A review of Unbroken
Hillenbrand calls the life of Louie Zamperini, the subject of her new biography, "incomprehensibly dramatic." A record-breaking high school track star, competitor at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (where he played pranks on both Jesse Owens and the Nazi government) and WWII Army Air Corps bombardier, he saw months of fierce combat before his B-24 crashed at sea. After fending off starvation and shark attacks for 47 days in an ill-equipped raft, he was captured and imprisoned for years by the Japanese. This impeccably researched account of his journey through glory and suffering is as heart-wrenching as it is exultant.