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The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy Sealby Eric Greitens
Synopses & Reviews
“Meet my hero—Eric Greitens. His life and this book remind us that America remains the land of the brave and generous.” — Tom Brokaw
Like many young idealists, Eric Greitens wanted to make a difference, so he traveled to the worlds trouble spots to work in refugee camps and serve the sick and the poor. Yet when innocent civilians were threatened with harm, there was nothing he could do but step in afterward and try to ease the suffering. In studying humanitarianism, he realized a fundamental truth: when an army invades, the weak need protection. So he joined the Navy SEALs and became one of the worlds elite warriors.
Greitens led his men through the unforgettable soul-testing of SEAL training and went on to deployments in Kenya, Afghanistan, and Iraq, where he faced harrowing encounters and brutal attacks. Yet even in the deadliest combat situations, the lessons of his humanitarian work bore fruit. At the heart of this powerful story lies a paradox: sometimes you have to be strong to do good, but you also have to do good to be strong. The heart and the fist together are more powerful than either one alone.
“If you're restless or itching for some calling you can't name, read this book. Give it to your son and daughter. The Heart and the Fist epitomizes — as does Mr. Greitens's life, present and future — all that is best in this country, and what we need desperately right now.” — Steven Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire
“Vivid and compelling . . . a great read.” — Washington Times
A Hudson Booksellers Top Ten Nonfiction Book of the Year
A USA Today and Publishers Weekly Bestseller
WITH A NEW AFTERWORD
In an inspiring memoir from one of the world's most elite warriors, Eric Greitens recounts in remarkable detail his time as a Navy SEAL—from the most harrowing encounters and brutal attacks, to the lessons learned from his humanitarian efforts.
THE HEART AND THE FIST shares one mans story of extraordinary leadership and service as both a humanitarian and a warrior. In a life lived at the raw edges of the human experience, Greitens has seen what can be accomplished when compassion and courage come together in meaningful service.
As a Rhodes Scholar and Navy SEAL, Greitens worked alongside volunteers who taught art to street children in Bolivia and led US Marines who hunted terrorists in Iraq. Hes learned from nuns who fed the destitute in one of Mother Teresas homes for the dying in India, from aid workers who healed orphaned children in Rwanda, and from Navy SEALs who fought in Afghanistan. He excelled at the hardest military training in the world, and today he works with severely wounded and disabled veterans who are rebuilding their lives as community leaders at home.
Greitens offers each of us a new way of thinking about living a meaningful life. We learn that to win any war, even those we wage against ourselves; to create and obtain lasting peace; to save a life; and even, simply to live with purpose requires us—every one of us—to be both good and strong.
A piercing and inspiring memoir by a Navy SEAL for whom service means a lot more than his time wearing the uniform Like many young idealists, Eric Greitens wanted to make a difference. Throughout college and after, he traveled to the worlds trouble spots, working in refugee camps and serving the sick and the poor on four continents, from Gaza to Croatia to Mother Teresas home in Calcutta, among others. Yet when innocent civilians were threatened with harm, there was nothing he could do but step in afterward and try to ease the suffering. He became a Rhodes Scholar to study the history of humanitarianism, in search of a better way, but all the theory in the world could not get past the fundamental problem: when an army invades, the weak need to be protected. So he joined the Navy SEALs and became one of the worlds elite warriors. As an officer, he led his men through the unforgettable soul-testing of SEAL training, culminating in Hell Week — recounted in these pages with remarkable detail — and went on to deployments in Kenya, Thailand, Afghanistan, and Iraq, where he faced harrowing encounters and brutal militia attacks. Yet even when he wore heavy armor and wielded some of the deadliest combat arms, the lessons of his humanitarian work bore fruit. At the heart of Erics powerful story lies a paradox: sometimes you have to be strong to do good, but you also have to do good to be strong. The heart and fist together are more powerful than either one alone.
About the Author
After receiving a Ph.D. as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, Eric Greitens joined the Navy SEALs in 2001. He deployed four times during the Global War on Terrorism, and received numerous military awards including the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. He is the founder and CEO of The Mission Continues, Americas leading organization for helping wounded and disabled warriors serve their country as citizen leaders here at home.
Table of Contents
I: MIND AND FIST
1. IRAQ 3
2. CHINA 12
3. BOXING 27
II: HEART AND MIND
4. BOSNIA 47
5. RWANDA 65
6. BOLIVIA 87
7. OXFORD 107
III: HEART AND FIST
8. OFFICER CANDIDATE SCHOOL 131
9. SEAL TRAINING 144
10. HELL WEEK 164
11. ADVANCED COMBAT TRAINING 204
12. AFGHANISTAN 213
13. SOUTHEAST ASIA 234
14. KENYA 255
15. IRAQ 270
EPILOGUE: THE MISSION CONTINUES 285
Authors Note and Acknowledgments 299
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