Unyielding by Laura Hillenbrand
I just finished the book Intact by Laura Hillenbrand. I just finished this last night and was so touched that I thought it would be perfect to do a review right now. It’s a little over 400 pages, but it’s a great, easy read, and I finished it in about 4 days. If you are not familiar with the book, it is about a WWII Army Air Corps officer who is captured by the Japanese and taken as a prisoner of war.
Intact It begins with the childhood and life of Louie Zamperini growing up. He became an Olympian by running the 5,000 meters, but was largely expected to exceed 4 minutes of a mile before Roger Bannister did. However, World War II came and his shot at the Olympics was lost when they were canceled. He then entered the war as a bomber, flying in a monstrous plane at the time and dropping the bombs on his targets. Louie had several successful missions before he was asked to go on a rescue mission on a plane his crew was unfamiliar with. Two engines died and crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Although he was tangled in a cable and lost consciousness, he was still able to float to the top. He and two others floated for 47 days in the Pacific to a small set of islands occupied by the Japanese.
Unbroken then enters his time as a prisoner of war and ultimately his freedom when the Japanese admit defeat. However, the story does not end there, as he has trouble dealing with his past and has some demons that he has to contend with. I don’t want to reveal all the details here and spoil the book, so go get it now!
Unbroken is a slightly different book than I have reviewed before. Yet it still offers a great message of survival, resilience, and redemption – all leadership qualities as well.
Two interesting parts of the book to share:
His brother Pete feels like an envelope while he’s at the Olympics. Inside were two cards, an ace and a joker. Above the joker, Pete had written: “Which one will you be, the joker, which is another word for a horse’s ass, or the TOPS: Ace of spades. The best of the bunch. The tallest in the deck, choose your! “On the ace he had written:” Let’s see him pass as the best in the deck. If the joker doesn’t appeal to you, throw him away and keep this for good luck. Pete. “
What do you want to be? Are you leading like a joker or the ace of spades? If your goal is the Ace of Spades, how are you going to get there? Another story is while in the Olympic race itself. He is not doing well and he is not feeling well. So this thought comes to mind.
A life of glory is worth a moment of pain. Louie thought: Let it go. It’s not always easy to put challenges aside, overcome them, and seek glory. Nevertheless, is it’s worth it. What are you struggling with that you need to let go of?
We are very blessed to live in this beautiful country and at this time. We were put on the ground to do great things. Stand tall and get over any issues you may have. In short, become INTACT.