Unbroken

Collin Hansen | June 23, 2011


Laura Hillenbrand. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and RedemptionNew York: Random House, 2010. 496 pp., $27.00.

Louis Zamperini merits no more than one paragraph in Billy Graham's star-studded, 776-page autobiography, Just As I Am. Zamperini makes his appearance as Graham fights exhaustion and preps for the eighth week of his 1949 Los Angeles evangelistic crusade:

[Zamperini] was the U.S. track start who had pulled a flag bearing the Nazi swastika down from the Reichstag during the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Later, in the Second World War, he was shot down in the Pacific and drifted on a liferaft for forty-seven days. He survived attacks by Japanese pilots who swopped down on him for target practice. Finally, the Japanese captures him and put him in prison for two years. Although he was a famous athlete and war hero, he came home feeling unhappy, disillusioned, and broken in spirit. One night he wandered into our tent in Los Angeles with his wife and accepted Christ, and his life was transformed.

So there you have it: Zamperini's life summarized in six sentences. Olympian. Survivor. Prisoner. Hero. Alcoholic. Christian. But there is so much more to Zamperini's…


To read the rest of this article, visit http://thegospelcoalition.org/article/unbroken.