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The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL | [Eric Greitens]

The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL

Like many young idealists, Eric Greitens wanted to make a difference. During college and afterward, he traveled to the world's trouble spots, working in refugee camps, serving the sick and the poor on four continents, from Gaza to Croatia to Mother Teresa's home in Calcutta, among others. Yet he could not prevent violence or save anyone from becoming a refugee; he could only step in afterward and try to ease the damage. So Eric joined the Navy SEALs and became an elite warrior....
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Publisher's Summary

Like many young idealists, Eric Greitens wanted to make a difference. During college and afterward, he traveled to the world's trouble spots, working in refugee camps, serving the sick and the poor on four continents, from Gaza to Croatia to Mother Teresa's home in Calcutta, among others. Yet he could not prevent violence or save anyone from becoming a refugee; he could only step in afterward and try to ease the damage. So Eric joined the Navy SEALs and became an elite warrior.

In a moving and inspiring memoir, told with genuine humility, Eric offers something new in the history of military memoirs: a warrior who wanted to be strong to be good, only to discover that he had to be good to be strong. Throughout his SEAL training and deployments in Kenya, Thailand, Afghanistan, and Iraq, the lessons of his humanitarian work bore fruit. The result is a lesson for us all: the heart and fist together are more powerful than either one alone.

©2011 Eric Greitens (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"This tale of [Greitens's] dual military/humanitarian effort could be paired with Rye Barcott's It Happened on the Way to War." (Library Journal)

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What Members Say

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  •  
    Jeff Spokane, WA, United States 08-02-11
    Jeff Spokane, WA, United States 08-02-11 Member Since 2008
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    "A great example"

    I had my teenage sons listen to when I was done, and they loved it as well. Eric sets a great example for us all. The story is educational, inspirational, and at times very funny. He is also a talented writer and a good reader. Out of the 170 titles in my library, I'd rank this in the top 5, easily.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jena SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 07-24-11
    Jena SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 07-24-11 Member Since 2014
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    "Surprisingly good."

    I got this book because of the great reviews, but was concerned that it would be a bragging session with some humanitarian "look how much I care" and then the SEAL "look how strong I am." We've all read those before, and they end up leaving the reader very irritated.

    This was thankfully not the case. While Greitens discusses his own accomplishments, he seems to use himself and his own story as a vessel to spread some very interesting ideas about how to think about war, strength, and even improve the government and military. When I finished this, I found myself wondering why Greitens wasn't promoted into a higher post than Navy SEAL. If some of his "superiors" (if they can so be called) read his book, they may do just that.

    The accounts of the trials leading up to becoming a SEAL were staggering and gave me the utmost respect for those who do make it. For those who don't, it's still a damn impressive feat to try.

    Highly recommend this one - it's a quick, easy read that you won't be able to put down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ezequiel Miami, FL, United States 07-14-11
    Ezequiel Miami, FL, United States 07-14-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Excellent listen and narrator!"

    One of the best Navy Seals book i have ever listen to. We need more people like this in the world. Thank you for your service to this great country!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Hooper Kansas City, MO USA 07-14-11
    G. Hooper Kansas City, MO USA 07-14-11 Member Since 2007

    Big Band jazz lover

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    "Heart and Fist .........."

    Couldn't finish this read. It was fun to listen to Eric's SEAL training and I applaud his humanitarian efforts. In my opinion, however, this was written as much as a platform for his personal opinions.

    That said, if you're in the mood for a thoughtful read, this should be for you. If you are more interested in the life of a SEAL, I'd pick something else.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glancyguy Bixby, OK, United States 07-01-11
    Glancyguy Bixby, OK, United States 07-01-11 Member Since 2014
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    "Nothing Short of Inspiring"

    This could possibly be the most inspirational memoir I have ever read. In an American culture drowning in complete selfish medocrity, Eric Grietens has dedicated his life to exceptional service, duty to humanity, the pursuit of courage, and a stand for integrity. This book is gripping from beginning to end as Eric shares very introspective thoughts on what it means to care about the world around you. If you have any burden for humanity or purpose or you are wondering if there is more to this life, then I strongly encourage you to read this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Mckenna 06-07-11
    K. Mckenna 06-07-11

    Dunlop

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    "One of the best military books I have ever read"

    So rarely does a book about special forces have a broader view of their world. It's refreshing to see a member of our elite forces give a POV that is not arrogant and gung ho, but is thoughtful and positive.
    Eric Greitens is truly a warrior in the classic sense. A man with with a firm moral compass, a beautiful strong heart, and a sense of compassion that is almost non-existent in today's military.

    I sincerely hope that this book becomes the unofficial handbook of every member of the military. It's a great reminder of who we are, as Americans, and as humans.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Germantown, TN, United States 05-25-11
    Charles Germantown, TN, United States 05-25-11
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    "Terrific"

    Well told story of a purpose-filled life. Great insight into what it takes to be a Navy Seal.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Tacoma, WA, United States 05-17-11
    James Tacoma, WA, United States 05-17-11 Member Since 2013
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    "Very unique!!!!...BUD/S fan…a MUST read!!!"

    I must recommend Greitens book because of his unique story and focus. His story begins with a very unique life experience in humanitarian aid…leading to a decision for the Navy. Nothing like it! The reader will benefit from his experiences during recent dark episodes…makes you think. For the military fan, Greitens BUD/S retelling is the best I have read to date!

    Not quite the SEAL story you would expect…for that I recommend CDR Richard Marcinko’s (founder SEAL Team Six) Rogue Warrior!!!! Beware there is a problem with this… an incorrect book download…so might have to settle for hard copy. That said…I give a 9 for biography…and 7.5 for military portion.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Albert New Boston, NH, United States 05-16-11
    Albert New Boston, NH, United States 05-16-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Outstanding and Inspiring!"

    This book is one of the best I have listened too. I am amazed by the humanitarian wisdom and humility the author conveys. This book is hard to stop listening too. The author has a great writing ability and does a wonderful job conveying his life lessons.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Bedford, TX, United States 08-22-11
    Kathy Bedford, TX, United States 08-22-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Impressive to say the least"

    I can't say enough good things about this book. Greitens is an extraordinary man who is living an extraordinary life. His story absolutely leaves me awe-struck and optimistic about the future. It will be interesting to see how his endeavors progress

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
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