Friday, August 28, 2020


Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage by Dan Crenshaw
Grand Central Publishing: 4/7/20
review copy; 256 pages

Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage by Dan Crenshaw is a very highly recommended discourse about the American spirit and perseverance in the face of divisive mob politics.

Dan Crenshaw's life story is truly one of fortitude and finding the inner strength and endurance to overcome any adversity one faces. In 2012, on his third tour of duty as a Navy SEAL, an improvised explosive device left his right eye destroyed and his left blinded. Only through the careful hand of his surgeons, and what doctors called a miracle, did Crenshaw's left eye recover partial vision. After this he continued to persevere and face the challenges and hurdles before him. Personally, once Dan Crenshaw came to my attention, I have been impressed by this young man, his outlook on life, and the lessons he could teach young men and women today. This book covers his life story, but more importantly he shares his personal outlook on life and the American spirit. During this time of the outrage culture, with the weaponization of uncontrolled and unfounded emotion and the lack of real reasoning, research and facts, it gives me hope to see a young man who does approach life and political discourse with stillness and thoughtful, rational, objectivity.

He says: These lessons will make you mentally stronger, better equipped to face life’s challenges, and as impervious as possible to the outrage culture all around us. 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 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. A culture characterized by self-pity, indulgence, outrage, and resentment is a culture that falls apart. It really is that simple,

As I was reading I highlighted so many passages in Fortitude that it would be impossible to share all the memorable parts and important points presented. This was exactly the book I needed to read at this time. Honestly, I have been depressed over everything happening and sharing the lessons he learned from Admiral Stockdale about the Stoics and the concept of stillness spoke directly to my heart. Stillness is not a denial of reality; it makes it possible to deal with reality. It is a source of power. The power to honestly assess what is in your control and what is not. We are all responsible for what we can control, so keep the emotions in check, examine things intelligently, do the research and most importantly be resilient in the face of the irrational extremism and hostility. Honestly, everyone who is jumping to quick conclusions and forming an opinion about anything based on a misleading headline or meme or quip on social media without learning the relevant facts is only indicative of their own lack of care and self-defeating actions.

The story of America's founding based on the best and most promising ideals of humankind is the one we should be sharing, not victimhood and violent outrage. We need to embrace the fact that we are blessed to live here.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Grand Central Publishing.

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