Heroes: Saviours, Traitors and Supermen

Front Cover
Harper Perennial, 2005 - Courage - 604 pages
A compelling story of heroism told through eight famous lives -- from Achilles to Sir Francis Drake -- from one of the finest non-fiction writers at work in the UK. On 12 September 2001, a group of people were photographed near the ruins of the World Trade Centre holding up a banner that read WE NEED HEROES NOW. In Lucy Hughes-Hallett's brilliant new book she explores that need through the careers of eight heroes. Her subjects -- Achilles, Odysseus, Alcibiades, Cato, El Cid, Francis Drake, Wallenstein, Garibaldi -- were not necessarily good (quite the reverse in some cases), but they were all great, charismatic enough to persuade those around them that they were capable of doing what no one else alive could do. Beginning beneath the walls of Troy and ending in 1930s Europe when the cult of the hero was turning politically lethal, this is a book about mortality and dictatorship, about money and sorcery, about seduction (sexual and political) and mass-hysteria. Above all, it is a sequence of extraordinary stories, each of them shedding a different and startling light on the all-but-universal craving for an invincible champion, an all-powerful redeemer, a superman, and each of them fe

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - publiusdb - LibraryThing

I didn't actually read the whole thing, just the chapter on Cato...but that's really all I checked it out for, anyway, and it served that purpose adequately. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Meggo - LibraryThing

This is not so much a book about heroes, but a book about anti-heroes. Deeply flawed and in many ways extraordinarily selfish, the "Heroes" of the title are not your usual list. For example, the book ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2005)

Lucy Hughes-Hallett is the author of Cleopatra: Histories, Dreams and Distortions and Heroes: Saviours, Traitors and Supermen. Cleopatra won the Fawcett Prize and the Emily Toth Award. Lucy Hughes-Hallett is a highly respected critic who has reviewed for all the major British newspapers. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Bibliographic information