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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

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)

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Story

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  • Travis
  • MANASSAS, VA, United States
  • 01-24-13

Great Introspective

First off, it's pretty cool that the autobiographer is the narrator. This book provides a great introspective into the depth of character and toughness required to be a SEAL. It has some really poignant statements about the proper times to apply strength and compassion when addressing international affairs.

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Unique perspective, interesting read

This book was great for people that travel and ponder what our global role is. What are the things that humanitarians, Christians, military and other do for those in need, with good intentions, are harmful or helpful for those people and other cultures? Greitens does a fabulous job writing and reading the audio book. Even our 11 year old listened to this audio book with us and enjoyed it. There are some bad words and some content that was hard for us all to hear, but it was real life situations that happen. It's important for our preteens and teens to hear that life isn't all easy, and the freedom we enjoy every day is earned every day by many amazing people that step up to the plate and say "I'll do it."

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  • JackMargo
  • St Petersburg, FL, United States
  • 12-21-12

Who is a Navy Seal?

A great, exciting read! A MUST read for anyone who thinks they might want to be a Seal. A nice peak into the mind of patriotic youth.

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One of the best books I have ever read.

If you could sum up The Heart and the Fist in three words, what would they be?

Eric Greitens is a true leader and humanitarian. I would make this mandatory reading in my classroom (high school) except for the foul language.

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  • Ted
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • 12-18-12

Interesting story of a well travelled man,

If you could sum up The Heart and the Fist in three words, what would they be?

Not for everyone

Who was your favorite character and why?

Earl, solid human being trying to improve the lives of his students

What about Eric Greitens’s performance did you like?

It was unusual, I was interested to hear a book narrated by the author. Initially it was a little difficult and some of the reading felt stilted - I had expected it to flow, but after a while I got used to the style and it was fine.

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

In some ways, it prompted me to think about what difference, if any, I was making. I found myself coming up very short in comprarison to Greitens.

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  • Malu
  • Boulder, CO
  • 10-07-12

very intelligent account of service

Where does The Heart and the Fist rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best audiobooks I've listened to. It is nonfiction, which I do not usually listen to or read. He gives an account of his personal experience in college, Rhodes Scholarship, working for international charities and then becoming and serving as a Navy Seal. It ends with description of his subsequent public leadership in founding the charity The Mission Continues to challenge wounded servicemen and women.

What about Eric Greitens’s performance did you like?

Palpably real, very intelligent.

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

He may personally inspire you to find more meaning in your life through service.

Any additional comments?

This account should not be missed.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
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  • Story

Greitens for President!

If you could sum up The Heart and the Fist in three words, what would they be?

Awesome, just Awesome!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Eric Greitens is the best example I've seen in quite some time of a man who chose Service and Virtue over Greed and Self Indulgence. Quite an amazing guy and a great example of what it really means to be a "great man".

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

A well-written, multi-faceted story of courage!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Heart and the Fist to be better than the print version?

I don't know if this is BETTER than the print version - but it is VERY

What did you like best about this story?

The best part about this story is that it is actually written from 2 perspectives - that of a soldier and that of a relief worker.

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

The most moving moments of this book are those that dealt with Eric's experiences in Bosnia. That war - the largest ethnic cleansing to take place since WWII - gets little attention, but seemed to be particularly bitter and cruel. Eric's experiences there eventually lead him to become a Navy Seal. He concludes that people sometimes just need protection - sanctions, peacekeepers and condemnation aren't always enough.

Any additional comments?

This is a great, personal, compassionate story told through the eyes of a unique individual who has seen a lot of things first-hand. It is well-written, fast-paced and makes you think.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Best SEAL book ever

By far the best SEAL book, head and shoulder's with Lone Survivor. The personal insight into the humanitarian side, war, and the mind of a special forces soldier takes you on a personal journey with the writer across the globe. The book made me want to be better, want to fight for those who can't fight for themselves, and to help returning soldier's continue to fight the mission at home and abroad in new and innovative ways. By far the best read of 2011.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • muttman
  • Campton Hills, Illinois, United States
  • 09-08-11

A superb book

Eric Greitens story is a must hear or read. Well written and poignant. Purposeful and well narrated by the author I was disappointed when the ride was all over.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful