Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Book Review: Unbroken

I have read many a WWII book in my time but none were as fascinating as Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. The famous author of Seabiscuit has delivered the absolutely amazing story of Louis Zamperini, a famous Olympian and decorated war veteran. His strength and perseverance are absolutely inspiring. I will try not to go into too much detail about the book, because I don't want to give anything away. I'm not the kind of monster who doles out spoilers to innocent bystanders. Anyway, Everyone should read this book.

I learned a couple of valuable lessons from this book. 

First, through faith, family and perseverance, the human spirit can endure anything. Louis Zamperini was able to survive all of his unimaginable trials with faith and resilience. If Louis can survive WWII, I can survive any trial that comes my way. Louis Zamperini taught me that when hard times come, think of family and think of our Heavenly Father. They will never lead you astray and they will always be your number one supporters. Sometimes bad things happen to good people, but that doesn't mean that we've been abandoned by our Heavenly Father. Focus on faith and family and everything will turn out alright in the end.

Louie's homecoming

Second, my education on WWII was very American/European based. While I learned about the Holocaust, D Day, Pearl Harbor and the atom bomb at length in grade school, I knew very little about the Japanese involvement in the war. It makes me sad to think that such an important part of our history was practically ignored in my grade school education. Sure, I knew that the U.S. dropped Little Boy on Hiroshima, but in high school, I never would have been able to tell you why. I realize that there are millions of years of history that teachers have to cram into 12 years of K-12 education, so teachers do need to prioritize. I respect that and will be forever grateful to the hard working teachers who taught me from kindergarten to my senior year of high school. I just wish that there had been room for more history in my education.

I remember taking a class called Introduction to the Middle East in college. It opened up an entirely new world for me.  Upon entering the class, I expected to learn new things, but at the same time I also expected the same kind of lessons I'd heard dozens of times, like the Crusades. What I received was a completely new history that I had never before studied. Brand new stories with new protagonists and new villains, new governments and new religions, new wars and new treaties. What a feast of information that class turned out to be! This book turned out the same way. I expected a story about a war veteran and in the end I got a story about a war that I knew surprisingly little about and the war veteran whose story has given me an even greater respect for soldiers.

To conclude, read this book!

Louis Zamperini today

Check out my Goodreads page for more great book suggestions.

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