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Jordan Peterson's Twelve Rules for Life meets Jocko Willink and Leif Babin's Extreme Ownership in this tough-love leadership book from a Navy SEAL and rising star in Republican politics. In 2012, on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, a roadside bomb took Dan Crenshaw's right eye. When he learned how to see again, he didn't want anyone's pity. People shouldn't feel sorry Jordan Peterson's Twelve Rules for Life meets Jocko Willink and Leif Babin's Extreme Ownership in this tough-love leadership book from a Navy SEAL and rising star in Republican politics. In 2012, on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, a roadside bomb took Dan Crenshaw's right eye. When he learned how to see again, he didn't want anyone's pity. People shouldn't feel sorry for him, he decided, and they shouldn't feel sorry for themselves either. Most people's everyday challenges aren't as extreme as surviving combat or working to regain their sight, but that's just Crenshaw's point: If we can meet life's toughest challenges without resenting our luck or complaining, minor daily obstacles aren't worth our outrage. "Microaggressions" and "triggers" from mere words mean little to someone who's had bullets fly by their head. That's Crenshaw's simple lesson in FORTITUDE: Lighten up, toughen up, and get to work on what's important (hint: it's not giving into a culture of outrage, playing the victim, and seeking an apology). FORTITUDE is a no-nonsense advice book for a society desperately in need of tough love. With meditations on perseverance, failure, and finding much-needed heroes, the book is the antidote for a prevailing "safety culture" of trigger warnings and safe spaces. Interspersed with lessons and advice is Crenshaw's own story of how an average American kid from the Houston suburbs has faced all sorts of unexpected situations -- from war zones to the halls of Congress -- and managed to navigate them all with a few simple tricks: a sense of humor and an even greater sense that, no matter what anyone else around us says or does, we are in control of our own destiny.


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Jordan Peterson's Twelve Rules for Life meets Jocko Willink and Leif Babin's Extreme Ownership in this tough-love leadership book from a Navy SEAL and rising star in Republican politics. In 2012, on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, a roadside bomb took Dan Crenshaw's right eye. When he learned how to see again, he didn't want anyone's pity. People shouldn't feel sorry Jordan Peterson's Twelve Rules for Life meets Jocko Willink and Leif Babin's Extreme Ownership in this tough-love leadership book from a Navy SEAL and rising star in Republican politics. In 2012, on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, a roadside bomb took Dan Crenshaw's right eye. When he learned how to see again, he didn't want anyone's pity. People shouldn't feel sorry for him, he decided, and they shouldn't feel sorry for themselves either. Most people's everyday challenges aren't as extreme as surviving combat or working to regain their sight, but that's just Crenshaw's point: If we can meet life's toughest challenges without resenting our luck or complaining, minor daily obstacles aren't worth our outrage. "Microaggressions" and "triggers" from mere words mean little to someone who's had bullets fly by their head. That's Crenshaw's simple lesson in FORTITUDE: Lighten up, toughen up, and get to work on what's important (hint: it's not giving into a culture of outrage, playing the victim, and seeking an apology). FORTITUDE is a no-nonsense advice book for a society desperately in need of tough love. With meditations on perseverance, failure, and finding much-needed heroes, the book is the antidote for a prevailing "safety culture" of trigger warnings and safe spaces. Interspersed with lessons and advice is Crenshaw's own story of how an average American kid from the Houston suburbs has faced all sorts of unexpected situations -- from war zones to the halls of Congress -- and managed to navigate them all with a few simple tricks: a sense of humor and an even greater sense that, no matter what anyone else around us says or does, we are in control of our own destiny.

30 review for Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nico Alba

    First things first: I have my disagreements with Dan. They primarily stem from my secularism and his attribution of Judeo-Christian values as the philosophical underpinning of all western morality and law. With that being said, I respect the hell out of him and the conclusions we reach are the same even if our reasons for reaching them don't exactly line up. This book is both an exploration and an antidote for the weakening culture of America. Human qualities like grit, discipline, and self-relia First things first: I have my disagreements with Dan. They primarily stem from my secularism and his attribution of Judeo-Christian values as the philosophical underpinning of all western morality and law. With that being said, I respect the hell out of him and the conclusions we reach are the same even if our reasons for reaching them don't exactly line up. This book is both an exploration and an antidote for the weakening culture of America. Human qualities like grit, discipline, and self-reliance—once considered timeless and unequivocal in their production of success and value—are now being replaced by self-pity, indulgence, outrage, and resentment. A society existing in the most prosperous, free, and safe period of all history has been coddled to the point of producing a generation of individuals hellbent on finding grievances and flaws in our society instead of taking ownership and accountability for their actions. External factors are always to blame and individual responsibility is an afterthought, if a thought at all. Drawing from lessons learned in losing his mother to cancer, becoming a Navy SEAL, getting blown up by an IED and almost going blind, and then becoming a congressman, Dan envisions not a return to the archaic past but a history lesson in perspective. He lays out the framework for gaining perspective and the mental fortitude to succeed in life, as well as improving our relations with those we disagree with politically. Spoiler: assuming the worst intentions from everyone we disagree with is not a good tactic. There's so much to comment on, but I'll stick to one chapter. Chapter 8: Do Something Hard. He states that "In difficulty, in adversity, in meaningful suffering—there is transformation." Using his experiences and also referencing scientific studies, he reminds us that doing something hard and accomplishing that goal is incredibly powerful and can transform our minds and give us meaning in life. Whether that task is squatting 400 lbs, finishing your education, running a marathon, helping others—it doesn't matter. Make sure it's hard and go do it. This is the kind of book you read again, you gift to others, and you give to your children. Dan is quickly becoming a bit of a role model for me. He's level-headed, rational, calm, stoic, polite, intelligent, and bases his policies and thought on evidence and outcomes rather than ideology and emotion. That's a character I'd like to replicate.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lori White

    Dan Crenshaw is a force to be reckoned with, and his first (first of many, I hope) book, Fortitude: Resilience in the Age of Outrage, is a call to action for America. I was just halfway through it when I started gifting copies to friends and family — it’s that good. And potentially that life — and nation — changing. A former Navy SEAL Lieutenant Commander, decorated war veteran, elder millennial and current congressman from Texas, Crenshaw brings the full weight of research, mental toughness train Dan Crenshaw is a force to be reckoned with, and his first (first of many, I hope) book, Fortitude: Resilience in the Age of Outrage, is a call to action for America. I was just halfway through it when I started gifting copies to friends and family — it’s that good. And potentially that life — and nation — changing. A former Navy SEAL Lieutenant Commander, decorated war veteran, elder millennial and current congressman from Texas, Crenshaw brings the full weight of research, mental toughness training, experience and insight to the problem of mental softness is America. “We aren’t acting the way we are supposed to. We mock virtue, without considering how it’s abandonment accelerates our moral decay. We aren’t acting as a culture that is mature or enlightened or educated, we aren’t acting worthy of this beautiful country and the political system we inherited from our revolutionary ancestors. Rather, we don a mantle of fragility, of anger, of childishness, and are utterly shameless in doing so.” Crenshaw calls it out - all of it. Then methodically and engagingly and unflinchingly lays down a path forward. Fortitude: Resilience in the Age of Outrage draws deeply from Crenshaw’s military background, making visceral and real the need for mental stillness and heroes, for doing hard things and being 100% committed — for fortitude. But this isn’t all SEAL bravado. Crenshaw pulls in solid research and scholarship, historical context and uniquely American proof to back up his claims that we can and should — we need to — denounce the softness of our current outrage culture and fully embrace the mental toughness which has always made America great. Dan Crenshaw has a brilliant mind, and it’s fully on display as he demands, cajoles, shames and inspires us all to do better and be better. Fortitude: Resilience in the Age of Outrage is more than a simple self help book, and more than a great story about overcoming hardship. It is a powerful manifesto for change in each of us, in our families and communities, in the way we act act and react in real life and online, and in our great nation. Fortitude: Resilience in the Age of Outrage is a book for the times, and Dan Crenshaw is a voice for of reason and confidence and incredible hope - a powerful role model for a nation sorely in need of heroes. I feel the need to thank him for caring enough about America to speak out. Does that make me a fan girl? If I haven’t already gifted you a copy of this book, get one for yourself. You’ll want to thank the author, too.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mark A. Smith

    Recommended for Everyone Crenshaw did an excellent job of explaining the modern 'outrage' problem and what can be done about it. Drawing from his experience as a Navy SEAL, he introduces relatable solutions. Looking forward to reading more of his work.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    I don't read much nonfiction, but when I happened upon a video clip of the author calmly speaking to an emotional reactionary, I immediately thought, "I want to be like him." I looked him up and discovered this book, and boy am I GLAD I did! I can't recommend this book enough, especially during these times of over-the-top rage and lack of civility. Thanks, Dan Crenshaw, for writing such an accessible, practical, timely, and inspirational book! Note: There are some f-bombs in a few sections here, I don't read much nonfiction, but when I happened upon a video clip of the author calmly speaking to an emotional reactionary, I immediately thought, "I want to be like him." I looked him up and discovered this book, and boy am I GLAD I did! I can't recommend this book enough, especially during these times of over-the-top rage and lack of civility. Thanks, Dan Crenshaw, for writing such an accessible, practical, timely, and inspirational book! Note: There are some f-bombs in a few sections here, but Crenshaw was a Navy SEAL and draws heavily on his experiences (most of the f-bombs are in related conversations during training).

  5. 4 out of 5

    Veronica Deats

    Dan Crenshaw is a perfect example of someone whose political views I don’t necessarily agree with, but who I really like and respect. This book wasn’t 100% perfect, and there are times I felt like he missed the mark a little bit with some of his analogies and wording, but overall - this should be required reading on how to function as a productive member of society. His outlook on mental strength touched on some of my favorite subjects. You can be mentally tough and still compassionate. You can Dan Crenshaw is a perfect example of someone whose political views I don’t necessarily agree with, but who I really like and respect. This book wasn’t 100% perfect, and there are times I felt like he missed the mark a little bit with some of his analogies and wording, but overall - this should be required reading on how to function as a productive member of society. His outlook on mental strength touched on some of my favorite subjects. You can be mentally tough and still compassionate. You can put an emphasis on both fortitude AND empathy. You can expect other people to be responsible for themselves and their outcomes on a daily basis, and still feel a sense of duty to help those who need it most when situations are out of their control. This is more than just a book written by a politician. There are a lot of political topics in here, but I feel like he is an anomaly in the political world because he’s able to rationally call out the fact-based issues on both sides, and gives credit where it is due on both sides. This could be a thesis on how to be a decent human being. Highly recommend the audio book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Timely, not timeless I am not the intended audience. No faith in the implied higher power. That said: The book is a scattershot organic bit of writing but cannot articulate the ideas well enough to stand on their own. Too much reliance on previous life experiences hinder the message being delivered in a clear and concise way. Too much verbal gymnastics on the ideas of quitting and shame. The definition of both are archaic under this definition and makes me wonder if deviation and guilt were the wor Timely, not timeless I am not the intended audience. No faith in the implied higher power. That said: The book is a scattershot organic bit of writing but cannot articulate the ideas well enough to stand on their own. Too much reliance on previous life experiences hinder the message being delivered in a clear and concise way. Too much verbal gymnastics on the ideas of quitting and shame. The definition of both are archaic under this definition and makes me wonder if deviation and guilt were the words this author was looking for. Surprised me as this author is articulate and can speak with conviction, but it does not translate into a proper road map for those who might need it unless you are going to mine bits of info from this author's autobiography that is loosely wedged into this book. If you are looking for the "windshield wiper" technique used in most non-fiction, you might have to dig too deep for gems that are not fully developed. TL/DR: Too much effort to mine for ideas, quit with no shame.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chris Hansen

    The diagnosis and treatment plan for America. MUST READ Crenshaw uses his personal experiences as a framework to discuss the American Ethos and its disintegration due to liberal ideologies of victimization and outrage. While many feel justified in the criticism of American culture and rage against perceived injustices Crenshaw reminds that the great experiment of The United Stares is based on individual liberties, not freedom, counterbalanced by individual responsibilities. A criticism of the pre The diagnosis and treatment plan for America. MUST READ Crenshaw uses his personal experiences as a framework to discuss the American Ethos and its disintegration due to liberal ideologies of victimization and outrage. While many feel justified in the criticism of American culture and rage against perceived injustices Crenshaw reminds that the great experiment of The United Stares is based on individual liberties, not freedom, counterbalanced by individual responsibilities. A criticism of the press, both political parties, and the Twitter culture, Crenshaw advocates for personal accountability and the values instilled through overcoming hardship - for individuals, groups, and the American culture. There are many references to third-party academic sources underpinning Crenshaw’s thesis.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

    In my opinion, every American should read or listen to this at least once. Open your eyes and minds to what is needed to be a better person, to hold yourself accountable and not blame everyone or everything for what is not right in your world.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    Excellent book. Read it, reread it, give it to friends, family or anyone questioning what the heck is going on in the United States today. Dan does a terrific job of explaining the undeniable decline occurring in this country and why we cannot give in to the outrage mob or "fall into the trap of mediocrity". I love the following concepts covered in Fortitude: * No plan B; * Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Two things we ought to have and the third to pursue... Chase, you see, is the p Excellent book. Read it, reread it, give it to friends, family or anyone questioning what the heck is going on in the United States today. Dan does a terrific job of explaining the undeniable decline occurring in this country and why we cannot give in to the outrage mob or "fall into the trap of mediocrity". I love the following concepts covered in Fortitude: * No plan B; * Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Two things we ought to have and the third to pursue... Chase, you see, is the point. The pursuit, is the purpose. * You have purpose in this life. God has you here for a reason... Search until you find it, and until then, act as if you have it because you are wasting time otherwise; * If not me, then who; * We have a sense of duty to be better, more polite and smarter with our public disagreements; * Stop wondering who is going to create the next best thing to make your life better, create it yourself; and * You have a duty to try hard not to offend others and try harder not to be offended. Buy the book, happy reading!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Drtaxsacto

    Dan Crenshaw is a force to be reckoned with. He is former Navy Seal who lost an eye to an terrorist IED who then went to the Kennedy School and ultimately became a Member of Congress. The book is partially a story about his experiences in all those roles but it is more fundamentally about the increasingly debilitating effects that our society has for people who start first with a model of victimhood rather than responsibility. Victimhood tends to divide us rather than encouraging us to think abo Dan Crenshaw is a force to be reckoned with. He is former Navy Seal who lost an eye to an terrorist IED who then went to the Kennedy School and ultimately became a Member of Congress. The book is partially a story about his experiences in all those roles but it is more fundamentally about the increasingly debilitating effects that our society has for people who start first with a model of victimhood rather than responsibility. Victimhood tends to divide us rather than encouraging us to think about the factors which unite us as a people. He is a conservative in modern terms but he expresses ideas of a classic liberal which mixes the ideas of personal responsibility and civil discourse. The book is a short read but it is worth spending time thinking about the implications of the trends which he decries.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bob Wilson

    A good read from a young leader. While it can get “preachy” his basic premise is delivered well. I’d recommend this to anyone but especially to those who seek credible voices from across the political spectrum (hard to find nowadays, in my opinion). Be ready to think. Crenshaw Is likely to be someone we hear more from in years to come. That could be a good thing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carol Haldy

    Just read a book by a future President of the United States. Dan Crenshaw is an incredible young man who has chosen service while he could have done just about anything. He rejects the notion of outrage so prevalent in our society today. He chooses, instead, Christ-like calmness. Highly recommend this book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anne Evangelista

    I wasn’t sure what I would get when I opened this, but this was fantastic. Crenshaw draws on his experiences from childhood, as a SEAL, and as a Congressman to give his thoughts on different behaviors we are seeing in today’s politics. AND this book wasn’t particularly biased against the left, either. He uses several President Obama quotes and calls out the right plenty of times. This book has given me a lot of things to think about and I’ll definitely be recommending it to others.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Greg Schloesser

    I must state that I am an admirer of Representative Dan Crenshaw. From everything I have read and seen, I find him to be a fair-minded, calm and reasonable individual. He is unabashedly conservative politically and is extremely patriotic, but does seem willing to listen to and attempt to understand opposing viewpoints. He will call out both liberals and conservatives when he disagrees with their stances, but does so in a calm, reasoned manner. I also admire his past as a Navy Seal and his love o I must state that I am an admirer of Representative Dan Crenshaw. From everything I have read and seen, I find him to be a fair-minded, calm and reasonable individual. He is unabashedly conservative politically and is extremely patriotic, but does seem willing to listen to and attempt to understand opposing viewpoints. He will call out both liberals and conservatives when he disagrees with their stances, but does so in a calm, reasoned manner. I also admire his past as a Navy Seal and his love of America. So, I was pre-disposed to enjoy his book. That being said, I must admit that I was surprised that the book did NOT have a more political tone. Instead, it was much more philosophical, concentrating on how we should all take more personal responsibility for our own behavior, actions and beliefs. He feels the "outrage" culture is one of selfishness and intolerance, and if unchecked will lead to the demise of American beliefs and culture. He does dive quite deep into philosophy and belief systems ... perhaps a bit to deep. The book was not what I was expecting, and it does seem he went down a few more rabbit holes than I would prefer. Still, I think his underlying premise is sound: people should rationally discuss issues and take personal responsibility as opposed to looking for others to blame. The outrage culture is one of intolerance, and is extremely dangerous to America. Well worth reading.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Christian Bohren

    Fortitude is 50% manifesto of mental toughness, 30% Conservative memorandum, 15% Navy SEAL memoir, 5% biography of an American high schooler playing soccer in Colombia. At times, Crenshaw can seem a little over eager to throw his achievements into your face. But then again, he isn't some kid who just beat you at Mario Kart. He overcame tragedy to become a Navy SEAL, got blown up, almost went blind, and is now a bad-ass, eye-patch wielding, US Congressman. So in true Crenshaw fashion, get over it Fortitude is 50% manifesto of mental toughness, 30% Conservative memorandum, 15% Navy SEAL memoir, 5% biography of an American high schooler playing soccer in Colombia. At times, Crenshaw can seem a little over eager to throw his achievements into your face. But then again, he isn't some kid who just beat you at Mario Kart. He overcame tragedy to become a Navy SEAL, got blown up, almost went blind, and is now a bad-ass, eye-patch wielding, US Congressman. So in true Crenshaw fashion, get over it. He has done more than you have, and has the credibility to tell you a thing or two about Fortitude.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kiswara Mihardja

    The basic message is this: If you’re losing your cool, you are losing. If you are triggered, it is because you allowed someone else to dictate your emotional state. If you are outraged, it is because you lack discipline and self-control. These are personal defeats, not the fault of anyone else. And each defeat shapes who you are as a person, and in the collective sense, who we are as a people. This book is about actively hardening your mind so that you can be the person you think you should be. The basic message is this: If you’re losing your cool, you are losing. If you are triggered, it is because you allowed someone else to dictate your emotional state. If you are outraged, it is because you lack discipline and self-control. These are personal defeats, not the fault of anyone else. And each defeat shapes who you are as a person, and in the collective sense, who we are as a people. This book is about actively hardening your mind so that you can be the person you think you should be. It is about identifying who that person is in the first place, and taking responsibility for the self-improvement required to become them. It is about learning what it means to never quit. It is about learning to take a joke and giving others some charity when they make a bad one. It is about the importance of building a society of iron-tough individuals who can think for themselves, take care of themselves, and recognize that a culture characterized by grit, discipline, and self-reliance is a culture that survives.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Fortitude by Dan Crenshaw may be the single greatest book I have read to date. While many may scoff and think “this is another conservative book about how awful liberals are, and I want nothing to do with it,” you would be short sighted. You would miss an opportunity. In Fortitude, Crenshaw spends more time illustrating the fundamentals of creating a life of purpose, a life of aggressive self reliance, and a life where hardships and pain can be your greatest defining moment rather than the thing Fortitude by Dan Crenshaw may be the single greatest book I have read to date. While many may scoff and think “this is another conservative book about how awful liberals are, and I want nothing to do with it,” you would be short sighted. You would miss an opportunity. In Fortitude, Crenshaw spends more time illustrating the fundamentals of creating a life of purpose, a life of aggressive self reliance, and a life where hardships and pain can be your greatest defining moment rather than the thing that breaks you. Responsibility and ownership of your life is at the center of this book. If you choose to raise a skeptical eye brow because Crenshaw is a Republican, I urge you to raise that skeptical eye brow - read the book anyway, and call me when you’re done.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jon Moeller

    I recently finished reading this book. I have decided to make it one of my Top 10 must-reads. One (of many) takeaways in this book is how we handle failure. If we have the mindset of "Get to" instead of blaming others for things that do not go our way, we are happier, more joyful and more resilient. I lost the race, but I get to train harder. I did not get the job, but I get to find a new adventure. I think I appreciate all of the takeaways because in its totality, it shows how we (as a culture) I recently finished reading this book. I have decided to make it one of my Top 10 must-reads. One (of many) takeaways in this book is how we handle failure. If we have the mindset of "Get to" instead of blaming others for things that do not go our way, we are happier, more joyful and more resilient. I lost the race, but I get to train harder. I did not get the job, but I get to find a new adventure. I think I appreciate all of the takeaways because in its totality, it shows how we (as a culture) are allowing everything outside of our control steal our joy. Where does our joy and purpose really come from? The Lord. How we handle the negatives in our life, is brought together in this book by Congressman Crenshaw. GREAT READ!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    This is a book that every young person should read. Not for any political bent, but for the morality of the subject. Crenshaw (who I am fortunate to know is my representative), speaks against the modern "offended at everything" SJWs of the nation and drills down to what is important -- fortitude. What does that mean? Well, its applications are limitless, but in this case he speaks of taking responsibility for your own life and "owning" your own weaknesses. He tells us to not be swift to anger and This is a book that every young person should read. Not for any political bent, but for the morality of the subject. Crenshaw (who I am fortunate to know is my representative), speaks against the modern "offended at everything" SJWs of the nation and drills down to what is important -- fortitude. What does that mean? Well, its applications are limitless, but in this case he speaks of taking responsibility for your own life and "owning" your own weaknesses. He tells us to not be swift to anger and do not strike back at everyone who offends you. Fortitude is a lesson in how to live your life for yourself and others, but not for the benefit of a political position. Take responsibility for your life and you will live much happier. Loved this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jon Mellberg

    Heroes seem hard to find these days. But there are some exceptions. And partisan politics can often sound little more than two rabid dogs barking at each other. But there are some exceptions. Dan Crenshaw is one of those exceptions. He is, in fact, exceptional. Yep, that badass congressional newcomer with the eye patch, the handsome face, and the ever-ready wit and fight is my newest hero. It would be enough, considering the range (from good, to great, to abysmal) of politicians on our national s Heroes seem hard to find these days. But there are some exceptions. And partisan politics can often sound little more than two rabid dogs barking at each other. But there are some exceptions. Dan Crenshaw is one of those exceptions. He is, in fact, exceptional. Yep, that badass congressional newcomer with the eye patch, the handsome face, and the ever-ready wit and fight is my newest hero. It would be enough, considering the range (from good, to great, to abysmal) of politicians on our national stage, that a Navy SEAL who served his country until he was literally exploded out of commission, recovered and rose again, went to Harvard, graduated, ran for Congress, and won. Those facts in that order would be enough to make him better than most of his peers, even if he lacked brains, brawn, and integrity. But Dan Crenshaw is not lacking. And if you’ve been paying attention, his ascension was a forgone conclusion. This review will be glowing; you’ve been warned. BUT, this isn’t a 5-star review because some neo-con wrote a book that some neo-con agreed with up and down. I’ll freely state Dan Crenshaw’s book is not Shakespeare. It isn’t Steinbeck, Hawthorne, or Fitzgerald. More specifically (and more fairly) it isn’t Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules for Life”, Stephen Harper’s “Right Here, Right Now: Politics in the Age of Disruption”, or even Chris Kyle’s “American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms” (off-topic but written by another famous, now departed, American hero and Navy SEAL). So what IS this book? “Fortitude: American Resilience in the Age of Outrage” doesn’t need a descriptor. Books like these are not in short supply. A few months ago I finished Ben Shapiro’s latest book “The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose made the West Great”. These are fish swimming in the same stream. But unlike most fish, these are special. They swim upstream, against the current. Each book is an AWESOME introduction for someone new to conservatism or who is at least skeptical and curious (and obviously open-minded). I would categorize both books as political primers for the right. And not just the right; the NEW right. Both Crenshaw and Shapiro were born in 1984 (me too!). Both have exploded onto the scene as ever-present calm, conservative ideologues who make their points in unflinching, calculated, and controlled presentations. Both believe in talking instead of just arguing. And both are desperately needed new blood who will likely remain princes of the next generation of vanguard conservative thinkers. Crenshaw interweaves his beliefs with both his past (from boyhood to congressman) and more often with his experiences as a Navy SEAL and how they have shaped his life (and ultimately led him to his current gig as a US Congressman). The gist of the book is about learning how to become and stay RESILIENT in a world increasingly polarized and primed for political and partisan verbal warfare. Most of Crenshaw’s book features topics, tips, and ideologies that are far from unfamiliar to me. And in that regard this book does not overly impress me. But the man who wrote it certainly does. I am tired of politics being front and center day in and day out. I’m tired of struggling with trust in state and federal leadership. I’m tired of being as disgusted with my own party as that of the opposing side. The bad news is that the current climate isn’t going to change anytime soon. Indeed, in the history of American politics there was only ever one man with which the entirety of America stood behind: George Washington. Everything after Washington has been a street fight. But every so often there comes a fighter worthy or our hope, our admiration, and of the American ideals that have defined this country since the Declaration of Independence. Dan Crenshaw is such a man, and I love his book because of that. P.S.- The audio book is read by the author, which absolutely enhances the experience.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Steven Pye

    Dan Crenshaw is an American politician(Republican) and former United States Navy SEAL. This book is his take on how to build a mindset of fortitude, anti-fragility and to be a victor, not a victim. In the first couple chapters he talks about the outrage culture we currently live in, which is the newfound tendency to reflexively assume the worst of intentions when reacting to news, commentary or political discourse. He makes the case that the new normal is where our perceived moral righteousness Dan Crenshaw is an American politician(Republican) and former United States Navy SEAL. This book is his take on how to build a mindset of fortitude, anti-fragility and to be a victor, not a victim. In the first couple chapters he talks about the outrage culture we currently live in, which is the newfound tendency to reflexively assume the worst of intentions when reacting to news, commentary or political discourse. He makes the case that the new normal is where our perceived moral righteousness rises in proportion to your level of outrage. In chapter 2 he says "Our outrage culture is increasingly drawn to voices perceived as authentic, which is usually just code for excessive emotion" I really like this quote and found it to be one of the central themes in this book, this is continued upon in chapter 4 where he says- "Our culture has begun to confuse passion with substance, reward the loudest and angriest voices, and thus incentivize behavior wholly at odds with stoic wisdom" Dan comes from a military background, where he was a Navy SEAL and was blown up in a combat zone and lost his eye, he talks about his time of mental weakness during the recovery, and how that changed the course of his life to pivot from the Navy to becoming a politician. A theme I really enjoyed about this book was chapter 8- Do Something Hard, and his thoughts on self imposed suffering and all the benefits it has for building fortitude and resisting mental weakness. In this chapter he focuses on posttraumatic growth or positive adaptation and the idea that through self imposed suffering, we can prepare ourselves for imposed suffering, as well as lead a happier and more fulfilling life. Although Dan is a republican, he rarely brings politics in to the book but instead chooses to draw upon his military past as well as a few religious references. As an atheist, I didn't find the religion part to be overbearing or annoying. Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone, but specifically the online activist who is in perpetual outrage over perceived or real injustice.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Blue Morse

    “The road to mental toughness is paved with the knowledge that we don’t always do what is right, but we are willing to take responsibility for it, humbly correct it, and be stronger as a result. A mind that cannot bend to admit wrongdoing is easily broken. Don’t be breakable. Live with fortitude.” A must read for every American, especially during these tumultuous times. Very practical and challenging. My only critique is some of the foul language. As a military member I’m used to it, however I do “The road to mental toughness is paved with the knowledge that we don’t always do what is right, but we are willing to take responsibility for it, humbly correct it, and be stronger as a result. A mind that cannot bend to admit wrongdoing is easily broken. Don’t be breakable. Live with fortitude.” A must read for every American, especially during these tumultuous times. Very practical and challenging. My only critique is some of the foul language. As a military member I’m used to it, however I don’t think it adds any literary value to the book. Since I want to pass this on to my 14 year old daughter to read, i was forced to black out all the swear words as I read through it. My top quotes: “If you’re losing your cool, you are losing. If you are triggered, it is because you allowed someone else to dictate your emotional state.” “A little perspective can be the difference between spiraling into dark disparities and clawing your way back to the light” “Your big goals are accomplished by an infinite number of small decisions” “A shallow reading of a problem begets outrage; a detailed approach to a problem encourages moderation” “Try hard not to offend, and try harder not to be offended” “A life unchallenged by hardship is a missed opportunity, and you should therefore seek to do something hard” “Inward questions accept responsibility and open the door to improvement. Outward questions assign blame and seek to pass failure off on others.” “Failure, when encountered properly, is often a gateway to a different sort of success.”

  23. 4 out of 5

    Burt Cox

    Overall I enjoyed Mr. Crenshaw’s new book Fortitude. His assessment of our current “outrage culture” was spot on and offered excellent perspective for defending against a victim mindset. Politically, I have a different perspective from the author, but can appreciate the authors positions. Any well educated, level headed politician is a blessing in our current political climate. One thing that detracted a bit from the book for me was the religious overtone. Make no mistake, I don’t besmirch the a Overall I enjoyed Mr. Crenshaw’s new book Fortitude. His assessment of our current “outrage culture” was spot on and offered excellent perspective for defending against a victim mindset. Politically, I have a different perspective from the author, but can appreciate the authors positions. Any well educated, level headed politician is a blessing in our current political climate. One thing that detracted a bit from the book for me was the religious overtone. Make no mistake, I don’t besmirch the authors beliefs or convictions, I just wasn’t expecting so much theological discussion. At the end of the day, I would recommend Fortitude and think it was an excellent read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    I initially thought this was a self-help book, but I later realized this is a book on politics and attempts to be the one on political philosophy. Crenshaw's writing is clear, straightforward, and to the point. He is a conservative who values loyalty, authority, integrity, heroism, individuality, freedom, personal accountability, and responsibility. He wants America to be great. I appreciated his caution against emotion that includes outrage, panic, over-reactions. I also liked his view on person I initially thought this was a self-help book, but I later realized this is a book on politics and attempts to be the one on political philosophy. Crenshaw's writing is clear, straightforward, and to the point. He is a conservative who values loyalty, authority, integrity, heroism, individuality, freedom, personal accountability, and responsibility. He wants America to be great. I appreciated his caution against emotion that includes outrage, panic, over-reactions. I also liked his view on personal accountability. How could one pursue freedom and power without responsibility? He criticizes political progressivism, left media, and left activists. He gives many anecdotes and examples with a common theme of outrageousness and victimhood culture. His stories might have been more persuasive if he addressed the issues from both parties. He may be an idealist but too naive like Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Humans, including myself, will always be emotional. Not everyone is resilient as Crenshaw. Rationalism, resilience, and personal accountability is a virtue for a self-help book, but one of many factors to be sufficient for political philosophy considerations. He conveniently avoided questions on human greed, market failures, externality, monopoly issues. Without addressing these issues, his reasoning on the political philosophy seemed hollow at the end.

  25. 4 out of 5

    James Winchell

    Brilliantly written book on the challenges Americans are facing today and how we can adapt and overcome. This book has left me thinking about some of my failures and positive growth I have gone up against. The first one thing Dan does not like to lose. With that being said I feel he is a strong candidate to lead America. America needs someone to be honest and forthcoming to lead us into this crazy future.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    If anyone is qualified to tell America to take a collective chill pill, it’s Dan Crenshaw. Not that the U.S. representative from Texas and retired Navy SEAL would ever put it that way. Crenshaw has made a name for himself with a calm, reasonable demeanor on TV and social media. His first book follows suit, laying out a rational argument for how a slower, more nuanced approach could improve politics in America. In "Fortitude," Crenshaw shares the experiences that shaped his entry to public life — l If anyone is qualified to tell America to take a collective chill pill, it’s Dan Crenshaw. Not that the U.S. representative from Texas and retired Navy SEAL would ever put it that way. Crenshaw has made a name for himself with a calm, reasonable demeanor on TV and social media. His first book follows suit, laying out a rational argument for how a slower, more nuanced approach could improve politics in America. In "Fortitude," Crenshaw shares the experiences that shaped his entry to public life — losing his mother to breast cancer, becoming a SEAL, falling victim to an Iraqi IED. His takeaways are simple but powerful: Refuse to quit, remain calm, find a role model, stop complaining, and assume responsibility for failure instead of blaming unseen forces. He condemns the outrage mob and provides a needed slap in the face to the woke online. In so doing, Crenshaw's book taps into a growing strain of conservative thought that seeks to rally Americans around the founding ideals of "E Pluribus Unum." It builds up volumes such as The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure and Them: Why We Hate Each Other - and How to Heal. But Crenshaw's experiences and youth (he's 36) give him a rare insight to question the mettle of today's 20- and 30-somethings. “Now I wonder how a generation shaped by the comforts of victimhood culture, unaccustomed to adversity and allergic to sacrifice, with less and less desire to preserve our values and way of life, will react when we are faced with the next Great War, or depression, or civil conflict," Crenshaw writes. "We can’t even be sure of their reaction to offensive Halloween costumes, let alone invading armies.” Although his book’s launch was overshadowed by the coronavirus, the current crisis does little to shed light on those questions. At least not yet. The best political books take us back in time, inside the author’s mind as they navigated a time of crisis. They give us new, human insight to yellowing headlines. The worst read like over-wrought campaign speeches, full of idealism and policy prescriptions. “Fortitude” falls somewhere in between, more self-help than rigorous study. As a first-term Congressman, Crenshaw has had little time to build a Rolodex of pivotal moments or high drama. Legislators have difficulty with those anyway when compared with their executive brethren. Repeatedly, Crenshaw fails to recognize that Twitter and college campuses are not the real world. He finds plenty of inspiration in the Founding Fathers and the Greatest Generation, appropriately, but can't seem to uncover the grit still to be found today. The triggered Twitterati make an easy punching bag. But they are a small minority. I see a little more hope. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a politician in possession of a rising profile must be in want of a book. Crenshaw’s addition is a worthy one, despite its flaws — a sorely needed call for reasonableness, deliberation, and calm in our politics and public discourse.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Darlene

    Such a powerful book that provides a way to mute the discord of our society today.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    Republican Party Spent $400,000 Buying Copies of Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s Book http://dlvr.it/RX5WBw Republican Party Spent $400,000 Buying Copies of Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s Book http://dlvr.it/RX5WBw

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    An excellent and timely read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    David Jara

    Fantastic. I hope this is the first of may books for Dan. In this book he highlights the many issues with outrage culture and gives advice on how we as a society can better hold ourselves accountable drawing examples from his own past experiences. This is a very worthwhile read. Pick it up.

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