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

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9780547750385: The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL
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“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 world’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 world’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.

“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

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Review:

A Note from the Author

Dear Amazon Readers:

As a kid growing up in Missouri, I loved reading stories about heroes like King Arthur, George Washington, and Pericles. Their lives were full of action and courage, and I wanted to capture that same sense of adventure in my own life. As I grew older, great mentors and friends have shown me that the path to adventure and purpose can be found in a life of service to others.

These friends and mentors have come from many different backgrounds. I’ve been blessed to work with volunteers who taught art to street children in Bolivia and Marines who hunted al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq. I’ve learned from nuns who fed the destitute in Mother Teresa’s homes for the dying in India, aid workers who healed orphaned children in Rwanda, and Navy SEALs who fought in Afghanistan. As warriors, as humanitarians, they’ve taught me that without courage, compassion falters, and without compassion, courage has no direction. They’ve shown me that it is within our power, indeed the world requires of us — every one of us — to be both good and strong.

I hope the stories recounted in The Heart and the Fist will inspire you as these people have inspired me. They have given me hope and shown me the incredible possibilities that exist for each of us to live our one life well.

--Eric Greitens

From the Inside Flap:

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 world s trouble spots, working in refugee camps and serving the sick and the poor on four continents, from Gaza to Croatia to Mother Teresa s 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 world s 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 Eric s 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."

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