What Is a Simple Summary of Laura Hillenbrand's Book "Unbroken"?


Quick Answer

"Unbroken" is a biography of Louis Zamperini, who was an American Olympic athlete captured by the Japanese during World War Two. Zamperini refused to broadcast anti-American propaganda even after he was tortured in prisoner-of-war camps.

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Full Answer

"Unbroken" details the life of Louis Zamperini, beginning with his upbringing in southern California. In his youth, Zamperini was an avid runner and competed in the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin, shortly before the start of the war.

During World War Two, Zamperini served as a bombardier. In May of 1943, the plane that Zamperini was on crashed in the Pacific Ocean. Eight of the 11 crew members died in the crash, and one more died a month later while they were still lost at sea, leaving only Zamperini and his pilot alive. They lived for 47 days on a raft, subsisting on rainwater and the blood of birds.

Zamperini was then taken prisoner by the Japanese and kept in P.O.W. camps for the last two years of the war. He was tortured and starved in an effort to force him to broadcast anti-American propaganda. Zamperini never gave in to the torture, and at the end of the war was sent home to California, where he faced a long road to physical and psychological recovery.

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