Sunday, March 4, 2012

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken was recommended to us to read at church, because of the books primary subject, Louie Zamperini, a 1936 Olympic Runner, an Officer in the Army Air Force in the Pacific part of World War II and a Pacific POW on mainland Japan.  Louie Zamperini is, at the time of the writing of this book review, a Christian speaker, and this amazing story, for a Christian, is one awesome witness statement, though the vast majority of the book has nothing what so ever to do with Christ.

History: I consider myself a student of history, and as such I have a fair amount of knowledge from classical times through today.  I have read 100's of biography's, autobiographies, encyclopedic books on America's wars, General's books about battles and wars and general histories of peoples and places that have impacted the history of the United States.  Yet, this book taught me things about the Pacific War that I had never known, and backed it up with the cultural and historic anecdotes necessary to understand the countries involved, principally the United States and Japan.  In fact, the detail and information presented was so unexpected, I have had to re-evaluate most if not all of my previous understanding of the Pacific War.  For that reason alone, this books was awesome.

Inspirational: The story of Louie Zamperini life, all of it from birth to the current date, is compelling reading, and a testament to the human spirit.  If you are a spiritual person, it
also testifies to the power that God has in our lives, even if we are unaware we are part of his plan.  That is a very understated part of this story, and the primary reason I gave it a 4 Star rating rather than a 5 Star rating.  If you are NOT a Christian reader, then this is a 5 Star book, hands down.  If you are a Christian reader, than you will have to slow down at the end, and be empathic to the readers life, where I would have rather been assaulted by his faith, as his faith and witness is one of the strongest I have ever read.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

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The book starts with a clear and emotional understanding of America prior to the war as it tells the story of Louie Zamperini's creative and on the edge of the law, of not over the edge, childhood and youth. At the same time it gives you a clear picture of the importance of sport in pre-war America, particularly track, and a clearer picture of Nazi Germany in the '36 Olympics, as well as its basic evil nature.

The next part of the story is about Louie Zamperini participation in the war, and includes how and who went into the service, what life was like in the Pacific war, and a scary trip in a record making life raft float through shark infested water only to end in a horrible imprisonment on mainland Japan, in some pretty horrible inhuman conditions.  If I were not a Christian, I would wonder how we could possibly forgive  the people who did this to him, yet, he himself, in the end, regains his life by giving up on his hate.

The last section of the story is about his family and wife fighting for him, as he fought against them, to come back to his life.  He succeeds in a way that surprised and inspires like no other story I have ever read.

Who Should Read This Book?  In short, you.   If you hate history, this might change that for you.  If you hate being inspired, you might change your mind.  If you hate Christ, you will love this book.  If you Love Christ, you will love this book.  If you want to be entertained, you will love this book.  Read it.

Want to Buy Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Then Click Here for information or to purchase it.

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