Regular price: $20.72

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    876
  • 4 Stars
    364
  • 3 Stars
    105
  • 2 Stars
    30
  • 1 Stars
    16

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    689
  • 4 Stars
    300
  • 3 Stars
    104
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    11

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    769
  • 4 Stars
    258
  • 3 Stars
    79
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    10
Sort by:
  • Overall

One of the best books on Audible

I've been a member of Audible for several years, listening to a small library of books and this is one of the best by far. An inspiring and mesmerizing true story, the author recounts his time as a humanitarian volunteer in many of the worst spots on earth and his eight years with the US Navy SEALS. Greitens makes his philosophy of humanitarian compasion, backed up with force to ensure protection of those who need it, clear and relevant.
This book is a great example of what America could be if it didn't spend so much time wrapped up in partisan infighting.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Unforgettable

It helps that the author reads his book, but his viewpoint and his character outshine even a rollicking good read about SEAL training, Mother Theresa, Oxford, the Bosnian and Ruanda genocides, and special ops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Found myself looking for anything and everything else by or about this fellow.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

I hope everyone will read this!

This is one of the best books I've read lately. It has inspired me to be better and do better. It tells of many things Eric Greitens has done in the private sector volunteering in remote corners of the world, his Navy Seal training and deployment. His views are uplifting and refreshing. You will not be disapointed, I couldn't turn this book on tape off until it was over and I wished there were 10 more hours to listen to. This is a great listen and I hope everyone decides to listen!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A peaceful activists eyes opened

I bought this book for my father, who is a big war fan. But on a long drive to Florida, my husband & I listened to it. Wow! As a peaceful activist I have always abhorred war. I wasn't sure I would find anything in common with someone who had become a SEAL. I was wrong. Eric went from being in the Peace Corps to a SEAL, which seems completely incongruous. However, following Eric on his journey I realise that he is honouring his deep convictions by becoming a protector of the weak not just caring, educating and assisting them. I can't imagine living through what he has lived through, but I am ever grateful for his moral compass in our military. He truly 'Steps up' in his life & he is an inspiration to all.
The audiobook was riveting. I only found a one part less interesting, which was the description of the hazing in the pacific. Otherwise, this book helped me learn & understand more about those who chose to serve in this way. A very brave & honest book.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

An amazing book, I couldn't stop listening

One of the best examples of Military Memoir I have ever experienced. It helps that Greitens narrates his own words. He is a talented storyteller, who tells his tale plainly and without ego. I was left wanting to know more about him and his work. If you're looking for a shoot'em-up blood and guts thriller, you're not going to like this book.

However if you'd love a great example of "The hero's journey" in the same vein as "One Bullet Away", "With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa" or even Heinlein's fictional classic "Starship Troopers" you've come to the right place.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Paul
  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • 05-21-11

A thought provoking and well written/read account

Have been listening to this book and am amazed by the great way it presents the story. The writer who also reads the book, is a natural to the audio book genre and delivers his story in a compelling and all emcompassing manner. Not an army story, but a life story and freedom, the value of it we in the west take for granted.

Governments don't make change, people do, from the spark in the heart of one man or women a whole political or social shift can taken place, as we have witnessed in the middle east recently.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Martha
  • Raleigh, NC, United States
  • 11-12-12

My favorite of the year

I feel like most citizens are very disconnected from those who are serving in the military overseas - so I am drawn to books that help me be more aware. This is my favorite book so far of the year. I love what this man has to teach about life, values, compassion, courage and vision. The audio version is read exceptionally well by the author.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Captivating

Interesting perspecitive on the strategy of struggle. The balance of too much versus not enough is a complex and hard to comprehend topic that this author fights head on. Fantatstic book. Wish I had more time in the day while I was listening to the book.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The Heart and the Fist vs Resilience

Any additional comments?

To save you guys the trouble since there is quite a bit of overlap between books, I believe the story for this book over that of Resilience is better. Being that Resilience was more of a self help motivational book influenced by socratic dialogue (letters between Greitens and Walker), this book was more of the life story of Greitens. Both are wonderful pieces but I read Resilience first and I think that it's not necessary to read both books. This book shows how great of a guy Greitens is, whereas the latter develops and expounds on different principles of living a fulfilling life and overcoming obstacles. That being said, I found resilience a better listen overall because of the socratic dialogue-esque style of writing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mr.
  • Panama City, FL, United States
  • 06-17-11

A Navy SEAL with a mission to save the world

What a great man. What a great story.
Listening to how Eric matures and develops through college and his international humanitarian episodes were interesting. However, the best parts for me were Eric's SEAL training experiences. It was very encouraging to know that a man like Eric was going to be a military leader. It was very discouraging to hear about some of the other people who were going to be military leaders. Overall a good listen.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • testamzn
  • 04-23-12

The Heart and the Fist

Few men can be Navy Seals and few men can write about their unique world like Eric Greitens.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Anonymous User
  • 07-16-17

An important read for every world citizen

This book is an important read for every world citizen. Further the knowledge and humanity of Eric needs a place in our global political system.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • L. N. Tait
  • 08-24-15

A clever man.

Read both of his books now and really enjoyed them both. Here's hoping he writes another.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Justaman
  • 08-04-15

All american success story.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, probably would not recommend. It's too much filled with do-good attitude. I get it, the guy is a success in everything and everything. Normal people hates thoses guys.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Well, you really can't change the reality, now can you..? Unless you are a leftist liberal and even then the warped reality stays in their own heads.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yup. No complaints there.

Do you think The Heart and the Fist needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I think so yes and I thought the Resiliance was it. I was mistaken.

Any additional comments?

Ok listen, but if you are wanting to listen it because of the BUD/S & SEAL -factor, you are going to lose about half of the book.