- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (April 10, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0547750382
- ISBN-13: 978-0547750385
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 482 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL Reprint Edition
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"If you're in despair about America's future, meet my hero - Eric Greitens. His life and this book reminds us that America remains the land of the brave and generous. The heart and fist are just the combination we need."
"The Heart and the Fist might have been written in many countries, but its ideals seem to me to be quintessentially American, from and of the United States as she is at her best. That Eric Greitens—Rhodes Scholar, Navy SEAL, international humanitarian worker and founder of the veterans' aid organization, The Mission Continues—is an extraordinary individual goes without saying. But what resounds so powerfully in this book is his consciousness and drive, from the earliest age, not to cash in on his own abundant gifts but to find some path that was worthy of his highest self, some way to be of use, to make a contribution and to really live a life. This is very American. Mr. Greitens combines in one person the warrior ethos of toughness, courage and tenacity with the compassion of the humanitarian. This, too, is very American--not just to win wars or to impose our will or point of view, but to act in the service of others, on their own terms, to put others in touch with their own capacity to manifest this flame that burns so brightly in Mr. Greitens. If you're restless or itching for some calling you can't name, read this book. Give it to your son and daughter. The Heart and the Fist epitomizes—as does Mr. Greitens' life, present and future--all that is best in this country, and what we need desperately right now."
— Steven Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire
"Eric Greitens is exactly the kind of citizen-warrior that America needs to fight our wars abroad and to win our battles at home. A man wise enough to lead, courageous enough to fight, and compassionate enough to care, he has written a glorious book about how to live with purpose that should be required reading for every American."
—Bobby Muller, Founder of Vietnam Veterans for America and co-founder of the Nobel Peace Prize Winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines
"The Heart and the Fist is a vitally important, powerful book, along the lines of Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence (aka "Lawrence of Arabia"). Filled with adventure, eminently readable, and an incredibly valuable look into the heart and mind of a great man who would serve to guide us into understanding an alien culture.
This book helps to bridge the gap between humanitarian groups and the military (the 'heart' and the 'fist' ... who are, all too often, truly 'alien' to each other!), in the same way that Three Cups of Tea helps bridge the gap between the people of Afghanistan, and those of the West who would assist that nation.
As Three Cups of Tea and Seven Pillars of Wisdom have become mandatory reading in many military organizations, The Heart and the Fist is a seminal, paradigm-shifting work that should be mandatory reading for every military and humanitarian organization who would work together (who must work together!), around the planet, to make our world a better place.
And, even more importantly, this book should be mandatory reading for every citizen who cares about helping others, with our military or with our humanitarian efforts, in a world filled with starvation, suffering, tyranny, oppression and genocide.
This book has turned me into a believer in Eric Greitens' methodology and his cause. Among the first of many to come!"
—Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Lt. Col. USA (ret), author of On Combat and On Killing
"If the United States is going to continue to be the indispensable nation in the 21st century, it is going to require an elite corps of both warriors and humanitarians that combine hard and soft power. Eric Greitens, both in his personal example, and in his book, points the way forward."
—Robert D. Kaplan, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, author of Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power
"The Heart and The Fist is a defining profile of compassion, courage and commitment that gets to the heart of why we wear the uniform. From combat to the home front, Eric Greitens has demonstrated extraordinary leadership as a Navy SEAL, humanitarian and champion for wounded veterans. His powerful story is testament the service of this Next Greatest Generation that will continue long after the wars end."
—Paul Rieckhoff, Founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and author of Chasing Ghosts.
"Few men who become Navy SEALs enter this elite warrior fraternity with a background so rich in compassion, service, and cross-cultural awareness as did Eric Greitens. And few Navy SEALs have served the growing community of wounded warriors with such skill and dedication as has Eric Greitens and The Mission Continues."
—Dick Couch, Author of The Warrior Elite and Chosen Soldier
"A glorious tale of humanity, resolve, and strength, Greitens's book reminds us of how many things we take for granted in our well-ordered lives."
From the Inside Flap
A piercing and inspiring memoir by a Navy SEAL for whom service means a lot more than his time wearing the uniformLike many young idealists, Eric Greitens wanted to make a difference. Throughout college and after, he traveled to the world s trouble spots, working in refugee camps and serving the sick and the poor on four continents, from Gaza to Croatia to Mother Teresa s home in Calcutta, among others. Yet when innocent civilians were threatened with harm, there was nothing he could do but step in afterward and try to ease the suffering. He became a Rhodes Scholar to study the history of humanitarianism, in search of a better way, but all the theory in the world could not get past the fundamental problem: when an army invades, the weak need to be protected. So he joined the Navy SEALs and became one of the world s elite warriors. As an officer, he led his men through the unforgettable soul-testing of SEAL training, culminating in Hell Week recounted in these pages with remarkable detail and went on to deployments in Kenya, Thailand, Afghanistan, and Iraq, where he faced harrowing encounters and brutal militia attacks. Yet even when he wore heavy armor and wielded some of the deadliest combat arms, the lessons of his humanitarian work bore fruit. At the heart of Eric s powerful story lies a paradox: sometimes you have to be strong to do good, but you also have to do good to be strong. The heart and fist together are more powerful than either one alone."
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Eric Greitens has lived an extraordinary and interesting life and he has graciously shared it with his readers. He has stories to tell and we would be wise to listen and learn from those stories. At times, the stories were heartwarming and other times, they were heartbreaking — I laughed and I cried. There are uplifting stories and stories that will make you weep. There are stories that make you question man's inhumanity to man and stories restore your hopes for a better future. There are stories of families fleeing for their lives and stories of perseverance and survival. There are stories about Eric Greitens' time performing charity work and his time as a US Navy SEAL.
This was an extremely thought-provoking book and it renews my hope in mankind. I am thankful for people who are selfless and giving like Mr. Greitens and thankful that this real American hero stepped up, time and time again, to proudly serve his country — in and out of uniform. My idea of a real hero is someone who voluntarily serves his/her country — especially those who volunteer to serve in uniform (they are willing to die for you — what are you willing to do for them?). I literally cannot say enough good things about this book — it should be required reading.
Even though I am a Kindle Unlimited Member and could have read this book free, I decided 20% of the way in, I wanted this book as part of my permanent digital library, so I purchased my kindle copy. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Mr. Greitens!
The third part covers in detail his experiences in officer candidate school, SEAL training, hell week, advanced combat training and his duties in Afghanistan, southeast Asia, Kenya and Iraq. The middle portion of the book has numerous photographs of various experiences of the author, Eric Greitens. This is a well-written memoir of a man who is truly a well-rounded and competent modern day leader and warrior. This is a book for anyone who is interested in the qualities of what it means to be a U.S. Navy SEAL warrior, as well as a humanitarian. It is clear to me, that one of the reasons the author made it through the tough SEAL training was because of his previous life experiences and education. This book was a real page turner and an enjoyable read.
Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: The Samurai Soul: An old warrior's poetic tribute).
Let me also say what this book is not. This book is not a advertisement for the Navy SEAL's, or special operations in general. Greitens does a great job of outlining the limits of what elite warriors can do for our nation, and the synergy necessary between SOF and conventional components. His own personal illustrations of working with Marines in Fallujah, mentoring, training, teaching, and evaluating with them on the move as he works to bring Iraqi's into the fight against their home-insurgency is a great tale. Overall, the book starts the way many biographies do, sort of in the middle, and then retraces it steps all the way to the end.
A product of the midwest, he plays down his early starting roots. However, he completes his undergrad at Duke, so it could not have been all that bad. Not only that, but his work there allowed him to be selected as a Rhodes Scholar. He describes his travels around the world during his stay at the two educational institutions, and then "heart" that he refers to in the title, and the "education of a humanitarian" is mainly during these trips. He describes poverty, depravation, the effects of war and disaster with a sort of subtle language that places you there without overwhelming you with it. The message is clearly conveyed, and you can see it before you, but you do not turn away. And a saint makes an appearance, so you get extra points for that.
The book is well over halfway done when he finally makes his decision to become a SEAL, and unlike so many others he describes the trepidations and considerations that went into the decision. He talks honestly about his problems with Navy training, and how it initially left him unimpressed. His description of BUD/S, and Hell Week specifically is one of the best in writing now, again making clear how hard the training is. He masters it, and comes out on the other end a Navy SEAL.
Unfortunately, the book goes downhill a bit after that. The descriptions of operations after that are well within the security regulations prescribing such things, but he seems to not really have a story to tell on what our wars mean. There is analysis of the situation in Afghanistan, which is wholly missing on his time in Iraq. It ends rather rapidly, without much context or thought, and in between he spends no time telling us what life as an officer in the SEAL's is actually like. There is a tale of misconduct, but he does not make a larger illumination or discovery about it. There is more likely then not enough there to fill another book, but that part remains unavailable to the reader.
Overall, this is a solid story that needs telling. Everyone should be glad that it was.