My Heroes

James Book reviews, Reviews


The Men and Women Who Have Inspired Me

by Sir Ranulph Fiennes | Hodder & Stoughton

The latest book from Sir Ranulph Fiennes is something of a departure: rather than chronicling his latest adventure to a pole or up a mountain, here he considers what makes a hero and picks his favourites. And, happily, it’s not a simple run down of his exploring chums, instead, Fiennes gets to the nub of the matter. Having won the Sultan’s Bravery Medal himself, he believes valour – that of the medal-winning, machine gun-charging soldier – is often the result of fearing being labelled a coward more than bullets themselves. Fiennes is more interested in the everyman who finds himself in extraordinary circumstances, and rises to the challenge. He brings together an eclectic mix of characters, whose moral outrage or stubborn bravery sets them apart. Fiennes lays out the bare facts of each case in clear prose, drawing the reader in and making each situation all the more chilling, their courage all the more formidable.

First published: Compass magazine, Winter 2011
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