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Does the world need another book about World War Two? Can anything new be learned from such well-trod territory? In Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, the answer is definitly yes. Hillenbrand tells the tale of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who, like numerous other athletes of the era, had a his career suspended by the war. The list of athletes who died in the conflict is one of the many fascinating side details she spices her book with while telling the tale of one man. This is a book where you definitely don’t want to skip the foot notes. We learn about the nearly-suicidal early days of the air war against Japan, the plight of sailors and airmen cast adrift at sea, and the inhumane conditions of Japanese prison camps. Even scholars of the war in the Pacific will still be shocked at the treachery Zamperini was forced to endure. Unlike most other veteran’s tales, Unbroken focuses almost as many pages on his life before and after The War as on his days as an airman. A perfect example of the impact of world-changing events on one individual’s life.

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