Steven Pressfield (born September 1943 in Port of Spain, Trinidad) is an American novelist and author of screenplays, principally of military historical fiction set in classical antiquity. His historical fiction is well-researched, but for the sake of dramatic flow, Pressfield may alter some details, like the sequence of events, or make use of jarring contemporary terms and place names, his stated aim being an attempt to capture the spirit of the times.
To enhance his readers' immersion in ancient times, Pressfield typically writes his novels from the point of view of the characters involved. For instance, The Virtues of War is told from the first-person perspective of Alexander.
His epic novel Gates of Fire is required reading at the U.S. Military Academy and the Virginia Military Institute, and according to the L.A. Times, "has achieved cult status among Marines."
Pressfield served in the United States Marine Corps in the 1960s, and later graduated from Duke University.
Prior to publishing his first original works of fiction, Pressfield wrote several Hollywood screenplays, most notably 1988's Above the Law starring Steven Seagal and directed by Andrew Davis, 1992’s Freejack, a work of science fiction starring Emilio Estevez, Mick Jagger, and Anthony Hopkins, and 1993's Joshua Tree (a.k.a. Army Of One) starring Dolph Lundgren and George Segal. Joshua Tree was directed by Academy Award and Bafta winning stuntman Vic Armstrong.
His novel The Legend of Bagger Vance was made into a 2000 film starring Matt Damon as the golf pro and Will Smith as his spiritual guide.
Steven Pressfield also appeared as one of the historians in The History Channel's 2007 documentary "Last Stand of the 300".