Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Heart and the Fist by Eric Greitens

Greitens is an impressive person; in fact, he might be one of the most impressive people you'll read about. Very few people receive doctor's from Oxford in humanitarianism or win Golden Gloves boxing trophies or become Navy SEALs or start their own charity. Very, very few people do all of those things.
The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL is a memoir that is well worth your time as it is educational and inspirational. You'll learn of Eric's adventures in different countries doing brief stints of humanitarian work, the craziness that is Navy SEAL training, and his participation and perspectives of the War on Terror. Throughout this accessible read, the reader feels that Greitens is trying to explain and impart key values and a sense of character.
I can't agree with all his decisions, but it hard to disagree with most of his perspectives. I was looking forward to this one for awhile (it was a long wait from the library) and I was mostly satisfied. I would have preferred it to be a esoteric/sophisticated but that would have diminished the audience.
There are many good lines in the book, either by famous persons of history or in Eric's own framing. Here is one near the end that I'll paraphrase: In many cases you cannot give someone hope, but you can help them create hope through their actions.

Highly recommended.


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