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The Heart and the Fist: The education of a humanitarian, the making of a Navy SEAL Hardcover – April 11, 2011
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Dear Amazon Readers:
As a kid growing up in Missouri, I loved reading stories about heroes like King Arthur, George Washington, and Pericles. Their lives were full of action and courage, and I wanted to capture that same sense of adventure in my own life. As I grew older, great mentors and friends have shown me that the path to adventure and purpose can be found in a life of service to others.
These friends and mentors have come from many different backgrounds. I’ve been blessed to work with volunteers who taught art to street children in Bolivia and Marines who hunted al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq. I’ve learned from nuns who fed the destitute in Mother Teresa’s homes for the dying in India, aid workers who healed orphaned children in Rwanda, and Navy SEALs who fought in Afghanistan. As warriors, as humanitarians, they’ve taught me that without courage, compassion falters, and without compassion, courage has no direction. They’ve shown me that it is within our power, indeed the world requires of us — every one of us — to be both good and strong.
I hope the stories recounted in The Heart and the Fist will inspire you as these people have inspired me. They have given me hope and shown me the incredible possibilities that exist for each of us to live our one life well.--Eric Greitens
From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
"The world needs many more humanitarians than it needs warriors, but there can be none of the former without enough of the latter," are the words of this Rhodes Scholar and Oxford PhD as he makes his decision to join the US Navy SEAL Teams. Rhodes Scholars are meant to contribute to "the world's fight", and none have demonstrated a willingness to do so more than Eric Greitens. Described elegantly and with integrity in Greitens' memoir are his humanitarian missions to Rwanda, the Balkans, India, Gaza, and many other of the world's most oppressed and unfortunate regions. These pursuits of the heart are juxtaposed poignantly against SEAL training and four combat deployments with Naval Special Warfare.
Greitens lives the life of a humanitarian and a warrior, and for both roles he is able to extract unique insights by virtue of his extensive study of Greek philosophy, American history, and modern-day saints like Mother Teresa. It is a defining work for our next generation of heroes.
The book can be divided into three sections. In the first section the author describes his upbringing, education, and his foreign travel where he worked in humanitarian causes, and on furthering his education. This section of the book could easily be expanded into a standalone book of its own. Greiten's has been to the scene of some of the greatest humanitarian disasters of the last 20 years; places like Bosnia and Rwanda. He is able to tell the story of the average person in these terrible places, and capture them as people with whom the reader can readily empathize. Rather than dwelling on the misery at hand Greitens is always questioning why these situations were allowed to happen to begin with, and ponders the question of who should be responsible for preventing atrocities in places like Rwanda. At the same time that he is trying to help bring aid and healing he wonders what he should do to prevent humanitarian crisis from arising in the first place. In all his humanitarian work he has always been keenly aware that he is only a visitor, a temporary player on the stage who can exit to safety and comfort whenever he wants.Read more ›
While going to college then grad school, Greitens spends his summers helping others in China, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Bolivia. His eyes are opened by the great need of others around the world, and how by helping those in need, he could not prevent people from being victime of ethnic cleansing and other violence. Therefore he becomes a warrior by joining the Navy Seals.
Greitens has a very gripping account of the Seal training and Hell Week, as well as some remarkable photos of it. He then relates how he used this training to serve and survive in Kenya, Thailand, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The entire book is gripping to read, and very remarkable in how much the author has done before he turned 30. It is quite refreshing to read of a life lived to serve and protect others.
I HIGHLY recommend watching the series "Surviving the Cut" to have a better idea of what he went through during his training. Click the link below and you will see all six episodes, available for download through Amazon.com.
Special Forces Diver
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As stated before, It's a good read. A Mental ideology as it pertains to being a good leader as well as showing compassion for the misfortunate.Published 4 days ago by Reneau
I didn't think much of this book. Over the years have read other SEAL memoirs which seemed better. About half way through the book I discovered this guy is a politician and running... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Charles Mccain
I guess the book is ok. Seemed like more of a diary on his travels. Also, one thing I would like to point out is his use of the word "Afghani". He uses it incorrectly. Read morePublished 1 month ago by chris muench
The Heart and the Fist is an autobiographical journey of realization, that goodwill and action have to be applied together to create positive change. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Simply fantastic. Inspiring. Eric Greitens should not only lead Missouri, but the nation as well. A true model and mentor for a generation.Published 1 month ago by Aventura Reader