"Unbroken" A WW ll story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption = Apt title, fantastic book a true story about Louis Zamperini an Olympic runner (1936 Olympics) he was expected to be the first man to run the 4 minute mile.  Then Pearl Harbor and the Army Air Force and WW ll.

Author: Laura Hillenbrand

   Review by John Keane 

 A great WW ll book that got better and better as I listened to it.  (Audio book) What a great ending, better than any fiction I have read about the Pacific War.  It would be a great movie.  The movie could be in 3 parts as the title suggests. 


 It's the first book I have read or listened to that truly exposes the extent of the Japanese vicious treatment of POW's. The book, “Flags of our Fathers” has a chapter on how the Japanese soldiers were trained by their ruthless officers, it was good too but this book has more detail on how the USA POW’s were treated and is much better written.

In my opinion: The Japanese still haven't accepted responsibility for what they did.  Hopefully, books like this will keep the pressure on them.  Their educational system hasn't faced up to what the military did in WW ll as the German's and their educational system has.  

A few of interesting facts from the book.  All information refers to WW ll Pacific POW’s held by the Japanese.

1.     Page 552: Pacific War POW’s lost an average of 61lbs. Note, 3/4 of all USA recruits only weighed 159 lbs. at enlistment.

2.     One chain of hospitals recorded 77% of the men  had wet Beriberi, Wet beriberi affects the heart; it is sometimes fatal, as it causes a combination of heart failure and weakening of the capillary walls, which causes the peripheral tissues to become edematous. It is also characterized by: increased arteriovenous shunt Peripheral edema Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea Increased heart rate Dyspnea on exertion Swelling of the lower legs.

 Lack of Thiamin B-1

3.       Of Canadian POW’s, 77% had some sort of Neurological damage.

4.      In a 1954 study of post war years showed the death rate among POW’s was 4 times the rate of men the same age.  22 years after the war hospilization rates were 2-8 times the rate of former European Pow’s.  A 1970 study showed Pacific POW’s committed suicide 30 % more than control groups.  Forty years after the war, of those still alive, nearly 85% suffered PTDS.

An excellent book, don’t miss it.

John Keane  jkeane99@gmail.com