed Born to Run and are curious about an underreported period of WWII history while wanting a bit more in the way of shocking stories of human performance this will scratch that... See more
It''s a strange mix of history and science/wellness, but for the most part, it works. If you enjoyed Born to Run and are curious about an underreported period of WWII history while wanting a bit more in the way of shocking stories of human performance this will scratch that itch.
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John 29
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Treat some of what he says with a degree of scepticism
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 16, 2020
i brought this book having read his earlier book Born to Run. In this book like in Born to Run he flits from topic to topic which I found rather off putting. I had brought the book to read about war time Crete but the book goes off at a tangent too often. However, my main...See more
i brought this book having read his earlier book Born to Run. In this book like in Born to Run he flits from topic to topic which I found rather off putting. I had brought the book to read about war time Crete but the book goes off at a tangent too often. However, my main criticism is over his assertion on various things and as if those assertions are conclusively scientifically based . This was brought home to me over what his says on diet. He asserts that Americans are more unhealthy today because their meat input has reduced and their amount of carbohydrates has increased. His solution is that you should follow a high meat diet and eat few carbs. What he does not consider is the fact that Americans eat a large amount of refined carbs which probably explains the increased weight and health issues. In fact many consider a high non-refined carbohydrate diet to be the most healthily form of diet. See The China Study by the Cambells. That made me start to question a number of his other assertions in both this book and Born to Run.
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SeanC
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Amazing book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 22, 2019
This got recommended in my running group. I’d read McDougalls first book Born to Run so the format of this book was totally unexpected. Part war story part fitness science. I enjoy WW2 history so it was a pleasure to have a book combining both. McDougall uses science based...See more
This got recommended in my running group. I’d read McDougalls first book Born to Run so the format of this book was totally unexpected. Part war story part fitness science. I enjoy WW2 history so it was a pleasure to have a book combining both. McDougall uses science based fitness techniques to explain how British intelligence and a small band of resistance fighters manage to kidnap a German General and escape from heavily fortified Crete at the height of WW2. Well intertwined, the book had me online checking facts and sourcing details from both sides of the story more than once. If you like adventure, WW2, fitness science or running you’ll enjoy this.
5 people found this helpful
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Ryan D.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great book - and great motivation to do calisthenics
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 17, 2018
I''ve been doing calisthenics for about a year and wanted something to motivate me to keep pushing the boundaries of my body. This books does what it promises to do: it shows you that the human body is in fact capable of feats that many would call "superhuman"....See more
I''ve been doing calisthenics for about a year and wanted something to motivate me to keep pushing the boundaries of my body. This books does what it promises to do: it shows you that the human body is in fact capable of feats that many would call "superhuman". Combine reading this book with watching some Wim Hof videos on YouTube and you''ll be ripping your shirt off and climbing cliffs barefoot, with no safety nets, in the middle of winter - in no time.
9 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not as good as BTR, but worth a read...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 1, 2020
Great book, but in comparison to born to run it left me a bit dissappointed - it doesnt have the same depth and insight. After reading BTR I went out and started doing it - this one is not as motivating or inspirational. On saying that I do feel a bit mean docking it a star...See more
Great book, but in comparison to born to run it left me a bit dissappointed - it doesnt have the same depth and insight. After reading BTR I went out and started doing it - this one is not as motivating or inspirational. On saying that I do feel a bit mean docking it a star as its still a good read - especially if you''re interested in WWII Crete history or if you''ve visited the western part of the Island - especially Chania and the Samaria Gorge.
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Jan
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 24, 2017
Entertaining as well as educational - I loved The last Chris Macdougall book I read, and this most definitely didn''t disappoint. As an avid triathlete (but a very recreational one!) and lover of all things healthy I found it really inspiring. I''m eager to strip away all the...See more
Entertaining as well as educational - I loved The last Chris Macdougall book I read, and this most definitely didn''t disappoint. As an avid triathlete (but a very recreational one!) and lover of all things healthy I found it really inspiring. I''m eager to strip away all the commercial nonsense from my training going forward and have already started researching/reading a number of the books/writings he references. All that wrapped up in a really, really enjoyable ''suspense thriller/factual drama'' is pretty hard to beat!
4 people found this helpful
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