The Profession by Steven Pressfield

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The “master storyteller” (Publishers Weekly) and bestselling author of Gates of Fire, The Afghan Campaign, and Killing Rommel returns with a stunning, chillingly plausible near-future thriller about the rise of a privately financed and global military industrial complex.
The year is 2032. The third Iran-Iraq war is over; the 11/11 dirty bomb attack on the port of Long Beach, California is receding into memory; Saudi Arabia has recently quelled a coup; Russians and Turks are clashing in the Caspian Basin; Iranian armored units, supported by the satellite and drone power of their Chinese allies, have emerged from their enclaves in Tehran and are sweeping south attempting to recapture the resource rich territory that had been stolen from them, in their view, by Lukoil, BP, and ExxonMobil and their privately-funded armies. Everywhere military force is for hire.  Oil companies, multi-national corporations and banks employ powerful, cutting-edge mercenary armies to control global chaos and protect their riches.  Even nation states enlist mercenary forces to suppress internal insurrections, hunt terrorists, and do the black bag jobs necessary to maintain the new New World Order.
Force Insertion is the world's merc monopoly. Its leader is the disgraced former United States Marine General James Salter, stripped of his command by the president for nuclear saber-rattling with the Chinese and banished to the Far East.  A grandmaster military and political strategist, Salter deftly seizes huge oil and gas fields, ultimately making himself the most powerful man in the world.  Salter's endgame is to take vengeance on those responsible for his exile and then come Commander in Chief. The only man who can stop him is the novel's narrator, Gilbert "Gent" Gentilhomme, Salter's most loyal foot soldier and as close to him as the son Salter lost. As this action-jammed, lightning fast, and brutally realistic novel builds to its heart-stopping climax Gent launches his personally and professionally most desperate mission: to take out his mentor and save the United States from self destruction.
Infused by a staggering breadth of research in military tactics and steeped in the timeless themes of the honor and valor of men at war that distinguish all of Pressfield’s fiction, The Profession is that rare novel that informs and challenges the reader almost as much as it entertains.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Steven Pressfield

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Steven Pressfield is the author of Gates of Fire, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Killing Rommel and The War of Art. His books are in the curriculum at West Point, Annapolis and the Naval War College, as well as being on the Commandant's Reading List for the Marine Corps. He has an international following for his online series, including 'It's the Tribes, Stupid,' and 'Writing Wednesdays.' He is a graduate of Duke University and lives in Los Angeles.
Published June 14, 2011 by Crown. 338 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, War, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Horror. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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America contracts its overseas combat to Force Insertion, the “military-contracting superfirm” run by James Salter, an ex-General who has the love and loyalty of men like Gent.

Apr 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Profession

Publishers Weekly

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Set in 2032, Pressfield's entertaining, thought-provoking thriller looks at an America past its apogee of moral power as it continues to face opponents whose barbarism threatens to make civilized conduct impossible.

Apr 25 2011 | Read Full Review of The Profession

BC Books

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It is said that when Napoleon was review­ing his sol­diers he could con­nect with them on a very per­sonal level (“didn’t we fight together at …?

Jun 12 2011 | Read Full Review of The Profession

The Wall Street Journal

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The Profession By Steven Pressfield Crown, 320 pages, $25 While men like Gent attend to such matters, Salter and his high-placed backers (including the widow of a former president, and, eventually, Gent's own estrange...

Jun 11 2011 | Read Full Review of The Profession

Los Angeles Times

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It's 2032, Long Beach has been nuked, the Iranians and Iraqis have fought three wars, oil companies have private armies and the blogosphere is easy to manipulate.

Nov 30 2011 | Read Full Review of The Profession

Marine Corps Gazette

“The Profession” blends an opening action sequence as brutal as any Route Michigan ambush with a renegade mercenary army later invading and seizing a sovereign state—not an impossible scenario perhaps taken from Blackwater’s 2004-05 thoughts on possibly buying ships, forming a Marine expeditionar...

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