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  1. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
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I am drooling in that picture, something I have contrived not to do with more recent photographs. Though I have been familiar with this story for a long time, Hillenbrand's telling of it is magnificent. This is a book to reinforce everything you knew doctrinally about man's capac Louie Zamperini and my father, Jim Wilson, were friends, and so I have known the outlines of Zamperini's story my whole life. This is a book to reinforce everything you knew doctrinally about man's capacity for both depravity and heroism.

This was a deeply edifying read. View all 3 comments. Mar 19, Jeanette "Astute Crabbist" rated it liked it Shelves: A solid and resounding 3. If that's what piqued your interest in the book, I suggest beginning with Chapter 12, or a few pages before, so you can get the part about the crash.

For the first eleven chapters, it's as if Hillenbrand couldn't decide which story she wanted to tell. Instead, she tried to tell them all, and did so poorly. You can A solid and resounding 3. You can quickly scan those chapters for basic background I did , but you won't be missing much if you just blow right past them. If you're old enough to remember the s and early s, you may enjoy these chapters for the sake of reminiscence.

Beginning with Chapter 12, the book becomes more strongly focused. Louie's story sweeps itself along, and the author's presence becomes less noticeable. I can't call the story "inspiring," because I honestly think death would have been preferable to what these men endured. Such ingenuity, persistence, and unwillingness to be broken by their captors is impressive and difficult to fathom.

They continued to suffer upon return to the U. Astoundingly thorough research, serviceable writing, and, sorry to say, apparently no editorial oversight. From Chapter 12 to the end, it's a four-star offering well worth your time. Louie the man is ten-star material! Read it for sure, just know that my less-than-exceptional rating concerns a need to cut a great deal of material from the book. View all 7 comments. Mar 08, Jason rated it really liked it Shelves: Remember when we used to have live TV and stations would air previews for a program they were trying to promote?

Have you ever then gone and watched that program only to discover that the preview was kind of misleading? Well, the previews for this book are wicked misleading. Everything about it—the jacket cover, the book description And yes, there is certainly a Remember when we used to have live TV and stations would air previews for a program they were trying to promote? And yes, there is certainly a section of the book that chronicles the experiences of a few Army Air Force personnel who become stranded on a raft in the South Pacific following the crash of their bomber, but the scope of the narrative encompasses much more than that.

So what gives, Random House? Why you be unnecessarily deceitful? In other words, Hillenbrand knows how to tell a story, and this book, a biography of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini, which focuses on his life in a Japanese POW camp, is a prime example. View all 26 comments. Jul 27, Steve rated it really liked it. Gaining 12 pounds as a result and losing race fitness. With a hard punch in the snout, a shark will usually turn tail. Getting singled out as his favorite target. She suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that, for the most part, keeps her in the house and inactive. But she had this to say about her writing, particularly her subjects.

I can't have it physically, so I'm going to have it intellectually. It was a beautiful thing to ride Seabiscuit in my imagination. People at these vigorous moments in their lives - it's my way of living vicariously. And one that was very well-told. View all 63 comments. Jan 02, Diane rated it it was amazing Shelves: Unbroken is an amazing survival story, but this book is also so grim that it took me five years to finish it. I had loved Hillenbrand's previous work, Seabiscuit , and had bought a copy of Unbroken back in as soon as it was released. I started reading it, and admired the writing, but the more I learned about what Louis Zamperini suffered during World War II, the less I wanted to read the book.

I mean, here was an Olympic athlete who served as a bombardier during the war. His plane crashed whi Unbroken is an amazing survival story, but this book is also so grim that it took me five years to finish it. His plane crashed while on a rescue mission, and he was stranded in the Pacific Ocean for 47 days. Only two of his crew mates survived the crash, and they had to battle hunger and dehydration, and fight off sharks while in that tiny raft. And then he was picked up by the Japanese and became a prisoner of war. For two years, he was tortured and starved and abused and enslaved. This story is beyond depressing, you guys.

And so, the book gathered dust on my shelf, my original bookmark still in the pages. I decided to finally pick it up again after seeing the movie which is also grim. Since I'm years late to this discussion, all I can say is that the writing and reporting are excellent, and this truly is an incredible story of resilience, survival and forgiveness. I especially liked that Hillenbrand didn't end the story when Zamperini was released from the POW camp; instead, she continued to follow what happened to the men, and even to the Japanese prison guards, some of whom were prosecuted as war criminals.

Zamperini ended up living a long and full life, and his story is inspiring. Highly recommended for fans of history and survival stories. Hillenbrand is a remarkable writer, and whenever her next book comes out, I'll immediately order that, too. I just hope it's a more joyful subject. Favorite Quotes "From earliest childhood, Louie had regarded every limitation placed on him as a challenge to his wits, his resourcefulness, and his determination to rebel. The result had been a mutinous youth.

As maddening as his exploits had been for his parents and his town, Louie's success in carrying them off had given him the conviction that he could think his way around any boundary. Now, as he was cast into extremity, despair and death became the focus of his defiance. The same attributes that made him the boy terror of Torrence were keeping him alive in the greatest struggle of his life. This is likely one of the reasons why Japanese soldiers in World War II debased their prisoners with such zeal, seeking to take from them that which was most painful and destructive to lose.

On Kwajalein, Louie and Phil learned a dark truth known to the doomed in Hitler's death campus, the slaves of the American South, and a hundred other generations of betrayed people.

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

Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man's soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered it. The loss of it can carry a man off as surely as thirst, hunger, exposure, and asphyxiation, and with greater cruelty. In places like Kwajalein, degradation could be as lethal as a bullet. View all 11 comments. Sep 25, Petra Eggs rated it it was amazing Shelves: Part of my reading of war books and memoirs, this one enlightened to me as to why the Japanese were so reviled by Americans.

Fit partners for Hitler indeed. View all 20 comments. Nov 20, Otis Chandler rated it it was amazing Recommended to Otis by: Amazing story, and well told - kept me up late at night! Louie Zamperini truly went through hell and came back - and it's inspiring to read a story of such willpower and determination. It was also interesting to me to learn more about Japan and their role in the war.

One big takeaway was just how cheap human life is in war. It was pretty eye opening to read the stats about how they pretty much massacred hundreds of thousands of POW's. And of couse, as the story details, they also did not follow Geneva Conventions and pretty much treated POW's as slaves. One of my favorite points the author made is best illustrated by this quote about Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. This is a fundamental truth of humanity that the author really drew out well - if you take a persons dignity away you take everything away.

I loved all the stories of POW's being defiant; stealing food, supplies, playing jokes, etc. The little bits of defiance were enough to let them take back their dignity, and I think thats what makes them so compelling; because while we haven't all been POW's, we can relate to that basic need. View all 4 comments. All the cheesy, tired words people use to review books seem to apply to this book: I hate to use them, but all of them are relevant in regard to this work.

I even could use that silly phrase, "I couldn't put it down. I looked forward to picking it up again and continuing on with the story of prisoner of war Louis Zamperini. Hillenbrand is also the author of S All the cheesy, tired words people use to review books seem to apply to this book: I had no doubts she could write well, as Seabiscuit is one of my favorite reads, ever.

Yet, a feel-good story about a horse is a different animal than a story of the brutal realities of a prisoner of war. Could she write about the horrors of war without doing a disservice to the harsh truths of battle? The answer is yes. She clearly spent a great deal of time researching his life, the lives of the people he fought with and against , the battles he fought, the equipment they used. The book is intelligent and she writes with such depth. While some books on war are understandably painful to read, her talent as a writer makes this book a bit more palatable. I do not mean to imply that she demeans or degrades what he endures, she does not, but she seems to know exactly when the reader needs to back away from the horror.

With great mastery she will take the reader from the horrors of POW camp to the heartache of the families at home. While I was skeptical, I had to give the book a shot. For starters, I love the period of time she writes about. The clincher for me is that Louie was an Olympian, a runner.

While my running days are long gone and certainly never reached the heights Louie did there's a bond of sorts there. We meet Louis as a kid growing up in Torrance, California. He's a bit mischievous and well onto his way of becoming a teenaged hoodlum and then a good for nothing adult. He has an epiphany of sorts and gets on the straight and narrow. Guided by his brother, he begins running for his high school track team. While it's not easy at first, after some training, Louis discovers he has some speed.

He continues his running career at USC, well on his way to that impossible, elsusive four minute mile and qualifies to run in the Olympics in Berlin. I found myself swept away, absolutely enthralled by the thrill of his races, his trip across the Atlantic, his meeting with Hitler. Shortly after his return, the war reaches a fever pitch and Louie signs up to serve.

He ends up in the United States Air Force as a bombardier. So many incredible stories of close calls of near crashes or of running out of fuel over the shark infested Pacific. Eventually, Louie's luck runs out and during a rescue mission in an ill-equipped plane, they crash into the ocean. He survives with a few other men on rafts for 47 days. They fight hunger, thirst, aggressive sharks; they dodge bullets from Japanese pilots. Rescue comes in the form of the Japanese Navy. So begins a long stay in and out of POW camps.

He somehow survives unspeakable tortures and after years in captivity, he is free. While the war may have ended for the word, it continues to rage in Louie's psyche. Freed from his cell, his mind becomes his new tormentor, disturbing his thoughts and sleep with hellish flashbacks and dreams. He meets a woman, falls in love and gets married, yet the war haunts him and a cloud of misery hangs over his marriage. He resolves to return to Japan, find "The Bird," the tyrant who tortured him, and kill him. At this stage in the story, he's ugly and unlikable though the reader understands why.

Drinking too much, he becomes abusive. His wife talks him into going to see Billy Graham speak. He walks out one night. Another night he goes and is converted to Christian life. Normally, the cynic in me would moan and groan, or maybe put the book aside for fear of it getting preachy Louie finds peace and forgiveness. He no longer is haunted by bad dreams or the desire to find and kill his Japanese tormentor.

Religion frees him from hate and he becomes a model husband, father and citizen. You won't regret it. Jan 05, Sarah rated it it was amazing Shelves: I would love to just breeze through it but there is so much information. I'm only on page 28 but I'm listening to an audio book at the same time. I'm almost don't with that. Anyway, this book is a must read. I want to absorb everything.

My Father, Uncle and Father in law went through this. I'm sad because of the conditions they had to deal with but also proud beyond words. This is a must read book" I finished "I'm loving this book. This is a must read book" I finished reading this book last night. It was one of the most memorable books I have read in some time. I didn't care much for History in school, but I was drawn to this one. It amazes me what our soldiers went through and how much we have to be proud of.

I would give this more stars if I could. I highly recommend this book. Nov 15, David Baldacci rated it it was amazing. A true tale of human resilience so unbelievable that you would think it was a novel. But Louis Zamperini did it and Hillenbrand chronicles that harrowing journey in a way only she can. This book deserves the best review I could give it. It hit me hard. It will be awhile. Sep 26, Amy S rated it it was amazing Shelves: Probably the best book I have read this year. It seemed awfully big and I worried it would be too slow and too depressing.

How glad I am that it was chosen! I am going to buy a permanent copy to keep and maybe one for my Dad for Christmas. The book follows the life of Louis Zamperini, a troubled youth turned Olympic runner. He is preparing for the next Olympic games when Pea Powerful. He is preparing for the next Olympic games when Pearl Harbor arrives and the country is thrown into war. Louie becomes a reluctant bombardier on a B Liberator. It follows his time as an active soldier, his unfortunate crash, dealing with sharks for weeks on end and no food or water, a horrifying internment in a Japanese POW camp, and his journey home seeking healing and redemption.

I am leaving out spoiler after spoiler, giving as little information as possible so as not to ruin anything. But what a life! And what a writer Laura Hillenbrand is. Here is a woman who struggles with severe chronic fatigue and yet was able to slowly produce this incredible work.

I have read much non-fiction, I have read WW2 books, Holocaust books, etc etc, but never have I felt so sucked into someone's life. I felt what Louie felt. As his plane is going down over the Pacific and he and his crewmates stare at each other in horror, I truly felt that horror. I caught myself breathing fast with my heart banging against my chest. Again and again I felt like I was there, living it with them. I will also say that Hillenbrand strikes such an important balance--she lays out the gravity of the situation without tipping into graphic unnecessary shock value.

There were many times I could hardly stop turning the pages.

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Amazing that it is a true story. The ending of the book deals so much with forgiveness and redemption. Louis has an understandably difficult time rejoining society at the close of the war. I could not help but compare my own Grandfather, who saw such terrible things in the Pacific theater and turned to alcohol to try to deal with the pain once he came home. I closed the book inspired, hopeful, and touched by his life and choices.

I encourage anyone to read this important story. View all 6 comments. Too long ; needs better editing. For example, the time spent on the raft is just too long and drawn out. I have a very hard time believing some of the events: The crews on the airplanes were given fleece clothing when they left for their first air assignment. Did there Too long ; needs better editing. Did there really exist fleece clothing back in the forties?! OK, the old woolen fleece garments is what is being referred to. I just cannot believe many statements made in this book! Neither does the religious message professed in this book work for me.

That Louis falls under the spell of Billy Graham put me off. I much preferred The Forgotten Highlander: And my husband concurs; he too has read both books. Obviously my husband and I are in the minority, since so many others have loved this book! An author should question what she is being told before writing a biography.

View all 70 comments. Apr 16, Erin rated it did not like it. I enjoyed the beginning of the book somewhat, learning about the main character's struggles to become an Olympic runner. It quickly transitioned into an account of his experiences at war. Perhaps the third-person narrative was too distant for me? I felt as though I was just reading a series of facts. Also, I don't have much interest in war, combat, or airplanes; when I picked up 'Unbroken' I was depending on my love I enjoyed the beginning of the book somewhat, learning about the main character's struggles to become an Olympic runner.

Also, I don't have much interest in war, combat, or airplanes; when I picked up 'Unbroken' I was depending on my love for the characters to be enough of a gripper to keep me engaged, and that just didn't happen. Reading it became more of a chore than an escape, so ultimately I only made it through about a quarter of the book.

I wonder if I just needed to hang on a bit longer to fall in love with this book the way that so many others have View all 31 comments. Louis Silvie "Louie" Zamperini Louie as a kid was a troublemaker. He was vivacious and naughty and always managed to get some mischief done. He either caused trouble or trouble followed him around wherever he went. His older brother, Pete, in order to counteract Louie's stealing activities, got him involved with the school's sport-team. Pete made Louie run and thus running became Louie's passion.

He would never stop running until many years later. In his late teens he began running harder Louis Silvie "Louie" Zamperini Louie as a kid was a troublemaker. In his late teens he began running harder and harder, pushing himself to his breaking limits. He broke many records, including some on a national level. So, he decided to try out for the Olympic Games of He made into the US team but only managed to finish eighth.

He didn't let himself get dragged down but instead he started getting ready for the next Olympic Games. World War II put a stop to all of his plans for winning the Olympics. He enlisted in the United States Air Forces and earned a commission as a second lieutenant. He became a bombardier. Louie was as safe as one can be during war time until one day he was not.

For 47 days they were adrift in the ocean, during those days the three survivors became two. At last, they reached land but they were immediately apprehended by the Japanese Navy and taken to a prisoner-of-war camp. Louie was held in captivity until the end of the war.

Best of Iceland second edition by Icelandic Times - Issuu

He was beaten on a daily basis, he became emaciated and survived such hardship that no one could ever imagine. During this time he met his worst nightmare, named Mutsihiro Watanabe, or else 'the Bird' as they all called him.

Watanabe was a cold, vicious man who found pleasure upon inflicting pain on the prisoners. Especially Louie who he had taken a very special interest into. He tried to break, tried to bring Louie to his knees, but Louie was unbroken. He would only fall down to come up again. His obstinacy had once again proved to be his best trait. August the war is offially over and Louie returns home where his family welcomes him back. Louie is not okay. He is haunted, by memories so horrid he wishes he'd forget. Louie would later say that: They fell madly in love. They got married in just a few months.

She soon found out that the man she had married was deeply troubled, haunted by memories who brought him nightmares every night. I won't say more. Not because I cannot go on for hours but because I don't want to tell you everything. I want you to buy this book and read this yourself because it's really worth your time, even if you don't have plenty of it.

This book is the kind that changes your perspective towards several ideas that you have in your head. It sheds light upon a dark time, on a lesser known side of the war. This novel is a story of passion, courage, bravery. As its title points out very rightly so, it's a story of resilience, not only because Louie survived the slavery but because he also managed to survive the aftermath of war that had left a mark on his soul which he managed to get rid of and live happily until his 97th year.

View all 14 comments. Apr 20, Mandy rated it it was amazing. I'm not a huge non-fiction fan, but when a friend of mine suggested this as a book club read I changed my mind entirely! Louie was truly a remarkable man and loved such a life! Such a hero and so glad I read this! If you haven't you need to pick it up: View all 9 comments.

Jun 25, Dem rated it really liked it Shelves: This is a inspiring and educational read. This is a story of five parts and I really enjoyed the first three parts.


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Part one deals with the protagonist Louis Zamperini's childhood and running career and I really enjoyed this introduction to Louis as I felt I really understood this man and knew how he survived the horrors of war and the physiological and physical pain h This is a inspiring and educational read. Part one deals with the protagonist Louis Zamperini's childhood and running career and I really enjoyed this introduction to Louis as I felt I really understood this man and knew how he survived the horrors of war and the physiological and physical pain he endured.

Part 4 of the book was bit of a letdown for me only in the sense that I found it quite repetitive and very dragged and at times I found myself losing interest in the story but however the pace picked up in the last part of the novel. This is a book where you really see the full horrors of war on all sides and what these soldiers and their families went through and the strength and courage they showed.

A tale of unbelievable endurance, hardship and heroism this book is not only an education but a wonderful read and a book that you ponder long after you have read it. I would have rated this book 3. Jan 05, Zach A. You and two other of your fellow soldiers are lost in the South Pacific Ocean after a horrific plane crash. You have little water or food to keep you alive, and the scorching sun in relentless.


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  • Oh, and your raft that you are aimlessly floating about on is being circled by twenty foot sharks. You are adrift for forty-six days of hell on Earth. Finally, after nearly seven weeks, you spot land. Somehow, you defied all odds and survived. Louis Zamperini went through that terrible ordeal and much, much more during his time as a lieutenant in the U. His traumatic experiences are chronicled in the nonfiction book Unbroken, written by Laura Hillenbrand with information she collected by interviewing Louie Zamperini. While on a patrol mission after being in Hawaii for a year, his plane went down and he, along with two others survived.

    Soon after Louie and his best friend Phil Allen hit land, they were captured by Japan and forced into grueling prisoner of war camps. I believe that it is one of the best non fiction accounts of WWII ever written, because it puts you right in the POW camps with Louie, it has all the suspense and excitement of a novel, and finally because of the story is the ultimate tale of survival and hope. The details included in this story transport you to the horrific POW camps in Japan.

    When I was reading this book, I actually felt like I was in the camps with Louie and his fellow soldiers. I felt what they felt, saw what they saw and their agony became my agony. This vivid description allowed me to understand the horrors of the POW camps for the first time. I was transported back to the POW camps and shown what it was like to live there. I also believe Unbroken to be one of the best non-fiction books ever written about WWII because of its perfect and exciting accounts of battles, POW rebellions, and the nonstop suspense.

    This excerpt describing a battle, gives a small taste of the excitement that continues throughout the book. The sky became a fury of color, sound, and motion. Flak hissed up, trailing streamers of smoke over the planes. Metal flew everywhere, […] There was a tremendous bang! And a terrific shudder, the plane had been hit. However, they do not go down, and Louie begins to bomb the Japanese base below him. This is a great example of excitement and action that is on every page of the book.

    Also, during the battle they are hit in the other wing, and so, become very close to crashing. This provides an air of suspense that left me unable to stop reading. Finally, this is an amazing WWII book because of the story of hope, survival, and the human will to live no matter what is thrown your way.

    Louie never gave up hope when he and two other comrades of his were afloat on a raft in the South Pacific Ocean. They knew the situation was dire, but they had hope and so they survived. When Louie was placed in a POW camp by the Japanese army after they were captured from an island, Louie knew how terrible these camps were, but he wanted to live. Not only that, he knew that he must live, because he had a family and friends that were counting on him to come back alive.

    I was really amazed at this story, and how incredible and inspiring it was. These recurring points in the book inspire you, amaze you, and make for an awe-inspiring book. In conclusion, I believe that this is one of the best non-fiction accounts of WWII ever written, because it puts you right there in the POW camps with Louie, it has all the suspense and excitement of a novel, and finally because of the story itself, the ultimate tale of survival and hope.

    I thought this was an extremely good book. However, I really had no idea how to connect this to myself. The only thing I could relate it to, was what I had read about the treatment of slaves. Like the POWs, slaves were taken against their will and treated like inferiors. They also were thrown into terrible conditions with little food and almost no hygiene, and finally their masters oppressed them both, they were beaten and were worked to the brink of death.

    Any part of Louis Zamperini's life would be worth telling a story about. From running in the Olympics to fighting sharks on a deflating life raft to surviving horrors as a prisoner of war, this man experienced the inexpressible. Yet he came through it. Others, however, evaded capture through a sophisticated Nazi organization designed to hide them. Over decades, these men and women scoured the world, tracking down the SS fugitives and bringing them to justice, which often meant death. The final chapter is truly shocking. With riveting first-hand accounts of making high-pressure decisions as Navy SEAL battlefield leaders, this book is equally gripping for leaders who seek to dominate other arenas.

    Their efforts contributed to the historic triumph for U. Through those difficult months of sustained combat, Jocko, Leif and their SEAL brothers learned that leadership--at every level--is the most important thing on the battlefield. They started Echelon Front to teach these same leadership principles to companies across industries throughout the business world that want to build their own high-performance, winning teams.

    This book explains the SEAL leadership concepts crucial to accomplishing the most difficult missions in combat and how to apply them to any group, team, or organization. It provides the reader with Jocko and Leif's formula for success: It demonstrates how to apply these directly to business and life to likewise achieve victory.

    And is Chip actually that funny in real life? The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today.

    They both attended Baylor University in Waco. However, their paths did not cross until Chip checked his car into the local Firestone tire shop where Joanna worked behind the counter. Even back then Chip was a serial entrepreneur who, among other things, ran a lawn care company, sold fireworks, and flipped houses. Soon they were married and living in their first fixer upper.

    Four children and countless renovations later, Joanna garners the attention of a television producer who notices her work on a blog one day. With wry wit and hard-earned wisdom, popular online personality and founder of TheChicSite. Founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite. Now comes her highly anticipated first book featuring her signature combination of honesty, humor, and direct, no-nonsense advice. As a working mother, a former foster parent, and a woman who has dealt with insecurities about her body and relationships, she speaks with the insight and kindness of a BFF, helping women unpack the limiting mind-sets that destroy their self-confidence and keep them from moving forward.

    With unflinching faith and tenacity, Hollis spurs other women to live with passion and hustle and to awaken their slumbering goals. Jo believes there's no better way to celebrate family and friendship than through the art of togetherness, celebrating tradition, and sharing a great meal. Complemented by her love for her garden, these dishes also incorporate homegrown, seasonal produce at the peak of its flavor.

    In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people. Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better.

    Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. They killed my mother. They took our magic. They tried to bury us. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. After all, they get separated. After all, they get reunited. But what if it is? Want to see more? If she disobeys direct orders by continuing to search for the missing man, it will mean the end of her career.

    But unless Pine keeps working the case and discovers the truth, it could spell the very end of democracy in America as we know it Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent.

    With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: His years photographing the President gave him an intimate behind-the-scenes view of the unique gravity of the Office of the Presidency--and the tremendous responsibility that comes with it.