How to Survive a Plane Crash, Sharks, Torture, Etc.

How to Survive a Plane Crash, Sharks, Torture, Etc.


[MUSIC] Some people just never give up. I mean it was real torture. It instills a great sense of what people sacrificed
for our country. My hat goes off to Laura Hillenbrand. This
is a story of extraordinary exceptional survival. CHRISTOPHER MCDOUGALL: You come across Laura
Hillenbrand with Unbroken, you’re with her from page one. That’s a long ass book too.
That’s like, you know, 700 pages. You’re there every step of the way and you can’t believe
where it’s taking you. STEVE WILKOS: When I read it, it was hard
to put down. It was one of the those books that you just…that you wanted to know what
happened next. COL. ERIC CHASE: Louie Zamperini. What he
did and what his fellow prisoners did is extraordinary heroism because they are in the hands of a
captor that has total control over them and yet their spirit was unbeatable. BOB SIMON: I spent time with Louie Zamperini
for a piece I was doing about the Olympics and you could just know right away that he
was an honest man, very modest. He underplayed his story enormously. CHRISTOPHER MCDOUGALL: As a writer, you’re
looking for great characters all the time and you’re never really expecting to find
them and then when you run across absolute like gold coins from the sky like Zamperini
then you have a really good book. COL. ERIC CHASE: Unbroken is a true story
of the strength and survival of Louie Zamperini. He had been a world class runner that had
competed in the Olympics. He found himself at war, survived the worst, and most of all
emerging from that later in life after it was all said and done as somebody who had
really survived. CHRISTOPHER MCDOUGALL: Laura Hillenbrand.
Her very patient, non-feverish, calm telling of this man’s life, it just builds and builds
and builds. COL. ERIC CHASE: She has an ability to tell
a story that is compelling, interesting, and in a way that draws you into the story and
you really want to know what happens next. BOB SIMON: In wartime survival stories, there’ll
be very often a survival story involving endurance, so many days in a raft at sea. And then there’ll
be survival stories involving being a P.O.W. in the worst possible conditions. But to get
through both, that doesn’t happen everyday. It was..it was…a total gee whiz. COL. ERIC CHASE: An extraordinary aspect of
this book that really drew me in was the consequences of being a P.O.W. and the kinds of hardships
that they have to deal with and put up with. BOB SIMON: I mean it was real torture. STEVE WILKOS: Hunger and dehydration and then
the physical and mental abuse. It puts a lot of things into perspective that maybe you
normally wouldn’t think about. BOB SIMON: Not only real torture but singling
him out so that it wasn’t like it was a shared experience, which can be very important. They
really knocked him about. COL. ERIC CHASE: The story relates how difficult
it was for him when he came home. He had alcohol problems, he had depression issues. BOB SIMON: In the past, PTSD, which of course
wasn’t called that, it was unmanly to go through something like that and someone who cracked
when he came back, you would be shunned and you would be ashamed and feel guilty. STEVE WILKOS: I remember in the book the one
prisoner of war went back and told his father what happened and his father yelled at him,
“No that’s not true. That didn’t happen. Don’t ever say that again!” It’s shocking the things
that these guys went through. BOB SIMON: And it’s taken a long time to change
that perception and it’s not completely changed. COL. ERIC CHASE: It’s very clear that there
is that problem and it’s an ongoing one and it has to be dealt with and people like my
son as young professionals who are leaders and in charge of small units of marines who
may be going through tough times, they have to be educated on what the problem is and
the kinds of things you can do to help them. BOB SIMON: And now the military is aware of
it and they understand it to some extent, but the suicide rate among combat veterans
now is higher than it’s ever been. [MUSIC] CHRISTOPHER MCDOUGALL: I still feel like there’s
almost something that neither she or nor I quite got which is that are these guys different
than we are or are they the same? You know, Zamperini is different, but how? Is it willpower?
As much as you think you’ve got the guy, there’s still an essence there that’s outside your
grasp. COL. ERIC CHASE: You ask yourself how can
a human being put up with this? Why doesn’t a human being give up? And Louie never did.
Louie in his own quiet stealth way was a resistor. He not only never gave up but he gave it back
to these guys. STEVE WILKOS: I truly believe that probably
what got him through was he had a strong sense of willpower. [MUSIC] COL. ERIC CHASE: With the help of his wife…and
there’s a wonderful anecdote in there too about his being inspired by Billy Graham.
Louie Zamperini overcame deprivation for a couple of years in a prisoner of war camp
and yet here he is today at age 96 still a survivor, still someone who goes out to speak,
to motivate. CHRISTOPHER MCDOUGALL: You forget how much
is in that book, Unbroken. The unexpected heart of this book is a vehicle for revealing
something about character and history. BOB SIMON: I think that Americans are searching
far and wide for American heroes. COL. ERIC CHASE: I never met a soldier who
was in it to make money. Soldiers are in it to do good things and do them in a way that
nobody else can. I thought that Laura Hillenbrand really captured that with Louie in the book. BOB SIMON: There was an unambiguous heroism
to someone like Zamperini with that kind of story. STEVE WILKOS: To me it’s just… it’s the
sacrifice that these men and women made for our country. It’s unbelievable. COL. ERIC CHASE: The book, while it takes
you down the path and you feel the anguish, it’s also extremely uplifting and that may
be the genius of the book–that it carries you through to an end where you really feel
inspired. [MUSIC]

22 Comments on "How to Survive a Plane Crash, Sharks, Torture, Etc."


  1. If you consider the 'religious aspects' instead as a philosophy of forgiveness, in spite of the PTSD, hate and racism that Louis would feel during, then it further demonstrates how amazingly resilient a survivor Zamperini is.

    Reply

  2. Read the book, it was heartbreaking, plus laura Hillenbrand suffers from chronic pain and sometimes could only write minutes a day.

    Reply

  3. i was almost seduced by the story until patriotism and the lie that encompasses that word unraveled the lie. a solider thinks he's patriotic for fighting for a cause. that cause is and always has been domination of the 13 families/bloodlines to enslave the world for their greed. unless you can grasp the fact war is a racket and only the ignorant are patriotic, these stories will be an ongoing seduction to our own detriment. the truth needs no co-signer as it stands alone by itself for eternity.

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  4. Books were what spread knowledge, it lead to victories throughout history. Entire empires fell to books, specifically the Mayan empire. The U.S. Army trains their generals with books from many periods some dating back to 500B.C.E. The U.S. are bassed on books made by philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome and you just say their rubbish, their knowledge, and knowledge brings the greatest power you will ever find.

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  5. books are lies, propaganda and meaningless words. just because you can find something of value in a pile of trash that doesn't mean everyone should pile it up in front of their house. what use is a book of 550 pages that has a message that can fit in a single sentence?

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  6. The knowledge from books should be either absorbed or repelled by your moral views. and I don't mean religion

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  7. to entertain the reader, sure u can summarize it but whats the fun of that? the details are amazing, i would never pass up that book. It is not trash, he has been through more thrill and near death experiences in 47 days on 1 raft than u have in a year. so stfu and don't hate because this is an amazing story.

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  8. The details about this book = Chinese atrocity not Japanese. This book is that stupid…And the readers finding out that the book is good, READ TRUE HISTORY FIRST. Don't swallow propaganda. So stupid…

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  9. An incredible book which takes you on an incredible journey.  As a nurse, I am so proud to see that spirituality and faith was the best medicine for this man and his family.  Amen.

    Reply

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