ReadersEntertainment, April 14, 2011 (view all comments by ReadersEntertainment)
Eric Greitens could say a lot about his life. Twice honored for military duty by the president, this Rhodes and Truman scholar, a graduate from Oxford, turned his attention to serving his nation and the world's people after great academic success. Not yet 40 years of age, Greitens has been a US Navy SEAL for more than a decade, and his lengthy list of military accolades stands as proof of his persistence in the line of duty. He has been deployed four times to countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, and he was recognized and honored for his bravery throughout the duration of these missions. Now a commanding officer, Greitens has received numerous high awards and notoriety. You would expect for the average individual to be quite satisfied with such great successes, but for Greitens this is just the beginning. At the core of his spirit is an unending dedication to action inspired by compassion for people all over the world, and the extent of his impact as a humanitarian will outweigh even the achievements of his successful military career. Greitens, using the money he received for combat overseas, founded The Mission Continues, a non-profit organization that seeks to aid wounded and disabled veterans in becoming more active as leaders in their communities and the nation. This is how a hero's story sounds...
...The Heart and the Fist is a direct telling from Greitens of his life's experience�"it is a story that needs to be told. Its straightforward language and inspirational nature are sure to appeal to the heart of any reader looking for powerful words and an honest account dealing with the potential of human achievement when compassion and courage are behind every action. Also, for any reader who loves biographical (or autobiographical) books about military and/or humanitarian efforts, this title comes highly recommended. Ceaseless dedication, a commitment to understanding, , and a will to pursue wisdom�"these are the qualities of a man who is guided by his heart but who knows how to fight with his fist. And the story of his life is about to inspire you.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"This book, by Greitens, a senior fellow at the University of Missouri and founder of the Mission Continues charity, confronts the same dilemma as the American military, which strives to be a strong deterrent against the evils of the world while protecting the sick and powerless. The concept of a mighty warrior with a good heart is not an original one, but the humanitarian soldier epiphany comes to an idealistic Greitens after stints in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Gaza, and Calcutta where he sees unspeakable carnage and suffering without end. He takes the words of philosopher John Stuart Mill as his credo: 'The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature.' The rigors of his Navy SEAL training are intensely depicted, as are his deployments in Kenya, Afghanistan, and Iraq, with Greitens slowly evolving into a balanced man with equal parts of compassion and warrior spirit. A glorious tale of humanity, resolve, and strength, Greitens's book reminds us of how many things we take for granted in our well-ordered lives. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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.
“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
PRAISE FOR The Heart and the Fist
“Eric Greitens is the best of the best. He has the best mental capacity and physical stamina Ive ever seen in a human being. His story teaches us about how to have a heart and a fist to get the most out of life. Along the way, Eric did the most anyone can possibly do for his country. What a story! It should inspire us all to live our lives with purpose and meaning.”—Max Cleland, former U.S. senator
“If you worry that America is no longer a home of heroes, come read this riveting tale of a young mans adventures as a boxer, a thinker, a warrior, and ultimately a humanitarian. He writes admiringly of the Greek notion of phronesis, practical wisdom—‘the ability to figure out what to do while at the same time knowing what is worth doing. Mr. Greitens has plenty of phronesis.”—David Gergen, director, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School, CNN senior political analyst
“The Heart and the Fist is a vitally important, powerful book, a seminal, paradigm-shifting work that should be mandatory reading for every citizen who cares about helping others, with our military or with our humanitarian efforts, in a world filled with starvation, suffering, tyranny, oppression and genocide.”— Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (ret.), author of On Combat and On Killing
“Eric Greitens is exactly the kind of citizen-warrior that America needs to fight our wars abroad and to win our battles at home. A man wise enough to lead, courageous enough to fight, and compassionate enough to care, he has written a glorious book about how to live with purpose that should be required reading for every American.”—Bobby Muller, founder of Veterans for America and cofounder of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines
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