Most people have probably never heard of Louis Zamperini. But, prior to World War II, he was known across the country as the Olympic runner who was on pace to break the four-minute mile (an achievement at one time thought to be impossible to beat). As with many other Americans at the time, Louis volunteered to join the Army Air Forces after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. His story is not like most World War II veterans. Laura Hillenbrand describes Louie’s phenomenal story in Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.
Briefly, the book follows Louie from his childhood (full all kinds of mischief) through his high school and college years as a track star. It then chronicles his exploits in the Army Air Forces to the day his B-24 bomber crashed in the Pacific Ocean. Forty-seven days later, he and the plane’s pilot (Russell Allen Phillips) were captured by the Japanese. He then endured years of torture and slavery. After the war, he tried to put his life back in order despite the experiences from the war that haunted him.