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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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (970 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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
  •  
    Antoinette RIVONIA, South Africa 05-19-11
    Antoinette RIVONIA, South Africa 05-19-11
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    "Fantastic!"

    I loved this book , I looked forward to getting in the car to hear some more . He writes so beautifully , and so insightfully . I would love to hear something else from him .

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen 01-15-15
    Ellen 01-15-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Great book for young men to read"

    Enjoyed reading the book. The author had a unique experience as a young adult and he brought it to life in this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Fort Worth, TX, United States 01-04-15
    Anthony Fort Worth, TX, United States 01-04-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Good Story"

    I liked this good not my favorite Navy Seal book buy its a great read still for this man to have a degree at Oxford and still want to serve his country is a story everyone should hear

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shari 12-21-14
    Shari 12-21-14
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    "This might be the best book I had never heard of."
    What made the experience of listening to The Heart and the Fist the most enjoyable?

    Straightforward narration, amazing and well balanced. I laughed, got scared, got teary eyed. Seriously--never heard of this guy, but I think that will all change. He humbly inspires.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Here is a humble Rhode Scholar Navy Seal. Enough said.


    What does Eric Greitens bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His straightforward demeanor throughout the narration adds to the understanding of the book. He's real.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Both. Hold tight!!! (no shit) got a laugh. Social work got some tears.


    Any additional comments?

    Thanks for writing this. My roommate served in Iraq, and he is as honorable as you can come. I don't have a lot of experience with US military, but as a woman I hear mostly bad stuff. This is the kind of thing that young recruits should read. And every other American.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EllieGrace 12-07-14
    EllieGrace 12-07-14 Member Since 2015

    I learn more when I listen to audiobooks and I can chew through a lot more books this way! Audiobooks are also a lot easier with a TBI

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    "Inspirational!"
    Would you listen to The Heart and the Fist again? Why?

    Yes, this book is a strong reminder of our responsibility to be of service to others


    What other book might you compare The Heart and the Fist to and why?

    Although there are some differences I would recommend "On Call in Hell" or "Paradise General"


    Any additional comments?

    This book is really interesting, often suspenseful, and difficult to put down but the overall message is one that applies to everyone and is very inspirational. This is a book that everyone needs to read/listen too!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cynthia p benson Clarkston, MI, US 12-03-14
    cynthia p benson Clarkston, MI, US 12-03-14 Member Since 2009
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    "riveting story of unusual travel and training!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes, it was a very captivating description of places of suffering and poverty in the world and the hope and lessons one man found there. Also tales of his training and deployments as a Navy Seal. Fascinating- couldn't put it down until I finished the book!


    What other book might you compare The Heart and the Fist to and why?

    Finishing School - another Navy Seal training book, and Kisses for Katy - a young woman moves to Africa and adopts and serves orphan children.


    What about Eric Greitens’s performance did you like?

    His down to earth manner of telling his story - as if he was sitting across the kitchen table over a cup of coffee!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    hearing about the couple who gave up their own comforts to love and care for the orphans in Africa.


    Any additional comments?

    This story makes you consider a more noble calling! Serving others is more fulfilling than living for self.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Norman Pearl River, LA, United States 10-12-14
    Norman Pearl River, LA, United States 10-12-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Must Listen! A Great Storyteller with real insight"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Heart and the Fist to be better than the print version?

    Besides being a gifted writer, he is a wonderful story teller. His characterization of others is like a comfortable story around the dinner table as he falls into character describing/mimicking another person's reaction to shared experiences.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This is a really uplifting story in the midst of terrible tragedy, about the power of making good choices and pursuit of goals, not just for yourself but for others. Eric Greitens has done and witnessed many things as a college volunteer worker in many nations, a Rhodes Scholar and later as a Navy Seal. He tells the stories of both children and adults, and pauses briefly for insight into why they do what they do what they do. The stories are interesting and the insight and perspective is something i aspire to achieve.


    Any additional comments?

    This is one of the best books I have listened to on Audible (and i have listened to many). These real life adventures are more interesting than the fiction i usually listen to, and the comments on human character and motivation are natural outgrowths of the story telling, which comes first. For having seen so much human tragedy, even as a volunteer in many countries, he keeps his perspective and describes his observations, while seamlessly including quotes from the Greeks, to Lincoln, to Mother Theresa. He can challenge your thoughts on religion and charity, and what it means to help and protect those in need. This is not a book of lectures on what we should do, but rather stories about the good and bad people do, and trying to make good choices for yourself. This is great storytelling, all the better for having decisions and consequences about living a good and honorable life.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Brackettville, TX, United States 03-26-14
    Linda Brackettville, TX, United States 03-26-14 Member Since 2008
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    "A different view"

    First, I'd like to say to those who didn't like the author's reading: I found it like a personal encounter with someone who is truly interesting and engaging. He's talking to me, not an audience.
    The story is different. He has lived a very unique life. I got off to a slow start (I had put this book off for a long time) but it became more interesting as he went from China to boxing, to Bosnia and Bolivia as a relief worker and then to SEAL training. His insights into human behavior, learned from experience, helped me to look at other lifestyles with more understanding.
    Buy the book! -- the proceeds will help wounded American warriors. From hearing his story I'm sure he will make more use of those few dollars than I ever could.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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