College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Liberal Arts Matters

Because Ideas Matter...

The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences presents

Recommended Readings

Unbroken Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

by Laura Hillenbrand, Random House, 2010

Reviewed by Lacey Echols

America has lost many stories about World War II with the passage of time.  However, Laura Hillenbrand has offered a fascinating and true story of Louis Zamperini in the non-fiction book Unbroken. During a childhood of mischief Zamparini discovered a natural talent for running, participating in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.  With the advent of the war, Zampirini felt obligated to enlist in the Army Air Corps and served as a bombardier on the infamous B-24. Hillenbrand's research on the plane and the war is remarkable and interesting.  Hillenbrand interviewed Zamparini many times to get the true picture of his early life, his military life, and his survival after being being imprisoned in Japanese POW camps for several years.   

The ultimate story is one of triumph, and those of us who have only enjoyed peace in our lives could use a reminder of the sacrifices of others during war time. Zamparini is a great example of using great personal energy to achieve dreams and ultimately to survive what seem to be impossible situations without losing humanity.  After the war, Zamparini struggled with feelings of hatred and abused alcohol, but a rare experience helped him to forgive and dedicate his life to helping others.  The story has a surprise ending that should teach all of us how to live, have faith, and trust in God.

- Lacey Echols is Instructory of Mathematics at Butler University.