Synopses & Reviews
and#8220;Meet my heroand#8212;Eric Greitens. His life and this book remind us that America remains the land of the brave and generous.and#8221; and#8212; Tom Brokaw
Like many young idealists, Eric Greitens wanted to make a difference, so he traveled to the worldand#8217;s 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 worldand#8217;s 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.
and#8220;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 and#8212; as does Mr. Greitens's life, present and future and#8212; all that is best in this country, and what we need desperately right now.and#8221; and#8212; Steven Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire
and#8220;Vivid and compelling . . . a great read.and#8221; and#8212; Washington Times
A Hudson Booksellers Top Ten Nonfiction Book of the Year
A USA Today and Publishers Weekly Bestseller
WITH A NEW AFTERWORD
"If you're in despair about America's future, meet my hero - Eric Greitens. His life and this book reminds us that America remains the land of the brave and generous. The heart and fist are just the combination we need."
"The Heart and the Fist might have been written in many countries, but its ideals seem to me to be quintessentially American, from and of the United States as she is at her best. That Eric Greitensand#8212;Rhodes Scholar, Navy SEAL, international humanitarian worker and founder of the veterans' aid organization, The Mission Continuesand#8212;is an extraordinary individual goes without saying. But what resounds so powerfully in this book is his consciousness and drive, from the earliest age, not to cash in on his own abundant gifts but to find some path that was worthy of his highest self, some way to be of use, to make a contribution and to really live a life. This is very American. Mr. Greitens combines in one person the warrior ethos of toughness, courage and tenacity with the compassion of the humanitarian. This, too, is very American--not just to win wars or to impose our will or point of view, but to act in the service of others, on their own terms, to put others in touch with their own capacity to manifest this flame that burns so brightly in Mr. Greitens. 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 epitomizesand#8212;as does Mr. Greitens' life, present and future--all that is best in this country, and what we need desperately right now."
and#8212; Steven Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire
"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."
and#8212;Bobby Muller, Founder of Vietnam Veterans for America and co-founder of the Nobel Peace Prize Winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines
"The Heart and the Fist is a vitally important, powerful book, along the lines of Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence (aka "Lawrence of Arabia"). Filled with adventure, eminently readable, and an incredibly valuable look into the heart and mind of a great man who would serve to guide us into understanding an alien culture.
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; This book helps to bridge the gap between humanitarian groups and the military (the 'heart' and the 'fist' ... who are, all too often, truly 'alien' to each other!), in the same way that Three Cups of Tea helps bridge the gap between the people of Afghanistan, and those of the West who would assist that nation.
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; As Three Cups of Tea and Seven Pillars of Wisdom have become mandatory reading in many military organizations, The Heart and the Fist is a seminal, paradigm-shifting work that should be mandatory reading for every military and humanitarian organization who would work together (who must work together!), around the planet, to make our world a better place.
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; And, even more importantly, this book 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.
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; This book has turned me into a believer in Eric Greitens' methodology and his cause. Among the first of many to come!"
and#8212;Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Lt. Col. USA (ret), author of On Combat and On Killing
"If the United States is going to continue to be the indispensable nation in the 21st century, it is going to require an elite corps of both warriors and humanitarians that combine hard and soft power. Eric Greitens, both in his personal example, and in his book, points the way forward."
and#8212;Robert D. Kaplan, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, author of Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power
"The Heart and The Fist is a defining profile of compassion, courage and commitment that gets to the heart of why we wear the uniform. From combat to the home front, Eric Greitens has demonstrated extraordinary leadership as a Navy SEAL, humanitarian and champion for wounded veterans. His powerful story is testament the service of this Next Greatest Generation that will continue long after the wars end."
and#8212;Paul Rieckhoff, Founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and author of Chasing Ghosts.
"Few men who become Navy SEALs enter this elite warrior fraternity with a background so rich in compassion, service, and cross-cultural awareness as did Eric Greitens. And few Navy SEALs have served the growing community of wounded warriors with such skill and dedication as has Eric Greitens and The Mission Continues."
and#8212;Dick Couch, Author of The Warrior Elite and Chosen Soldier
"One would have to be mighty cynical to resist the power of Greitensand#8217; experiences, and young Americans would benefit from contemplating his message... A remarkable story told with modesty and grace."
"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."
"Fick's writing style sets this book apart from other accounts of recent conflicts and guarantees One Bullet Away a place in the war memorial hall of fame." USA Today
"Harrowing . . . deserves close reading and serious discussion." The Washington Post
"What One Bullet Away accomplishes, in a way all the blather on cable TV never will, is to give readers real insights into the modern war and its warriors." --Rocky Mountain News
"Fick makes a fascinating contribution to the growing shelf of soldiers' tales with his insight into the minds of today's young officers." Boston Magazine
"The best sign of military intelligence." Gentleman's Quarterly
"Provides a close-up and often harrowing look at [his] service both in Iraq and Afghanistan." U.S. News and World Report
"Much more than a simple dispatch from the fronts of Afghanistan and Iraq, One Bullet Away finds Nathaniel Fick reaching deep within his heart and soul. culling up the irony, frustration, humor, tragedy, and -- more than anything else -- the pathos that informs the enterprise of war." --Military.com
"Fick sounds like precisely the kind of thoughtful, mature commander any soldier would revere." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Ponders the nature of leadership and war . . . A tough-minded, beautifully written account." Men's Journal
"Rapid-fire, vertiginous . . . Fick brilliantly evokes the split second before the first muzzle flashes of an ambush...His story is truly -- as one Marine motto has it -- leadership by example." --National Review
"A compelling and exciting memoir of military service, swift in its pacing and sure in its details. The courage, selflessness, and skill of Marines are intensely portrayed here and are -- in the highest and rarest praise for a military memoir -- unmistakably authentic." --Senator John McCain
"Nathaniel Fick shares a powerful account of the bravery of the Marines and the simple truth every soldier shares: that war is hell. Our troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan are heroes who have sacrificed to serve our country, and in these pages we are reminded of their courage under fire. Fick's story is testimony to their struggle." --Senator John Kerry
"A gripping account of twenty-first-century war by a twenty-first-century warrior. Perhaps most astounding is Nathaniel Fick's candor concerning his own emotions, fears, and moral quandries as he rises to the challenge of leadership. Fick has written the story of our times." --Evan Wright, author of Generation Kill
"A splendid story of a young Marine officer's journey from a promising begining to the truth and horror of combat. He pulls no punches in a book that is hard to put down." --Joseph L. Galloway, coauthor of We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young
"This is the war on terrorism at the working level, where it's very cold or very hot, where you're dirty and you don't get much sleep, and your life can be over in the next breath. Washington poobahs do grand strategy; people like Fick do the work. This is their story of the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. Fick's book makes those wars become real, with all the heroism and the mistakes that still come with ground combat." --Richard A. Clarke, author of Against All Enemies
"A superb account of the challenges that confront a young officer in today's conflicts. Fick offers exceptionally vivid descriptions of leadership, duty, and brotherhood under fire. One Bullet Away is brilliant, a must-read for anyone who wants to truly understand what our troops face." --General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (ret.), former commander in chief, U.S. Central Command, and coauthor of Battle Ready
"A brilliant, no-bullshit piece of under-the-helmet reporting. One Bullet Away is much more than a chronicle of war. It illuminates a man's mind and heart as he is thoroughly transformed by training and combat." --Steven Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire
"This is one of the best books on the Marine Corps in a long time. If you want to understand what it takes to become a Marine today, read this. Then, if you want to really understand what it takes to serve in today's wars, read it again. One Bullet Away is a terrific book by a natural writer." --Tom Ricks, military correspondent, Washington Post, and author of Making the Corps
"A remarkable book that will give today's readers a much fuller picture of the realities of their military, and that will be read for many years to come because of its vivid, humane, unsparing but also humorous portrayal of the making of a warrior." --James Fallows, national correspondent, Atlantic Monthly
"Far more than a glory-soaked collection of war stories, this memoir proves the ideal of the scholar-soldier is alive and well. One can hardly imagine a finer boots-on-the-ground chronicle of this open-ended conflict, no matter how long it may last." Kirrkus Reviews, Starred
"Essential . . . candid and fast-paced . . . Like the best combat memoirs, Fick's focuses on the men doing the fighttting and avoids hyperbole and sensationalism. He does not shrink from the truth, however personal or unpleasant." Publishers Weekly
"The psychological distance between those who serve and fight and those who publish and pontificate is vast. Nathaniel Fick has closed the gap considerably with this fine book." --Robert D. Kaplan, author of Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground
"The Marines develop leaders who are not only skilled, courageous, and tough, but also humane. Join one of them as he leads a Recon platoon to Baghdad and beyond. One Bullet Away is a riveting and highly charged account of modern war as seen through the eyes of a young lieutenant." --Lieutenant General Bernard E. Trainor, USMC (ret.), author of Cobra II
"One Bullet Away is much more than a war story. It recounts a young officer's daily duty to lead, to make ethical decisions, and to balance the immense responsibilities of accomplishing missions and saving lives. These lessons are as useful in the boardroom as on the battlefield." --Marshall N. Carter, retired Fortun 500 CEO and two-tour Marine infantry officer in Vietnam
"Distinguished by its intelligence and candor . . . a rare perspective on modern warfare -- and on the culture of America's warriors." People Magazine
"Makes a compelling argument for an oft-overlooked military virture: competence." The New York Times
"Fick and his men come across as America's dream fighting force: hypercapable, ever vigilant, wire-tough, and loyal to the end." Outside
In an inspiring memoir from one of the world's most elite warriors, Eric Greitens recounts in remarkable detail his time as a Navy SEALand#8212;from the most harrowing encounters and brutal attacks, to the lessons learned from his humanitarian efforts.
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.
THE HEART AND THE FIST shares one manand#8217;s 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. Heand#8217;s learned from nuns who fed the destitute in one of Mother Teresaand#8217;s 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 usand#8212;every one of usand#8212;to be both good and strong.
Available for the first time in an edition for young adults, Antoine de Saint-Exupand#233;ry's classic story, The Little Prince,
beloved by readers of all ages, comes to life in a format perfect for teen readers.
"Iand#8217;m glad I was asked to be the ambassador for this book. I suspect you may find that something of the starry magic of this story stays with you, as it has with me." and#8212; Gregory Maguire
"A lovely storyand#8230;which covers a poetic, yearning philosophyand#8212;not the sort of fable that can be tacked down neatly at its four corners but rather reflections on what are real matters of consequence." and#8212; New York Times Book Review
At first glance, Antoine de Saint-Exupand#233;ryand#8217;s 1943 classic The Little Princeand#8212;with its winsome illustrations of a boy prince and his tiny planetand#8212;appears to be a childrenand#8217;s fairy tale. It doesnand#8217;t take long, however, to discover that it speaks to readers of all ages. This pocket-sized edition, perfect for teens, features Saint-Exupand#233;ryand#8217;s original full-color illustrations and the unabridged text, a readerand#8217;s guide, and a introduction by Gregory Maguire. Rediscoverand#8212;or shareand#8212;the magic!
This title has been selected as a Common Core Text Exemplar (Grades 4-5, Stories).
If the Marines are and#147;the few, the proud,and#8221; Recon Marines are the fewest and the proudest. Nathaniel Fickand#8217;s career begins with a hellish summer at Quantico, after his junior year at Dartmouth. He leads a platoon in Afghanistan just after 9/11 and advances to the pinnacleand#151;Reconand#151; two years later, on the eve of war with Iraq. His vast skill set puts him in front of the front lines, leading twenty-two Marines into the deadliest conflict since Vietnam. He vows to bring all his men home safely, and to do so heand#8217;ll need more than his top-flight education. Fick unveils the process that makes Marine officers such legendary leaders and shares his hard-won insights into the differences between military ideals and military practice, which can mock those ideals.
In this deeply thoughtful account of what itand#8217;s like to fight on todayand#8217;s front lines, Fick reveals the crushing pressure on young leaders in combat. Split-second decisions might have national consequences or horrible immediate repercussions, but hesitation isnand#8217;t an option. One Bullet Away never shrinks from blunt truths, but ultimately it is an inspiring account of mastering the art of war.
About the Author
After receiving a BA in classics from Dartmouth, Nathaniel Fick served as an infantry oficer and then as an elite Recon Marine. He saw action in Afghanistan and Iraq before leaving the Corps as a captain. He is now a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, D.C. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller ONE BULLET AWAY. Fick is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies, and serves as a Director of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy at Dartmouth College. He holds a B.A. from Dartmouth, an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and an MPA in international security policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Table of Contents
I: MIND AND FIST
II: HEART AND MIND
III: HEART AND FIST
and#160;8.and#160;OFFICER CANDIDATE SCHOOLand#8195;131
and#160;11.and#160;ADVANCED COMBAT TRAININGand#8195;204
and#160;and#160;EPILOGUE: THE MISSION CONTINUESand#8195;285
Authorand#8217;s Note and Acknowledgmentsand#8195;299