Unbroken:A World Ward II Story of Survival,Resilience, and Redemption
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.
The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.
Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed inSeabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.
This book has consumed me over the past week or so. While I am not a huge fan of history and I probably didn't pay nearly enough attention to learning about the World Wars while I was in school, reading this book brought it very much to my mind that I knew so very little about the Japanese involvement with POW's during World War II.
While I found part one of this book interesting it was Louie's time in the POW camps that will haunt me for days to come. Maybe even years. How any of these men were able to come home and live any kind of a productive life is beyond me. How they didn't spend every single day of the rest of their lives wanting revenge is beyond me. How they lived through this and still found their faith in God to be so strong is beyond me. Unbroken is not only the story of ONE man but of all the men who fought in this war. It is the story of all POW's, regardless of who is holding them in what prisons. It should be required reading for every student, politician, every citizen of every country that has been in or will be in any war; present or future.
Reading Unbroken has given me a new understanding of men whom I have known that fought in wars; any war. Of patients I have taken care of, either in the hospital or in the nursing homes. The demons they fought whether during the war or after they returned home. I am glad that I have read this book.