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Summary

Number one Sunday Times best seller.

No one is born a leader. But through sheer determination and by confronting life’s challenges, Ant Middleton has come to know the meaning of true leadership. In First Man In, he shares the core lessons he’s learned over the course of his fascinating, exhilarating life.

Special forces training is no walk in the park. The rules are strict, and they make sure you learn the hard way, pushing you beyond the limits of what is physically possible. There is no mercy. Even when you are bleeding and broken, to admit defeat is failure.

To survive the gruelling selection process to become a member of the elite, you need toughness, aggression, meticulous attention to detail and unrelenting self-discipline - all traits that make for the best leaders.

After 13 years' service in the military, with four years as a Special Boat Service (SBS) sniper, Ant Middleton is the epitome of what it takes to excel. He served in the SBS, the naval wing of the special forces, the Royal Marines and 9 Parachute Squadron Royal, achieving what is known as the ‘holy trinity’ of the UK’s elite forces. As a point man in the SBS, Ant was always the first man through the door, the first man into the dark and the first man in harm’s way.

In this fascinating, exhilarating and revealing book, Ant speaks about the highs and gut-wrenching lows of his life - from the thrill of passing Special Forces Selection to dealing with the early death of his father and ending up in prison on leaving the military - and draws valuable lessons that we can all use in our daily lives.

©2018 Ant Middleton (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"The best book of the year. First Man In will supercharge your life. Incredible." (Tom Marcus, author of best seller Soldier Spy)

"[A] thumping best seller...searingly honest." (Sunday Times

"Superb, fist-biting fun." (GQ

What listeners say about First Man In

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Incredible book. Strong, powerful and inspiring

really enjoyed it, especially having Ant reading it. It made the whole experience more real. some great life lessons.

56 people found this helpful

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Not what I expected at all

I expected a biography about his SAS career but got an incredible lesson on leadership, life and mental attitude. Absolutely brilliant, highly recommended. I hope he does more I think we can all learn a lot from Ant.

82 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Simply Brilliant!

Even if you have no interest in the army, SAS/SBS or the challenges of these companies, Ant Middletons book is a must read.
A well woven mix of humour, self help, self discovery and action, everyone can take something from it.
Now I have listened on audio book I will definitely be treating myself to the hardback copy.

A little warning; the language can be fruity, but it adds authenticity rather than detracts from the text.

25 people found this helpful

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A hypocritical autobiography

This isn't so much a book about leadership, as it is a journey through Ant's life which, in my opinion appears quite hypocritical. He spends quite a bit of time criticising people he has come across who are like "loose cannons" or "live grenades" who can't control their temper, however as you learn, Ant is the epitome of this having lost his temper on numerous occasions. One occasion in an assault on Police where he totally lost it and served a custodial sentence. At that point I lost a lot of respect for the guy. I don't feel people like that should be such an exemplary role model as he is being portrayed to be at present. He's being propelled to fame by some very very good PR.

There isn't much in the way of concrete tips or practical advice about leadership. It's still quite an enjoyable listen, he's got an interesting story to tell, but just be mindful it isn't a great book on leadership.

11 people found this helpful

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Shockingly poor

This reads like a cross between a disjointed, second rate, self help book, where much of the 'advise' is poor, and the diary of a nightclub bully.

I'm really shocked his publicist let this go out, as in my opinion it shows him as a very unlikable person.

I've never seen him on TV, so had no preconceived notion of what to expect.

Clearly aimed at the average Sun newspaper reader, it is extremely dull, desperately lacks continuity, has ZERO about the SBS, and I do mean ZERO.

There is a small, very poorly written section, about the 'selection' then it just stops, and jumps forward years, I thought I'd accidentally skipped a chapter.

I was unable to finish the last hour, it was just too irritating, I shall be returning it.

It left me with a feeling of talking to someone who liked to start sentences, but rarely completed what they were talking about.

11 people found this helpful

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What an absolute kn*b...

As in title. What an absolute kn*b. I only finished it because I paid for this audiobook. I wasn't huge fan of David Goggins' Can't Hurt Me, his god syndrome and his mindless pursuit of perfection but after this book I appreciate him a lot more. Middleton is on completely different level and Goggins would run circles around Middleton as better leader, teacher, motivator, human being and above all - soldier. I don't think I'm eloquent enough to put it all in words. He's just a huge d**k. It was similar level of entertainment as Love Island is on telly.

8 people found this helpful

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Lost respect

2 things are consistent in this book
- Ant's honesty.
- Ant thinking he is gods honest truth.

Thanks for your service and honest story telling just a shame it reveals him as an arrogant, violent p***k.

7 people found this helpful

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Very good read

enjoyed the book, decent fella. Great story and I like his mind set. recommend this to anyone who wants to be inspired to get up and do something with their life and take it to the max

12 people found this helpful

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A fantastic honest account

Great book and a great read with life lessons that everyone could do with learning from

11 people found this helpful

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Makes you look at yourself

This teaches you all the traits of becoming a good leader, this will work in any environment you chose to become a leader, this highlighted some of my weaknesses which i can now change.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-11-20

Leader, more like a lost sheep

This Book starts ok and then just turns into a joke.

He seems to think he can do whatever he wants and there should be no consequences to his actions.

Leaders and good people in general and take full responsibility for what happens in there life and this guys thinks he's just god's gift 🤣.

You think you can just go around bullying people and nothing will happen to you?

This is what I take from your book: You think you know it all and you can palm of your bad behaviour on a so called switch that you have no control over. Take responsibility for your actions and take a some time to listen to good people and you know what you'll maybe learn something and rethink that hard man attitude.





1 person found this helpful

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  • Celeste Wood
  • 28-09-20

Great listen

As always honest and to the point. The way it should be. Good job Ant.

1 person found this helpful

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  • army soldier
  • 29-07-21

overall good book

Great book probably a little more for men with military background, or if you at least like learning about those types of people. The book is mainly a timeline of the authors life and lessons he's learn along the way.

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  • caasuu
  • 28-05-21

exciting

exciting life lessons, from a man that obviously lived it through, that apply to my life as well. I like the spirit and drive of Ant: sharing is caring!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-12-20

Enlightening, Instructive, Brilliant!!!

#TheThinkingSoldier. Ant Middleton takes us in to his mindset. A Master Class in strategy employed to meet with successful ends. Ant shows why wisdom (its citadel being the mind) is better than strength as an ancient Proverbs says (Ecclesiastes 9: 16)🧠>💪🏾

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  • SerieLis
  • 10-06-20

Small segments that tell alot

if you want to learn leadership from experience, this is the book to go to.

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  • Owen Moores
  • 08-06-20

Listened not stop until finished!

Amazing story!

Gripping and inspiring through out. Even if your not an army fan he definitely has some stories to tell.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-05-20

Motivational to say the least

It’s a really good title and having Ant himself read it to you is a really nice extra, I enjoyed it plenty.
Cheers from Mexico

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-04-20

Amazing.

Some life changing lessons! Really enjoyed. Would recommend to anyone that enjoys some authentic gripping stories or anyone looking for some inspiration. Awesome audiobook.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-11-19

Superb from the beginning to the end!

This book is fantastic. Ant delivers a breathtaking story of many different times and experiences he has gone through in his life. The lessons I have learnt from this boom I will place into my own life. Brutal honesty from the bringing to the end.