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The Heart and the Fist Audiobook

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

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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

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  •  
    Laine ARLINGTON, VA, United States 03-18-13
    Laine ARLINGTON, VA, United States 03-18-13
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    "Excellent."
    Would you listen to The Heart and the Fist again? Why?

    I generally do not re-read or re-listen to books, but there are certain sections in The Heart and the Fist that I would repeat to remember specific details more clearly.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Eric Greitens' account of his life, his thought processes, and his determination to "walk the walk" so to speak are the best parts of this book, which is really the entire story itself. It is rare to hear about someone who will study and write his opinions about such heavy topics who then decides that if he writes about it he must be willing to do it. Additionally, I really like audiobooks that are read by the author as you get the true emphasis on the important parts of the story. Of the many military memoirs I have read, this is at the top of my list of favorites.


    Have you listened to any of Eric Greitens’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, I have not. However, I would read and/or listen to another book by this author.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin 03-18-13
    Erin 03-18-13
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    "Enlightening, Entertaining and Relevant--READ IT!!"

    Thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. Even without the social message, it is in turn exciting, heartwarming, tear-jerking and laugh-out-loud hilarious. I highly recommend it to anyone--social/community workers/activists/volunteers, military and former military, or straight up civilians who may never have considered what sets "service" apart as a vocation. In particular, I think Greitens' perspective on the military after having worked in and studied international aid is important for others in both fields to understand. It's a great read, however for someone from any background. Greitens has a wonderful message and he delivers it with humor and humility.

    My only criticism is that his narration needs just a little work. I like that he did it himself. It lends more integrity to the words. That said, he has a tendency to lilt-up mid-sentence which I started to find annoying about half-way through. (i.e. "That said? he has a tendency? to lilt-up mid-sentence? which I started to find annoying about half-way through.") He also occasionally swallows the last word or two of a sentence. None of this was distracting enough to subtract anything from any of his stories.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cole 02-24-13
    Cole 02-24-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Wow."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes - if you are a man or raising one, it's an exceptional call to action through a life well lived and story told.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Heart and the Fist?

    Too many quotes, too many people, and too many challenges overcome to list.


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

    I laughed out loud several times and find myself re-examining how I've lived my life and how I plan to raise my boys often. I've always been amazed and humbled by the sacrifice of our men and women in the Armed Forces and respected humanitarians who work in the field. This is a wonderful book which speaks to both sides.


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to it. Read it. Underline it. Share it with friends. It's more than worth your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Travis MANASSAS, VA, United States 01-24-13
    Travis MANASSAS, VA, United States 01-24-13 Member Since 2016
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    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly 12-26-12
    Kimberly 12-26-12
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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."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JackMargo St Petersburg, FL, United States 12-21-12
    JackMargo St Petersburg, FL, United States 12-21-12

    Blind Vietnam veteran. Antique weapons collector. Outdoor enthusiast. Florida State University graduate with Business major. Owner of home health agency. registered nurse.

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    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cate 12-19-12
    Cate 12-19-12
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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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Ted Dublin, Ireland 12-18-12
    Ted Dublin, Ireland 12-18-12
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    "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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Malu Boulder, CO 10-07-12
    Malu Boulder, CO 10-07-12 Member Since 2006
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    "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
  •  
    jIM kEFFER 09-03-12
    jIM kEFFER 09-03-12 Member Since 2009
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    "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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