Eric Greitens Publishes New Book, "The Heart and the Fist"


St. Louisan Eric Greitens gives an explanation for the title "The Heart and the Fist" in his subtitle: "The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL."

Yes, Greitens has played both of these seemingly contradictory roles. First, from the heart, he was a do-gooder, helping refugees, orphans, and the sick and dying in places like Bosnia, Rwanda, Bolivia, India and the Gaza Strip. Next, from the fist, he was a trained killer — a Special Operations trigger-puller in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, recipient of a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

These days, Greitens mixes both roles by leading a St. Louis-based group called the Mission Continues. On the fist side, Greitens works with wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. On the heart side, he sets them up in fellowships with public service groups and institutions.

In "The Heart and the Fist," Greitens tells how he reconciled his seemingly contradictory roles. As a collegian (first at Duke, then in Britain as a Rhodes scholar), he writes, "I had become an advocate for using power, where necessary, to protect the weak, to end ethnic cleansing, to end genocide."

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