Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Unbroken: a World War II story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
Reading this biography of Louis Zamperini I was struck with its absolute improbability and yet the first-hand accounts and collaboration of witnesses bear out the old saying that “truth is stranger than fiction”.
This is the story of a Italian-American kid who had both street-smarts and real intelligence. When his elder brother finally helped channel Louis’ energies into running, Olympic gold was well within the realm of possibility until WW II stole his dream.
Louis was an Army Air Force bombardier who was shot down over the Pacific and nearly died before being pulled out of his tiny raft by the Japanese. He then endured torture and starvation in a prison camp until the end of the War. His story after the war wasn’t very pretty either until Louis heard a message that helped him leave the past behind and set new goals.
The title of this book, ‘unbroken’, leads the reader to infer a connection to both the running records Zamperini set before the war and the resilience of his will to live despite overwhelming circumstances. It gives testimony to the power of friendship, the importance of hope, and the capacity of the human will.
Thanks to those whose recommendations prompted the reading of this book.

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