On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces Bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was... read more
This is the true story of a boy who starts out as a delinquent, becomes an Olympic runner, goes to war, and puts his life back together after the war ends. The tale takes you through his life from child to old man and especially focuses on his remarkable stamina and courage as a Japanese POW.... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
This is the true story of a boy who starts out as a delinquent, becomes an Olympic runner, goes to war, and puts his life back together after the war ends. The tale takes you through his life from child to old man and especially focuses on his remarkable stamina and courage as a Japanese POW. You meet his family, friends, enemies, and fellow soldiers throughout who are affected by his life.
“The Pacific POW's ...were torn-down men. They had an intimate understanding of man's vast capacity to experience suffering, as well as his equally vast capacity, and hungry willingness, to inflict it. They carried unspeakable memories of torture and humilitation, and an acute sense of vulnerability that attended the knowledge of how readily they could be disarmed and dehumanized. Many felt lonely and isolated, having endured abuses that ordinary people couldn't understand. Their dignity had been obliterated, replaced with a pervasive sense of shame and worthlessness. And they had the caustic knowledge that no one had come between them and tragedy. Coming home was an experience of profound, perilous aloneness. For these men, the central struggle of postwar life was to restore their dignity and find a way to see the world as something other than menacing blackness. There was no one right way to peace; every man had to find his own path, according to his own history.”
“If you will save me, I will serve you forever.”Louie Zamperini
“Life was cheap in war.”Martin Cohn, an ordinance officer on Oahu.
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.Highlighted by 2076 Kindle customers
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.Highlighted by 1755 Kindle customers
The paradox of vengefulness is that it makes men dependent upon those who have harmed them, believing that their release from pain will come only when they make their tormentors suffer.Highlighted by 1535 Kindle customers
A lifetime of glory is worth a moment of pain. Louie thought: Let go.Highlighted by 995 Kindle customers
What God asks of men, said Graham, is faith. His invisibility is the truest test of that faith. To know who sees him, God makes himself unseen.Highlighted by 981 Kindle customers
Historians estimate that the Japanese military murdered between 200,000 and 430,000 Chinese, including the 90,000 POWs, in what became known as the Rape of Nanking.Highlighted by 856 Kindle customers
In World War II, 35,933 AAF planes were lost in combat and accidents. The surprise of the attrition rate is that only a fraction of the ill-fated planes were lost in combat. In 1943 in the Pacific Ocean Areas theater in which Phil’s crew served, for every plane lost in combat, some six planes were lost in accidents. Over time, combat took a greater toll, but combat losses never overtook noncombat losses.Highlighted by 735 Kindle customers
By 1930, when Louie was entering his teens, California was enraptured with eugenics, and would ultimately sterilize some twenty thousand people.Highlighted by 503 Kindle customers
All he had left was his alcohol and his resentment, the emotion that, Jean Améry would write, “nails every one of us onto the cross of his ruined past.”Highlighted by 491 Kindle customers
obstreperous. He feigned toughness, but was secretly tormented. Kids passing into parties would see him lingering outside, unable to work up the courage to walk in.Highlighted by 234 Kindle customers
1. The One-Boy Insurgency
2. Run Like Mad
3. The Torrance Tornado
4. Plundering Germany
5. Into War
6. The Flying Coffin
7. "This Is It, Boys"
8. "Only the Laundry Knew How Scared I Was"
9. Five Hundred and Ninety-four Holes
10. The Stinking Six
11. "Nobody's Going to Live Through This"
13. Missing at Sea
15. Sharks and Bullets
16. Singing in the Clouds
18. A Dead Body Breathing
19. Two Hundred Silent Men
20. Farting for Hirohito
22. Plots AFoot
27. Falling Down
29. Two Hundred and Twenty Punches
30. The Boiling CIty
31. The Naked Stampede
32. Cascades of Pink Peaches
33. Mother's Day
34. The Shimmering Girl
35. Coming Undone
36. The Body onthe Mountain
37. The Twisted Ropes
38. A Beckoning Whistle
We’re hiding the errata, books that influenced this book, books influenced by this book, books that cite this book and books cited by this book sections. If you would like to add content to them, you must first make them visible.