Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Book Review: Unbroken

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. Laura Hillenbrand. 2010. Random House. 473 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: IN THE PREDAWN DARKNESS OF AUGUST 26, 1929, IN THE back bedroom of a small house in Torrance, California, a twelve-year-old boy sat up in bed, listenin

I first read this biography of Louis Zamperini in 2014. I've been meaning to reread it for years now. It is the story--for those that don't know--of a rebellious young man whose life was transformed first by running and then by his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is the story of a soldier during the war. He amazingly survives his plane crashing into the ocean; he and another soldier survive for months adrift on a raft; he's "rescued" by the Japanese, imprisoned for years--tortured, starved, diseased. The story does not end with his return to the United States at the end of the war. It does not end with his touring the country sharing his story. The war he faces once he returns home is just as intense and potentially lethal. But he's not alone. He just doesn't know what God has in store for him.

I love, love, love Zamperini's testimony. His story--his testimony--is amazing. I think everyone should read this one.

It is a testament to the content of Louie’s childhood that his stories about it usually ended with “… and then I ran like mad.”
In a childhood of artful dodging, Louie made more than just mischief. He shaped who he would be in manhood.
Confident that he was clever, resourceful, and bold enough to escape any predicament, he was almost incapable of discouragement. When history carried him into war, this resilient optimism would define him.
Louie was never more than an inch from juvenile hall or jail, and as a serial troublemaker, a failing student, and a suspect Italian, he was just the sort of rogue that eugenicists wanted to cull. 
Once his hometown’s resident archvillain, Louie was now a superstar, and Torrance forgave him everything.
Without dignity, identity is erased. In its absence, men are defined not by themselves, but by their captors and the circumstances in which they are forced to live. Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man’s soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered it. The loss of it can carry a man off as surely as thirst, hunger, exposure, and asphyxiation, and with greater cruelty.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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