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  1. With the help of friends & others interested in assisting, I’m in the process of publishing my father’s book that he wrote as therapy decades ago for his PTSD after participating in the Bataan Death March & being interred in prison camps for 3 1/2 years. It was with great anticipation that I read Unbroken & learned many things about the war, the atom bombs & also the fact that Louie Z & my father were housed in at least two of the same camps, whether or not at the same time I’m researching to find out.
    I’m hopeful that many connections through your ‘Acknowledgments’ help me find answers to my many questions. Thank you for writing such an incredibly well-written, compassionate & informative story.
    All the best……with life in general, continued success with any books you may write & your CFS.

  2. Please write the story of Nicholas Winton!

  3. March 28, 2015


    I am a retired daily newspaper editor from Nashville, TN.

    Just finished “Unbroken”, and it is a terrific piece of writing. You did a masterful job in getting such a plethora of incredible information about Louie.

    It certainly is one of the most entertaining books I have ever read. But, because of the difficulties Louie encountered as a POW and then after getting home, it was a difficult book for me to continue reading.

    Did you feel like Louis and you were good friends after completing the book. And, were you pleased with the movie?

    I hope the pains from your fatigue syndrome are not bad at this time.

    I certainly anticipate your next book.

    I interviewed Dr. Billy Graham once. I am sure he was pleased with the things you wrote about his impact on Louie’s life.

    Continued blessings to you.

    Bracey Campbell

    Centerville, TN

  4. Louie Zamperini was the most amazing courageous man to ever live on this planet. This book inspired me in many ways. I’m a High School student and everyone knows that in the last four years of schooling, you just want to give up. This man is a man who deserves nothing but the world and I am so glad that before he passed (July 2nd) that the world was able to read and see what he went through and who he was. He truly is someone everyone should look up to. I have high interest in learning abut him and Allen Russell due to the fact that I also live in La Porte, IN (where Phil lived) and I also had a grandfather who passed when I was young but he too was taken as a POW during WWll. This book helped me visualize what my own grandfather witnessed and what he had gone through. This book and also the movie were just so real it’s as if I knew Louie personally and that is what I like. Pete (Louie’s brother) is also a hero. He is a hero because he shaped Louie into the strong man he was and I hope God takes great care of Louie up there because Louie is one of gods greatest creations. Pete would push and push Louie as a runner so he was the best. In my eyes, I think Pete is the foundation as to what kept Louie so strong. I would love nothing more than to speak to Louie or Phil or honestly any WWll POW because their stories are something I could sit and listen to forever. These men were in conditions I couldn’t even imagine and they were treated as if they were not human. It’s sickening but sad. What really inspired me though was how Louie forgave all the officers, including “the Bird.” It amazes me that after all the beatings and after all the men they killed, he forgave them because what those men did was scar Louie for life. But maybe we should be thankful for those scars because those scars sure did create on hell of a story.

  5. Dear Mrs. Hillenbrand,
    We completed a nonfiction reading assignment where we created a Public Service Announcement. We want to promote great nonfiction writing like your book, Unbroken.
    The PSA link is below.
    I welcome your feedback!
    Thank you and please keep writing!

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  12. I am presently listening to the audio book Seabiscuit and it is outstanding. But before that, I was given your book Unbroken. OMG, outstanding, informative, heart warming, heart wrenching. Awesome. Finished the book before leaving for Spring Training in Peoria, AZ. While in Peoria, happened to go to the Commemorative Air Museum and saw the Norden bombsight displayed. So much historical information in your book I never knew or heard anything about. We had family in the Navy in the Pacific, a PT boat, and in the Philipines during World War II. Not in Louie’s situation, but could have been… Thank you for your time and patience in creating this masterpiece.

  13. Lauren . . .

    I couldn’t put down the book Unbroken and once knowing you authored Seabiscuit, I had to read that too! Both books made me cry both happy & sad. Incredible, incredible stories. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate those two (2) stories and how you were able to weave facts & statistics into these books. Every day I would look forward to reading the book(s) you wrote and would be disappointed if I did not have an opportunity to read the book(s). Once I started reading, it was VERY difficult to put down.
    Thank you for all yours and your teams’ hard work on both books! Wonderful stories that inserted you in the lives of the characters!
    Please write us another wonderful book!

  14. Hi Laura,
    I just love your book. Amazing. I am from the Philippines & currently here in Vancouver, Canada. I was only 5 or 6 when my granparents were telling me stories about the war. I am obessed on it since, then, wondering what were the reasons behind. Then finally read your wonderful book, sorry took me awhile. Questions were answered but just like you and me we still want more. Hopefully, it will never happen again.

    Keep up the great work.


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  17. Loved Seabiscuit and Unbroken(beyond superlatives). While visiting Descanso in La Canada,CA. I visited the Boddy House. E. Manchester Boddy was the original owner of the property and had a fascinating life. I looked for a pamphlet or book about him, but there were none. At home I looked him up in the library system and there were none. Since I respect your diligent research and writing talents, I thought he might be a possible subject for you. I did do some research and found that he had helped out the Japanese owners of a nursery in San Gabriel doing WWII when they were interred in a detention camp in Arizona by the name of Yoshimura. He leased their nursery and made payments to them while they were there and they were able to restart the business after the war. The nursery is still there. I hope you can take some time to look him up on the internet.

  18. My friend told me to read the book before I see the movie. I think I’m going to have to wait for the DVD. Slow reader. The way in which this book was written made me think that an military air person wrote it. The details in all aspects of this book went beyond bringing it to life. I was cringing whencing and at times ducking from the belt buckle throughout the book. And tears flowed. I am now in the process of purging my feelings I have for people that did and allowed these things to happen. Thank you for such a vivid description of life of Mr. Zamperini. I had the privilege and honor of meeting Lyle Umenhoffer, survivor of the USS Indianapolis. As I am beginning a relationship with him and asking him about the 5 days in the ocean, I think of what an ominous task it was to have someone relive their ordeal.

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  20. Dear Laura,

    I just read an article in the New York Times describing your symptoms. I completely and one hundred percent relate to what you’ve described. I went two years undiagnosed (chronic fatigue was actually my first diagnosis!) After seeing countless doctors, many of whom told me that my symptoms were all in my head, I was finally diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease. I know that people probably tell you all the time what you have, and it gets overwhelming, but I highly, highly, highly recommend going to see a LLMD or an LLND (Lyme literate doctor) and get tested. Lyme disease is the most common bacterial infection in the United States. More than 300,000 people (probably many more) get infected each year. It’s an epidemic. Sending all my love and healing from Seattle.

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  22. I have given talks about my father (POW of German’s) and uncle Lt. Charles Lewis who was shot down and killed over New Britain, June 1, 1943. One of the survivor’s of his plane was Paul Cascio who you acknowledge in “Unbroken.” My brother Charles (named for my uncle) interviewed Mr. Cascio in the 1980′s and wrote about him for the Ottawa Citizen. I was wondering if you have any additional notes from Mr. Cascio? I am giving a talk about “Unbroken” in May to a local library. It would be great if I could augment my talk with any additional information you could share. I in turn have a good amount of information about both my father & uncle if you are interested.

  23. Laura – good morning: I have just finished reading Seabiscuit, before that I read your other book, Unbroken. You have done an outstanding job writing both books and bringing such incredible life to all of the charters in each book. I have searched for other books you have written and I’m guessing, you may be working on new book I can not wait to read it. Please advise when you next book is out. Roger Brockway

  24. Thank you Laura for writing this book. I very seldom read biographies and fiction unless it fits into the Christian genre. However, through a friend and a new acquaintance I decided to see what was so great about this book. Was I ever surprised. I was filled with disgust at Louie’s early life, then interested as he became a runner, then came the war and the suspense of the raft experience, and through his POW ordeal I felt a multitude of emotions from disappointment, shock, anger, revenge, desire for their rescue, sorrow at the deaths and damage, resentment for “the Bird” and other abusers, joy for their liberation, hope for Louie’s troubled marriage and supreme rejoicing over his salvation at Billy Graham’s Crusade. I could go on,included in this is almost every emotion one could ever have. Of all the secular books I have read, this one is certainly at the top of the list. Again ….. THANK YOU!

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  31. Just finished reading “Unbroken” moments ago. Based on the size of the book, I thought it would take weeks to read. I couldn’t put it down. I finished in 3 days in between work, chores, sleep, etc. Some the best writing I have ever seen on top of a phenomenal story. Thanks. Now I will have to see the movie.

  32. How am I able to get Laura’s mailing address? Thank you!

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  35. G’day Laura,

    I’m an Australian author who greatly admires your work, and I’m keen to get in touch with you to ask you a few questions.

    My email is

    Thanks, and congratulations on Unbroken, it was a brilliantly researched and written book.

    Kind regards,

    Dan Eddy
    Author of King Richard: The Story of Dick Reynolds, Essendon Legend

  36. Hello Laura, I was so engrossed in Unbroken that I fell asleep reading it–and started reading again. However, I did find 1 error and one typo you might wish to correct in future printings. Page 27 refers to a Boy Scout master. There are no masters in the BSA so the correct form would be Boy Scout scoutmaster. On page 61 “pieces” is written as “peaces”.

  37. Thank you for writing this book. Not only an amazing story of the character & strength of the human kind but a legacy for history. We can never forget……

  38. Just finished the book (maybe I will view the movie some future year). I am moved by Louis Zamperini’s story, the light shed upon the Pacific war and POW situations there, and the military reality of the B-24 as it was equipped at the time. I am thankful for all the hours and years Laura Hillenbrand has devoted to her exhaustive research and effort to bring this breathtaking story to all of us.

  39. Thank you for such a wonderful book! You are an amazing author! So glad that I read this book. What a fantastic journey!

  40. Hello Laura.After a recommendation from a friend, I read your book Unbroken. What a great and well documented story of a true American hero Louis Zamperini. What a terrible ordeal he suffered in capitivy not to mention his survival on a small raft for over 40 days without a supply of food or water. Louie,s story taught me even greater respect if that is possible of the Greatest Generation that saved our nation in World WarIIand the how our Heavenly Father grants the power of forgiveness. You did Louie proud Laura.

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  43. Our football coach here at Wheeling High School, Wheeling, IL has his team reading the book. He chooses books that can be an inspiration to students. The team meets once a week in our school library and discusses the book. One of our special needs students is reading the book for the reading class in lieu of the books usually available to the students. Because this book is not part of our regular fare, I had to design a study guide and quiz for him to take (when finished reading the book) to satisfy the requirements of this class. Because I wanted to truly understand the questions I was developing, I read the book. I found I couldn’t put it down. It so impressed me and touched my heart that I went out and bought the book. I purchased the book to honor both Louis Zamperini and you and the writing of this magnificent book. I am passing the book around my family now and encouraging anyone and everyone to read it. I love discussing the book with our young student who is truly enjoying it. His nationality is Hispanic and he is just loving the way the different people in the book come alive as he reads. He resonates with what is happening and is understanding the depths of emotions and responses which you have so successfully described. I haven’t been this moved by such historical writing in a very long time and I have been a reader all my life. I read everything and anything and have been since a young girl. At 64, I have quite a lot of experience under my belt and have truly been moved by this book. I intend to read Seabiscuit and know I will enjoy it just as much. You truly have a gift and I wish you could meet the boys on our team and share with them your meeting with Louis. He was such a remarkable man and you have captured his essence! Thank you and I, too, agree with the others who have commented, KEEP ON WRITING. I can hardly wait for your next book.

  44. Just in case Ms. Hillenbrand did not see this item
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  45. I am 62 and have spent most of my life avoiding reading for pleasure. About 3 years ago I started reading about things that just interested me. Mostly nonfiction. I eventually came across unbroken and absolutely loved it. After finishing that book I didn’t know what my next reading “project” would be until I came across Seabiscuit in a thrift store. I know absolutely nothing about horse racing but I thought I liked Unbroken so much I would probably like Seabiscuit. Wow! What a great read. I never visioned myself about getting emotional about a book, but when I read the epilogue I couldn’t keep from crying. I’m crying now just thinking about it. Laura, please do another book that moves me as much as Unbroken and Seabiscuit has.
    Thank you.

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  47. Ms. Hillenbrand,
    My name is Grace Cogan and I was deeply moved by “Unbroken”. If you are looking for more book ideas. I have one for you: Frances Perkins. In case you are not familiar with her, she was President Franklin Roosevelt’s Secretary of Labor during the Great Depression. I have studied her for a school project and found that she was the backbone of the Social Security Act. I have read almost every book there is on her and would love to see someone with such inspiring skills as you, to write about her. She is an amazing figure in history just as Mr. Zamperinni and Seabiscuit. If you would like a little more information on her and why I believe she is a wonderful writing topic, please feel free to email me at and I will be happy to get back to you! Thank you and KEEP WRITING!
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  48. My father Harry Forsberg and his brother Roy were both POWs in Japan. They were working as civilians building the runway and base when captured on Wake Island. As civilians they were on the bottom rung of the POW ladder as it was assumed that they hadn’t qualified for service in the military. He rarely talked about his experiences so reading the book gave me a greater appreciation for him and his capacity to endure. He never spoke ill of the Japanese, always stated that conditions were due to it being “war time”. However signs of PTSD were evidenced by anger and depression,as well as physical abuse of my brothers. As a civilian he was not offered disability or compensation until the 80′s or 90′s, his health was never robust.I gave each of my siblings a copy of Unbroken for Christmas in memory of Dad who died in 1998. Thank you so much for writing this book.

  49. shara from Canada
    “I have many problems in my life and have been to so many spell casters with no results and as a result of this, I ended up in a huge debt.One day I used internet and felt some kind of strange but kind and gentle force as if someone was guiding me to search for spell casters. I can’t remember the words I typed in the search engine but I was directed to Dr ozias. And that was it! I felt so lucky to have found the great doctor. It all happened so naturally and easily and I am glad it did. No words can express the feeling I had.Despite all the bad experiences I had with FAKE spell casters on the internet in the past, nothing could stop me from reaching my dreams, so I ordered a spell from Dr ozias. I had sleepless nights and was was very worried because I promised myself I won’t approach a spell caster for help but did as it was time for me to help myself, stop crying and stop feeling sorry for myself.I also knew there was someone out there who is capable of helping me.I ordered a spell from Dr ozias it took only a little more than 3 weeks for the results to show and it is getting better and better.I have never been so happy. Never ever did I think that I could find a spell caster to help me fix any problems.I am so glad I found Dr ozias, he is such a gem, a kind person who has a positive impact on my life.His services are highly recommended. He is always there and responds to your emails which is very rare of a spell caster.I completely understand that some people have problems believing in magic and finding the right spell caster (I have been there) but Dr ozias is a true practitioner who can REALLY help. Sometimes money is an issue but it is worth spending a few hundred if your problems can be solved. I believe it is a small price to pay. And a word of advice about staying positive…DO IT. When you are ordering a spell STAY POSITIVE during and after the spell work.Thank You Dr. ozias!! God bless you and your family.It was very naturally, yet strongly fated and I feel so happy.” or call +2349032351057

  50. You’re beautiful.

  51. I’m a huge fan. Should you need an idea for your next project, look into the poison ring of 1938-1939.

  52. Ms. Hillenbrand,

    Thank you for reigniting my love of reading. In today’s busy world, I often don’t think I have any “free” time to do something that I’ve always loved – read. I am so glad I decided to make time to read “Unbroken”. Mr. Zamperini’s story is powerful and inspiring; it’s one I feel like everyone should know! And while his story is amazing, I know that your writing made it even more so. While reading certain pages, I had tears rolling down my cheeks. While reading others, I found myself actually exclaiming something out loud. Your writing brought Mr. Zamperini’s story back to life. You are a very talented writer and I thank you for your dedication in telling the public about such an amazing man.


  53. 36%; so any investment made here will bring forth its revenues.
    We were gonna need a TV, and friends… lotsa friends to visit.

    However, the demolishing of these dorms is more than just symbolism.

  54. I’m currently reading ‘Unbroken’. You’re a gifted and amazing writer! I have a friend who is 92 years young, and a holocaust survivor. She would love it if someone would write about her incredible life. Any suggestions? Thank you for any response.
    Respectfully, Bonnie House

  55. How can anyone not know about the Pacific war? I think you ought to do a book on Dudley ‘Mush’ Morton. your book was excellant. I guess they ought to read the 4 books by Bruce Gamble. and all the story’s written about the WWII subs.I wish I contact you directaly.I could talk your ear over Unbroken.
    That book hit a nerve that is VERY teneder in my house.How much iron ans seeel did Japan send back to us?

  56. Ms. Hillenbrand,

    I admire your writing ability. I didn’t read your book, ‘Seabiscuit,’ but I saw the movie (and loved it); however, I just finished reading ‘Unbroken.’ Louis Zamperini was a truly amazing person, an American hero (I know, he didn’t consider himself to be a hero) whose story needed to be told, and you did just that in such a skillful manner. I could hardly put the book down. You go to great lengths to research the info for your books which gave the accounts of Zamperini’s life experiences a great deal of credability and your writing style made the many interesting adventures that Zamperini had come alive. You are the author that I have been searching for to tell another American story. This is about a personal friend of mine who is an Oregon track legend and treasure. It’s the story of Jim Puckett, an all American boy who was one of nine children. He grew up on a farm in the Willowa Mts. in northeastern Oregon; he milked the cows and fed the chickens before he went to school each morning; he’s red headed, 5′ nothing, attended a high school that had no track and yet was the fastest high school sprinter in America his junior and senior years. He had to travel 15 miles to the next town to practice on a track. Local sports enthusiasts organized and staged a race between the two fastest high school sprinters in America, Jim and Amos Marsh (another sports legend in football at Oregon St Univ. and for the Dallas Cowboys) who lived just up the road. These two man races were held at the county fairgrounds with standing room only crowds in both 1957 and 1958. Jim won both races. Jim and his brother used to race during half times of their high school’s basketball games while ‘running’ ON THEIR HANDS back and forth the length of the basketball court. Jim played high school eight man football and couldn’t be caught (‘that game was made for me’ he once told me). The news of this running phenom appeared in all of the popular magazines of the day in the late 50′s. While in high school Jim lost half of a finger while chopping wood and his severed finger was preserved in a jar of formaldehyde and placed in his high school’s trophy case for all to see. Jim was highly recruited out of high school and chose to attend the U.of Oregon. He ran track on coach Bill Bowerman’s national championship teams (Bowerman is a founder of Nike in addition to being a coaching genius). Following college, Jim became a successful coach for women’s track teams at Mt. Hood Community College as well as a track official for track events throughout Oregon. He was selected as a track official for the ’84 Olympics in LA. There is so much more. Jim’s story is about the little underdog guy who the crowd always rooted for. I am sure you get bombarded with similar offers for ‘a next book,’ but I believe this is something that would be worth your while to look in to. Thank-you for giving this your attention and consideration. Doug McClary at [] or (360) 681-2589.

  57. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand,

    Columbia Writers invites you to an event to celebrate the release of our anthology, Trapped Tales. Bring your family and friends; this is a public event.

    As a VIP in the industry, we would love for you to join us in this evening of literature and art. There will be readings by the authors, art inspired by the stories, and networking with many local writers and artists.

    We also offer a table for authors/publishers/agents to display your own books and promotional materials. We’re expecting 50-100 literature lovers and writers who will be pumped to learn about new books and literary connections.

    Food and drinks will be available for purchase as well as complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

    We hope you will join us!


    The Columbia Writers

    Friday, March 13, 2015
    7-11 pm

    The Diamondback Tavern
    Second Level
    3733 Old Columbia Pike
    Ellicott City, MD 21043

    RSVP by Monday, March 9
    Jennifer Yates Tebben

  58. Hi Laura, my daughter has suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome for many years. I would appreciate it very much if you would share with us the details of the treatment which has helped you overcome chronic fatigue syndrome. Thank you, Ellen Thompson

  59. This is an extraordinary account of an extraordinary life.The best book I have read in a long time.

  60. Hi Laura,

    I am reading one of your book and it is really really good so far and I hope you writing another book.


    Justin Clauson

  61. Laura,
    I just finished reading Unbroken. Thank you for writing such a wonderful story. As the son of a WWII veteran I am grateful for what our fathers and mothers went through to give us the life’s that we enjoy today.

  62. What a magnificent story of resilliancy,perseverance and forgiveness. My father and father-in-law were both veterans of the south pacific. Your book has given me greater insight to their lives and their experiences. I just wish I had read your book while they were still alive.
    my sincerest thanks , May god bless you.

  63. Oh my word!!!! Loved this book!! Thank you for this moving story of resilience, determination, and God’s grace, in this great American story. Thanks you for Louis’s story!

  64. I am just after finishing the book only minutes ago and I am in awe. Never before has a story of men’s endurance and resilience during war time left me with such sober compassion for their suffering. I will never forget it.

  65. Unbroken is, by far, one of THE best books I have ever read! To put in words what Louie went through must have been a difficult task but you did a brilliant job! I am recommending this book to everyone I speak with. My husband and daughter have also read the book and although we could not wait to finish it, we were sad when we were done reading it. It was like letting go of a best friend.

  66. Saw the movie first. Just finished reading the book. Congratulations on an excellent job. Our son, David Fiedler, has written the only book on Missouri POW camps titled The Enemy Among Us. He certainly painted a much prettier picture. It is all too sad and oh so interesting. Thanks for sharing your talents.

  67. Hi Laura. I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading the book Unbroken. What an incredible story of strength and courage that you uncovered and I am so glad that you were committed to finishing it. Thank you for writing the junior version. I wanted to let you know that it is part of the required non fiction reading list for my daughter’s 6th grade language arts class in Dublin, Ohio. And I am very glad that she selected your book to read for the class.

    I also watched the movie Seabiscuit and loved it.

    I am sorry that you suffer with your illness. Hopefully they will find a cure soon.

  68. Hi Laura
    your books are wonderful, I LOVE your writing style and the humanity which comes from the pages is so inspiring.

    I am wondering if you have looked into a nutritional cure for your ME, which I have suffered from all my life with terrible eczema and ME until I found a wonderful doctor in Scotland and now in New Zealand where I live. I now have a very busy and happy life making up for lost time feeling fantastic most days. I work as a full time artist and travel around the world teaching masterclasses, making TV shows etc, I would never have been able to do this work had it not been for many years of sorting my diet out, little dairy, no wheat, no beef etc, I was so ill doing my PHD in soil science in my early 20′s I gave it in. I am now doing research again with my old professor and we are writing a book together. If I can help in any way I would love to with more info, there will be a cure for you or a manageable option you need to scout around for the best person, in my case a few people had a piece of the jigsaw and after a few years I now have the energy levels I should always have had. xx Jacky. My website

  69. Dear Mrs. Hillenbrand,
    My name is Daphne Carrillo and I’m an eighth grader from small town Kansas. I wanted to thank you for writing the incredible book you have written about the legendary Louie Zamperini. I’m not one to love reading about track stars, (because frankly I do not like running competitively at all) and being a girl, I’m not one to be intrigued by anything war related. You changed that; there was not a moment that I did not want to be reading about Louie.

    Over Christmas Break, at the request of my older sister (who is the smartest person I know, and loves anything history related), we went to see Unbroken. At first I was really put off by this because after discovering how much I disliked running competitively I was not jumping at the chance to spend three hours watching a movie about track; boy was I wrong. From the moment I walked into the packed theater I had no regrets, I was sold. Throughout the entire movie I was inspired in every single way possible to never give up, because as I like to think “That’s not the Louie Zamperini way.” When break was over and I returned to school I spotted, your book, Unbroken on the window sill of my teacher’s classroom and I had to have it.

    It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the beautifully written story, but the deeper I got, the more I wanted to know; what was it like meeting The Louie Zamperini? This is a question I’ve been pondering ever since reading your book, and I thought that you’d be one of the best people to ask about him. So, what was he like? Was he what you expected, or did he surpass all the standards you’d set for him? All these questions are ones I’d love to have answered, but the most important one truly is, What did you feel when you first saw Louie? I can only wish that he were still alive, so that I might have the miniscule chance of meeting such a great, inspiring man.

    Your book has changed me, and you’ll never truly know how true that is. Thank you for writing about such a unique special man. Thank you for changing my world, and my outlook on life.

    Sending you all the thank you’s and appreciation in the world,


  70. Mrs. Hillenbrand,
    My name is Kari, and I am from Kansas. I am an avid book reader who has recently finished Unbroken:A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. I had never heard of the book, or you, until the movie trailers started flashing on my television screen. The moment I saw the trailer and realized it was a book, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Movies always being lackluster compared to the original book, I decided to skip the movie and head straight for the book. After picking it up, I couldn’t stop. I sometimes find biographies hard to get through, but you made it flow like a story. Louis’s moments of tragedy and triumph became mine. I didn’t just read your book, I felt it. Thank you for sharing this mind-blowing story. I would have never come across Louis Zamperini’s incredible story without it. I have been inspired to grow as an overall person and Christian. I will carry the lessons I have learned all of my life. My only question for you is how has Louie and his story inspired you in your everyday life? I know it said in your acknowledgments that you knew Louis’s story better than he did himself sometimes, so I was curious how getting to know him, and what has happened to him has helped you grow.
    Thank you for your time and for retelling this inspiring tale,

  71. Laura,

    As a two tour Vietnam vet. I read your Book Unbroken with deep interest. I was a prisoner – although the potential possibility
    Presented itself during some of missions.

    What I found so interesting is the parallel of what Louie went through when he came back.

    While I did not want to kill somebody I was angry and lost at first when I came back and got worst the way I was being treated by everyone who realized I was a soldier. I could not get a job – girls spat or threw drinks at me and I could see in the eyes of my relatives they thought I was weird. I also found that the VA only opened mental wounds that I was working very hard to control and I, like Louie ran and never came back.
    Civilian life was boring and frustration.
    When I went back to college I took up Karate and Scuba Diving.
    It turned out the combat Karate I already knew did not have a place in competition Karate, However I did get to hit someone and it replaced the many bar fights I would get into. Actually my buddies got me into Scuba diving to keep me out of the bars and trouble with the law. It worked I was scared of the water and it was what I needed…….it took my mind off other things and got my adrenalin fix that I was so used to.
    The Scuba Diving became a life long sport for me. I became a dive instructor for Eagle Scouts.
    I got my engineering degree and went to Texas where I was not in fear of anyone learning I fought in the Vietnam war.
    The point of all this was I found the Lord and it changed me for good ……got married and are pretty happy.

    PS Taught my wife to dive and we have been all over the world diving and having the time of our life.
    There is more but suffice to say I can read about other wars and mostly it does not effect me………but your book reinforces that fact I was not unusual or weird in what I felt etc when I came back. I can not tell you how many times I told myself and others, I am a freak or something and I do not belong or fit in here anymore.

  72. Wow. what a book. Someone needs to write a book about Lueit. Jack Watson…… buzzed Yankee Stadium in his B-17 during World Series Game on his way overseas. “Had to pull up to miss the flagpoles” Jack told me. Mayor LaGuardia demanded apology. Got shot up on a mission and the entire crew jumped out. Jack sat down to jump and his flight boots got sucked off. He decided he’d rather take his chances with the plane and limped it back for emergency landing. I did commemorative B-17 ride with Jack a few years back

  73. I have loved both your books! As a lifelong horse lover and racing enthusiast, I found “Seabiscuit” impossible to put down once I started. “Unbroken” was harder to finish, but after seeing the movie, I had to know everything and I raced through it. My mother’s only sibling, her beloved older brother, joined the Army in WWII, and volunteered for the newly formed paratroopers. I never met my Uncle Roy because he was killed as he participated in the largest paratroopers drop in history during Patton’s final push into Germany across the Rhine in March,1945, about a month before the end of the war in Europe. Exactly 4 months later he would have turned 21. So I have great respect and admiration for those who put their lives on hold to save our nation during that desperate time. Ms. Hildebrand has written two books with vastly different precepts, characters, and events, but she brilliantly brings out the shining qualities of which the human spirit, mind and body are capable! Thank you for two inspiring books!

  74. Dear Laura,
    Your books are trans-formative. I work for an order of women religious whose founder traveled to America from her native France 175 years ago to a little piece of ground in rural Indiana. That founder is now a Saint. Her name is Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. Her life story is what great books are made of. There are books written about her and her companions who came across the seas, but I implore you to write YOUR book about this unbelievable life of women of courage, faith and a great sense of adventure! There are people who are been born with a mission for their lives and luckily for the rest of us….said Yes! Will you say Yes to this story? thank you……

  75. Dear Laura,

    I Read an artical today in our local newspaper, Chronic fatigue writen by Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer. I have suffered with this Chronic Fatigue illness for severail years now, I began to experience the system but was alerted to a over all physiological change at the same time. Because of this change I began to think there were environmental cause to my condition, I have since proved out this theory and belive I have the cause for the illness, I have found ways of increasing energy and reducing depletion I am still researching a complete solution. I would like to share this information with you personally and not in an open form, dont need to meet you I not some crazed fan, though I am a book author I didn’t know about you until today, so you may ask why you, if I share my incites with you and they help you and you inturn share them with a few others and it works for them, then the world can be told with the support of others that the solution has made a drastic change for. You have my email address if you like to have me share this with your email me from your personal email address and I will respond with my solution outlined, my only requirement is you keep my name private I do not want to become known to the public. Sincerly Submitted…..

  76. Thank you Laura for telling Louis story, the POWs story and reminding us of the physical and emotional sacrifices of so many who have/do serve our country, as you have been a part of that service by researching many details for the book. Thank you! I am a nurse and mother of 2 sons, 18 and 16. I have encouraged them to read Unbroken – lessons of endurance,hope, forgiveness and the human spirit. Touching moments for me were the mother/son embrace “folding himself around her” “a long time before they let go” a tearful moment to read and I loved when Louis and Phil were together after the war,
    their grinning gaze of friendship after all that they experienced together, a blessed moment. I am so thankful to you and all who supported you in telling this story. I am 52 and have been a nurse for almost 30 years. I am considering finishing my nursing career at the VA hospital after reading this book. Thank you for the inspiration! God bless you Laura always in all ways.

  77. Ms. Hillenbrand;
    When I heard about your work with Louis Z. and how you did many interviews by phone due to your illness, I put contacting you on my priority list of to-do. I’ve been begging doctors to help with what seems to be chronic fatigue syndrome. On the NBC News tonight they reported the Institute of Medicine is advocating a change in the name of the condition and the criteria for diagnosis. In the course of the discussion your name came up on the news. As I look at the criteria especially the fatigue after exertion and what I’ve been reading people say about waking in the morning and crying because they are so fatigued. Chronic pain has been a part of my life for 30 years but in the last 5 years the fatigue has worsened to a crisis. I don’t know where to turn or what to do. My life is in shambles, work too taxing and poverty has taken over. That ambitious, dynamic woman I was for 52 years is but a mist of myself. You are likely hearing many sad stories about illness and I hope this post is not a burden. Can you offer any suggestions, ideas or advice? Doctors don’t listen. Family thinks I’m lazy. I deeply appreciate any information or guidance.
    With much respect,

  78. I have read both books and seen both movies. Brilliant to a fault! It was interesting to see how Ms. Hillenbrand found the story of Zamperini. It was a tough book to read but she captured him perfect and his life. I live about 5 minutes from Zamperini Field and when he died I placed flowers at the signage that bears his name. She has given America history that fell through the cracks (as she put it). Both you and Louie have been UNBROKEN!

  79. The one thing you did not write on was the children of Louis & Cynthia. We’re there only two? What did his children do in life? Did Louis ever have a good relationship with his mother in law?

  80. Just finished Unbroken, wow. So glad I added it to the list of must reads.
    THANK YOU for sharing Louie’s story

  81. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand,

    I’m a Clinical Psychologist and specialize in the area of perinatal bereavement (reproductive loss). I wanted to let you know that I am finding your book to be particularly moving and useful for considering human challenges and coping mechanisms. So much so that it served as an inspiration for my most recent post (dated Feb 6, 2015) in my blog devoted to baby loss. I thought I would pass on the link below in case you had any interest in seeing it.

    Thank you for telling the world about a remarkable life in such a respectful and beautiful fashion. Louie’s story and your own (from what I have read about your experience with CFS and other medical issues) are compelling examples of what people can bring forth in themselves despite living through and with adversity.

    Best wishes,
    Donna Rothert, PhD

  82. Wonderful book. I am a nurse with CFS. I would love to email you about a physician helping me after 15 years. I literally cry in the AM struggling to get ready for work. I want you to get well and write many more books. You are amazing.

  83. Laura,

    Great, great reading. Now when I die, I won’t have to worry about going to hell. No room……all the Japanese solders who were guarding the POW’s are there!

    greg bronder
    February 8, 2015

  84. Just finished your book and the Appendix. Don’t know which was more compelling, your story or Louie’s story. Both moved me deeply. You both basically spent years being locked up fighting demons. I see a lot of people making suggestions below about your health problems so I suspect you’ve heard all of this before and have tried all kinds of cures. But I’m guessing there is a stress component to your health problems that I’m wondering if you’ve ever addressed or considered. Have you ever looked into mindfulness, yoga, or even the research into self-compassion? I’m thinking of Jon Kabat’s Zinn’s book Full Catstrophe Living which is an introduction to mindfulness or finding a restorative yoga teacher who could come to your house, or reading a book like the The Emotional Life of the Brain by Richard Davidson. Or you could check out the work of Kristen Neff. She has a Ted talk on self-compassion. Most driven people (and I KNOW you are driven) beat themselves up unmercifully for a myriad of different reasons and this can have a powerful effect on what Joan Borysenko (her first book is called Mending the Mind Minding the Body) calls “the bodymind.” Hope some of that helps. Thanks for a good read. Here’s to your future health.

  85. Hello Laura from beautiful P.E.I. I believe I read that you suffer from vertigo? In case your not aware of the following…..


  87. I recently read “Unbroken”. Awesome book, one of the best I’ve ever read. Laura Hillenbrand did a brilliant job in researching and writing this story. Louis Zamperini is a true American hero. His story is such a inspiration to all of us. I understand Ms. Hillenbrand is struggling with a serious illness. My thoughts and prayers go out to her.

    Darrell Davis

  88. We at our library have a question about the young reader version of Unbroken: What revisions have been made to the original text to create the young reader version? Thank you in advance for your response.

  89. Laura,

    I humbly stand in awe of your gift to write; modestly revealing your own heart as you convey messages that sinks deep into the reader’s soul. Horses are God’s gift ito teach us about trust, compassion, endurance and freedom. Your wisdom, knowledge and obvious passion for horses breathed life into a little horse that allowed a world under hardship to believe we can overcome oppression. Thank you for brillantly revealing that endurance is possible even when hate tries destroy if you. You entered Louie’s life at a time he needed to be reminded what it was like to be in the companship of his now deceased commrads. You brilliantly wrote his story to be more than an award winning book. You gave the reader purpose in reading this book to know that hope, redemption and survival are more than possible if we choose to live and live well no matter the obsticals that stand in our way.

    Thank you, Laura, for revealing we are truly “unbroken” through blind faith, resilance, positive attitudes, and forgiveness.

  90. Ironically, perhaps, I finished Unbroken on the flight on my way to Washington D.C. to attend the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony to honor the First Special Service Force (a/k/a The Black Devils). Like Louie and many other WWII vets, my father-in-law, a member of the Black Devils, never spoke about the war. His (our) story is here. Just thought I’d share.

  91. I am a 57 year old nondescript American male. I have read over 50 books concerning World War II and still feel as if I know very little about it. That being said, this was one of the greatest books and most inspirational stories I’ve ever read. Captain Zamperini was not that much unlike my father, one of the millions of men who served our country during the war, then came home and gave my generation the greatest chance for prosperity in the history of the world. Let us not forget or squander what hundreds of thousands died for and millions sacrificed their youth for so that we could live free from foreign tyranny. Thank you Ms. Hillenbrand for this marvelous work. I make no overstatement when I say that this book has changed my life. I wish and pray for your health and long life.

  92. I would like to say this is one of the best books i have ever read in my life. I know you might say well then you haven’t read a lot of books. Well i am doing a project for my class and i was hoping you could email me back thx

  93. Dear Laura,

    I hope your health is much improved.

    I have just finished reading Unbroken and must congratulate you. Splendid! I am a new writer having just completed my first novel, The Airshipmen, a love story, about the men who flew the great Zeppelins in the 1920’s, much of it based on a true story. I wondered if you could help me.

    The book has been read by a journalist, the former director of Creative Writing at Miami University and an English teacher. The comments ranged from “terrific”, “a smashing success” and “I didn’t want this book to end.”

    I wondered if you would read it and advise me. I know you are terribly busy, but I don’t think it would be a waste of your time.

    Once again, sincere congratulations.

    I hope you find time to drop me a line.

    Kind regards,

    David Dennington

  94. I just finished Unbroken including all information at the end of the book. If this had been a work of fiction people would have said it was unbelievable. A truly amazing and inspirational story. Thank you for bringing Louie’s story to the world. I wish you good health and look forward to your next subject. Valerie

  95. Laura W Hillenbrabd
    3534 W PL NW
    Washington DC 2007

    Dear Laura,

    First let me congratulate you on your very successful career in journalism. Very impressive. Unfortunately, my recent attempt to read “Unbroken” has aroused my ire leading me to share some thoughts about the book.

    By way of introduction I was a WWII B-24 Pilot, Mighty Eighth Air Force, 446th Bomb Group, stationed at Bungy, East Anglica. 21 missions over Nazi Germany, 1000 hours of B-24 flying, some of it as a Lead Crew Pilot. Flew a plane home after the war. My war experience was void of any dire threatening experiences. Never lost an engine. Never got shot down. Never ditched. One crewman was slightly injured by flak. All of my crew returned to Boston after the war in good shape . I’m proud of that and believe in addition to good luck, some small part was due to me being a good pilot. I flew combat from late 1944 to the end of the War. Returned to Boston in June 1945.

    Firstly, I take umbrage with all the B-24 bad mouthing you write about. I’ve heard it all for years, most of it by people who have never flown in a B-24. Maybe I’m biased. The B-24 is the only operational aircraft I’ve ever flown. I thought it a pretty good airplane and disagree heartily with almost everything you wrote about it. It was somewhat hard on the controls but you learned to stay on top of that problem by keeping the trim always current. Later models had servo mechanisms which completely eliminated this problem. Steering while taxiing was a non problem. Compared with B-17s the Libs flew faster, further, higher and with a larger bomb load than B-17s. The cockpit was not crowded. They were reasonably aerodynamic. The 8th Air Force was made up of three division. Div 1 & 3 were B-17s. The 2nd AD was B-24’s. Most of the guys I knew from college who ended up flying heavy Bombers were in B-24s. 8th Air Force missions involved long hours, 10 to 12 , of formation flying at high altitude, 30,000 ft., on oxygen. Fatigue from handling the controls was not much of a factor. Your guys on search missions over the Pacific were probably flying under 10,000ft. On auto pilot. I was never aware of any of the guys I flew with complaining about the B-24 in the way you picture it.

    The events leading up to the Unbroken crew ditching is so full of pilot error I hardly know where to start. First, the pilot agreed to fly an unairworthy aircraft, one which had been relegated to the spare parts department and had some unexplained, serious fault of flying tail down which greatly reduced air speed and increase fuel consumption. I have no idea what the cause of this might be. Very strange but certainly not a plane I would fly on a long over water search flight.

    Next, the pilot and co-pilot decide to trade seats so the co-pilot could have some flying time from the left seat. I’ve never heard of anyone doing this. Why? The co-pilot is skilled at flying the plane from the right seat. On a search mission they would probably fly all the way on auto pilot. There just seems to be no point in this. My co-pilot had a lot of practice flying formation and landing from the right seat. In case something happened to me I wanted a good pilot to get me home. He was very good.

    Next they lose an engine and call on the flight engineer to feather the lost engine and eventually the wrong engine gets feathered and they are in big trouble and have to ditch. Huge pilot error. Why? Why call on the flight engineer to feather? This is a pilot/co-pilot responsibility. The flight engineer has no cockpit duties or training to prepare him for one of the most critical cockpit emergencies conceivable.

    I have difficulty understanding how a cockpit crew with a lot of experience behind them could screw up so badly on this fateful mission.

    George Wallis, 105 Clark Ave., Billings, MT 59101

    George Wallis
    Billings, MT

  96. Found your book really interesting. So much i did not know about that part of WWII. I was reading about your illness which my brother in law also has and i wondered what your new medicine was? Thanks for any info you can share. God bless you.

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  99. Laura – I just finished reading “Unbroken”, and I need to thank you for researching and writing this story. The story itself is amazing, but the way you reaearched, wrote, and presented it is equally amazing. Thank you!

  100. Hello Laura. I just finished reading Unbroken for the 2nd time. The supplementary material in the back led me to your 2003 New Yorker article (A Sudden Illness). The description of your illness sounds very much like Lyme disease, which I have studied for the past 20 years. I was wondering if you had ever been thoroughly evaluated for Lyme (keeping in mind the problems with current testing). I have battled this illness for 5 years, and I am still learning how to live with this chronic illness. Best wishes!

  101. Laura, I recently finished Unbroken and I just wanted to thank you for your excellent treatment of the life of Louis Zamperini. Your research is impeccable and your storytelling masterful. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to the movie.

  102. Bravo!

  103. Laura, I wish you well. I enjoyed my 7 hours of reading your book. The stamina to live, amazing, I would have given up and died. Which brings me to my question, In Victor Franco’s book (the meaning of life ?)he kind of states that the people who had something to live for out side of themselves survived while those who didn’t died more often than not. Did Louis have “something to live for”? Thanks for your time.
    Fondest regards

    Bud Fisher

  104. Really loved the book. My father is a WW11 vet! After I read this astonishing book I found out that Laura graduated from Kenyon College and I just so happen to be a cook there!

  105. The reviews were right. I received UNBROKEN as a Christmas gift and started reading it yesterday. Found it difficult to put it down. A GREAT book! It touched me in a special way because I too, lived on Gramercy Avenue in Torrance…two blocks north of the Zamperini home…and was blissfuly unaware of the history just down the street. For four years I worked in downtown Torrance and took my flying lessons at Torrance Municipal Airport aka Zamperini Field, earning my Private Pilot License there in 1983. Thank you, Laura, for enriching my life with your work.

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  107. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand,
    I have written several biographies of Canadians(I am a Canadian)who have endured trials and tribulations in their life’s experiences. It was because of this that I wanted to read your story on the life of Louis Zamperini.
    I was overwhelmed by your superb research and thrilling style of writing ( I felt I was in the raft with the three POW’s fighting the sharks). I had never heard of Mr. Zamperini before reading your book. You truly have brought his life- ‘to life’ for me. I particularly enjoyed what turned his life around, his faith in Christ. At age 21 I too became a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and it changed my life as well.
    Again many thanks for an outstanding piece of work. I trust your health will improve. May the Lord bless you.
    Bob Cretney

  108. Hi
    Mi name is Juan Carlos Vargas, I am a mexican journalist for the Excélsior Daily and i wish talk with Laura Hillenbrand about Loui Samperini. Is it possible by phone or e-mail?

    jc vargas

  109. I am a retired Unitarian Universalist minister (served Cedar Lane UU Church in Bethesda 1986-1998). While on sabbatical in 1991, I collapsed with what was eventually diagnosed as CFS. It has been a twenty year struggle. I retired formally in 2012, but only worked part time in the intervening years. I have admired your work, appreciated your publicity about CFS and wanted to inform you of powerful and unusual techniques that have helped me
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  110. In 1944, my father was the pilot of a Mitchell B-25 attack bomber. He flew 50 missions in the South Pacific. He was 20 years old – the oldest of 5 children whose father died when he was 9 years old, during the Great Depression. He never said much about his service – he just came home and got on with his life. Between the book and the movie, I have a better understanding of what he never talked about. Thank you Laura and Angelina.

  111. Having just finished reading Unbroken, hardback edition, I will share that it has impacted me as few books have. The emotions and tears I experienced as the story came alive through Laura Hillenbrand’s writing is hard to explain. I even dreamed of it. Through Louie’s life I experienced and learn intimately the unimaginable of the Pacific POW’s experience. THANK YOU Laura for persevering through your illness to give us such a gift as this book Unbroken!

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  113. Dear Laura:

    I just finished unbroken and I also saw the movie. The fact that The Bird hid for seven years is no excuse. Personaly, after reading your book I wanted to go and kill him myself. Not just for what he did to louie but to all the allied pows. He still should have been tried, convicted tortured for as long as he tortured pows than hung. I don’t know if the movie going public could handle the book. I felt a rage inside of me for this guy.
    Im 56 but my interest was always in ww2, particulary aviation. Those guys being 19-21 flying b-17 etc without instrument approaches and gps always amazed me. I fly so I can appreciate what they did as pilots.
    Laura, I pray you can overcome your illness. My hope is that this message will find its way to you.



  114. Avid read in my 20s of literature on both World Wars. So it’s been a while since filling up on this subject. Thank you for this book. It is great!

  115. P.S. I am 91 today.

  116. I read Unbroken with great interest because I was a WWII single and twin-engine fighter pilot in the Southwest Pacific. In the interests of accuracy I wish to make the following comments, which should have been noted by the pilots who reviewed your book:
    1. Page 117 Phil & Cupernell had only seconds to save the plane. The #1 engine had stopped and the prop had to be feathered so Cupernell shouts to the engineer to come to the cockpit to feather the engine, but he leans over and misakenly festhers #2 engine, which causes the plane to crash, killing most of the crew. All military pilots of multi-engine aircraft are trained how to shut down an engine and feather the prop before they ever take off. We had to pass a blindfold test and identify every switch and instrument in the plane and know immediately every emergency procedure. It takes literally leass than 5 seconds to shut down an engine and feather a prop. That is the pilot’s responsibility, not the flight engineer’s. Your book indicates the flight engineer was responsible for the crash. I do not believe that is what happened.
    2. On page 97 it says the weight of the stricken pilot on the yoke. All Japanese fighter planes had a stick or joystick, not a yoke. The only american fighter plane with a yoke was the twin-engine P-38 Lightning, which I flew.
    3. On p. 306 it states a torpedo bomber (obviously Navy)flew over the camp. The POWs could make out the pilot standing. Impossible. A pilot of a torpedo bomber canot open the canopy and stand in flight. Then it says the plane was doing loops. If so, it had to have been a fighter-bomber and the pilot was not standing.
    I hope you don’t think I am nit-picking, but any military pilot would notice these discrepancies. Your pilot reviewers should have caught them.
    With best wishes. Dino Cerutti (I am on Facebook and Google.)

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  118. I just finished reading “Unbroken”, this is one the best books I ever read ( and I’m 68 and have read plenty ) Thank you for this book. I hate to admit this but prior to your book I didn’t know Louis Zamperini, now that it’s too late I would have loved just to speak with him. Again thank you for ” Unbroken”.

    Best regards
    Jack Baill

  119. Just finished “Unbroken”, I think this is the absolute best book I ever read ( and I’m 68 and have read a lot ).
    THANK YOU for this book !!!!
    At times it was hard to read , but also hard to put down.

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  121. Just reading the NYT Magazine story on you. I shouldn’t be doing so at work because I cannot stop crying. Your work is so meaningful. Thank you.

  122. Thank you for bringing to the attention of all Americans the suffering these men endured at the hands of the Japanese. They all deserve much more than they ever received from their own country. We owe them this kind of recognition & Thanks! Thank you again Rob Beard proud son of Sm/sgt. Robert L. Beard POW of the Japanese, and 29 year Veteran of the U S Airforce.

  123. Between reading your book and seeing the movie, a great activist has arisen from within. With such a powerful and most upsetting story I feel like we have to do something with this information to stop these atrocities from happening again. Is there anything that you or any of the people involved in the movie are doing to this regard? Is there any direction that you can suggest where I can take my energy to make a change? Thank you for writing such a difficult story so well.

  124. I very much enjoyed unbroken. As I read unbroken I could not help but wonder about Allen Phillips’s story as well. Did your research for this book give you any deeper insight into his story than is revealed in unbroken and if so do you plan to publish his story?

  125. What you said made a bunch of sense. But, consider
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  126. I rarely send fan mail, knowing that what I send is unlikely even to be read and therefore isn’t worth either the time or the electrons. In this instance, I feel compelled to do write. I completed reading Unbroken last night (and will see the movie soon). I whipped through the book, simply because I couldn’t put it down. The story verges on the unbelievable, and the telling of it is equally extraordinary. You have written two of my favorite books of all time. The fact that you did so while suffering from CFS makes your writing any book all the more remarkable. (I am a public health professor at the Univ. of Michigan. I have had two close colleagues who suffered from the disease, so I know that “chronic fatigue” is far from trivial, as you are quoted in the NY Times as worrying it might sound.) I do have one question, on the off chance that you see and respond to this: How much literary license did you take in writing Unbroken? There had to be some. At a minimum, it seems inconceivable that you could know specific dates for specific beatings Louie experienced (for example). I know you say in the acknowledgments section that he possessed an eerie ability to recall details with precision.

    In any case, thank you for a remarkably moving and educational experience. I am so glad that Louie got to see the film before its – and his – release. Coincidentally, my wife and I vacationed with our family in Hawaii over the holidays (taking our grandchildren to a Disney resort on Oahu) and we (the adults) visited Pearl Harbor. Reading your book has given new meaning to what I learned and experienced there. While I had heard about the brutality of the Japanese POW camps, I had no idea of how brutal they were. It is interesting that most of us think (justifiably) about the horror of the German concentration camps without realizing the at least comparable horror of the camps half way around the world.

    You have my deepest gratitude and admiration.

    – Ken Warner

  127. Hi Laura!

    As an aspiring writer myself I want to start by saying how much I like your writing style. Even though I write fiction I love how your books read like stories. I haven’t read Seabiscuit yet but I am tackling Unbroken for the second time and your style is fantastic!

    I also read your essay on your battle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and I must say you have no idea how inspiring your story is. I am affected with a neurological condition that left the left side of my body weaker than my right so I know all about having to adapt to accomplish your dreams too. I have overcome a lot like you and you are one of my role models in an author way as well as personal.

    Onto Unbroken, I just loved it. After seeing the movie I picked up the book again and started to read it again. I tell anyone who will listen about it. It truly is one of the few books I’ve read that changed my life. Although I never met Louie my grandpa met him in Houston when he came to speak there and said he was incredible. I wish I would have met him because he has become an inspiration to me. Whenever I’m having a bad day I think about Louie and I know I can get through anything. Thank you for sharing his story!

    Much love,


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  130. Dear Laura,
    I have just finished your book “Unbroken” and have to say it is one of the sweetest stories I have read in a long time. Louie came to life for me on the pages and I felt I personally knew him. You really did your homework! The story was very well told. My heart breaks for all he survived in WW II and all that many families went through. We lost my Grandfather in WW II when my mother was a baby of 6 months old. He died on a date in January. On this date some 36 years later, my mother finally had a baby boy after having 4 daughters. The pain this family went through touched me I supposed because WW II deeply affected my mother and Grandmother. Thank you for giving me a glimpse into that era while we have vets living that can tell the story firsthand. What a gift! May God bless you!

  131. The movie was much like, ” The Railwayman”, but….it did not come together as convincingly…It was okay…

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  133. I have just finished your book. I felt the need to tell you how much I enjoyed it. I didn’t have much background information about WWII prior to reading it. I was astonished to learn the things I did. Your book was also very powerful in another way. My husband’s grandfather served in WWII. He recently passed away, and up until the day he died he harbored an intense hatred of Japanese people. It never made sense to me. Now it does. Grandpa never talked much about the war other than to tell us how much he hated “the Japs”. Thank you for providing insight into his life. I am truly grateful.

  134. Hi Laura….First of all let me simply say your book moved me in a way no other has done…I read approx. 40 books a year and yours would be top 2 of my all time list..
    The level of detail describing what our veterans suffered for our freedom is overwhelming to say the least….
    Lastly your written abilities are seldom seen in today books…In reading the book I can almost feel your own personal suffering coming through the pages helping you better describe what Louis Zamperini experience…First time I have ever written a post however your book moved to thank you and those men of service that have given us our freedom…
    Hope you are feeling better…
    Thank you again

  135. Our Christian Book Club devoured Unbnroken. We had a lively discussion about many
    things concerning Louie’s incredible life. What a testimony to perseverance, endurance,
    and forgiveness.

    We have already read Seabiscuit and enjoyed it as well. You are a gifted writer.

  136. Dear Laura,

    Unbroken is a fabulous book, one of the best I have ever read, and you are to be congratulated on this great achievement. However, I just saw the movie, and it is a disappointment, especially the ending. It doesn’t begin to do justice to your book. I think Angelina should retire from directing, and stick to acting.

  137. Having recently seen the movie Unbroken, I just want to tell the author Lauren Hillenbrand how sorry I am for the way the film told the story of Louie. I absolutely loved her book and how she told the well-researched story of his life. What she did and the movie did not was to tell about him before the War and definitely how it affected his life after the War.

    I realize the War had a huge impact on his life but it would have been very nice for people who had not read the book to find out what happened once he came home. The way he lived his life took real courage and Lauren presented that story so well.

    I would categorize the movie as a War film and the book was so much more.

    Thank you. Looking forward to anything Lauren writes in the future.

  138. I plan to get the book and see the movie what mrs hillendbrand may not realize the impact she could have on the pursuing of a cure for CDs. For the rest of us who suffer with the illness it is very frustrating when so little progress is made on finding a cure and we all wish we were famous so we could help speed up the cure. Also other sufferers are curious as to what you are doing to be able to do even as much as you do. It feels like you have just rolled over and accepted CFCs without trying to find a cure. I’m not feeling the empathy for fellow sufferers who have not given up on a cure. We feel like doctors have given up also. With your success you could be a voice for finding a cure for this torturing disease!

  139. I have read your books and interviews overthw years. I thorougly enjoy anything you write and relate to your physical struggles. I was diagnosed over ten years ago with CFS. I suspect you have investigated many recommended therPies; haven’t we all? I recently developed vertigo and wonder if it is related to CFS. Have you tried some of the therapies covered online–exercises to relieve vertigo. Again, I imagined you have known about them. I wish you well in your struggles to find something which will help you live in the larger world!!

  140. After I read Seabiscuit I told my wife that the first thing I’m going to do when I get to heaven is ride Seabiscuit. Now that will be the second thing I do, right after I talk to Louie. Well done.

  141. Hi Laura, before I make my statement; you mentioned on a recent video interview that you were working on another project that was the Biggest story at the time when it occurred, but shortly became old news, obscured and forgotten. *Would that possibly be the riots in Tulsa, Oklahoma 5/31 – 6/1 1921 where over 1,000 homes and other buildings in the African American neighborhood of Greenwood were destroyed by raging whites, 300 to 500 African Americans were killed? Now my comment on “Unbroken” I, and several members of my family owe you and Louis Zamperini a HUGE debt of gratitude!. I am 65 and my eyes misted over many times as I read about the tremendous abuse Louis suffered at the hands of his Japanese captors. The book gave me an entirely new perspective of the privations and brutality perpetrated on our men and women in uniform. I learned so much, i.e. many, many more American pilot and crew lives were lost during training in the States than in combat. It showed how desperately America pulled together to meet the very real possibility of annihilaltion by a foreign power(s). Army Air Corpsmen and the companies who built the planes did not have the luxury of time to thoroughly train and test air crews and their fighters, bombers, rescue planes etc. Our culture in society today really has no idea what “Tough Times” are and I put myself at the top of that list. I know that MANY lives will be changed for the better because of your diligence in researching and writing the book and Louis Zamperini’s everyday heroism in facing dire circumstances where he was at the COMPLETE mercy of savage soldiers who demonstrated a disdain for human life on an incredibly large scale that I hope and pray will never be experienced by the World again. Terrorism has a good shot at it, but I am hoping that due to your amazing book, we Americans will take the necessary steps within our Military, Legislative and Excutive Powers (and the voting booth)to make sure “Never Again” Thank you again Laura for showing in such detail the Best Side of Americans in real danger. I will never forget you or Louis Zamperini. Most sincerely, John C. Boyer Phoenix, AZ. Sgt. USAF 1967 to 1971. *If that is right, out of possibly thousands of stories, I swear myself to secrecy.

  142. i have read many books in my life, but have never felt the need to comment to the author. I was so involved with the story I felt I knew Louie. The research was obviously intense, the story fascinating, while being horrifying at the same time. I was so relieved by the happy ending.
    Thank you for a wonderful experience. This should encourage us all to be strong, persevere, and overcome. Nothing will likely happen to most of us anywhere near Louie’s experience, but he set the example.
    Wonderful book!
    Thank you.

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  144. Dear Laura,

    I recently went to “Unbroken” and will admit that as I sat in the truck following the film, I broke down in tears. I had never been touched by a film like that before. Finishing your book minutes ago, I feel the filmmakers barely scratched the surface regarding the atrocities our POWs suffered in the Pacific.
    My uncle, Orin Clel McCreedy, a Water Tender 2nd Class was captured following the fall of Corregidor on May 7th, 1942. The minesweeper he was aboard was sunk by shore fire from the Bataan peninsula on May 4th.
    Corregidor POWs traveled to Manila on boats and then on trains to Cabanatuan POW Camp, north of Manila. After spending about five months there, Clel along with approximately 1600 POWs, boarded an old Japanese freighter in Manila named Tottori Maru and proceeded to sail for Japan by way of Formosa and Pusan, Korea. Some were bound for the infamous Mukden POW Camp in Mukden, Manchuria and some were heading to Japan. Later known as “Hell ships”, these unmarked freighters carried thousands of POWs to forced labor “POW” camps, all over the territory that Japan controlled. On November 8, 1942 the Tottori Maru docked at Pusan, Korea and approximately 1200 of the POWs disembarked. They, along with some British and Canadians were then transported, by train to the POW Camp at Mukden, Manchuria. Orin Clel McCreedy died December 6th, 1942 in Pusan, or Keijo (now Seoul) POW Camp Korea enroute to Mukden POW Camp, Manchuria. The cause of death is listed as dysentery, beriberi and an intestinal obstruction. His remains were returned to the United States in 1948 or 1949 and were escorted to Missoula, MT by my Father.
    As graphic as the book is, one still cannot comprehend the unbelievable manner in which these members of the Greatest Generation were treated. We Boomers, our children and their children’s children should never forget their sacrifices.
    Thank you for taking the time and effort to thoroughly research and write this important story.

    F. Frye

  145. Dear Laura,

    I recently went to “Unbroken” and will admit that as I sat in the truck following the film, I broke down in tears. I had never been touched by a film like that before. Finishing your book minutes ago, I feel the filmmakers barely scratched the surface regarding the atrocities our POWs suffered in the Pacific.
    My uncle, Orin Clel McCreedy, a Water Tender 2nd Class was captured following the fall of Corregidor on May 7th, 1942. The minesweeper he was aboard was sunk by shore fire from the Bataan peninsula on May 4th.
    Corregidor POWs traveled to Manila on boats and then on trains to Cabanatuan POW Camp, north of Manila. After spending about five months there, Clel along with approximately 1600 POWs, boarded an old Japanese freighter in Manila named Tottori Maru and proceeded to sail for Japan by way of Formosa and Pusan, Korea. Some were bound for the infamous Mukden POW Camp in Mukden, Manchuria and some were heading to Japan. Later known as “Hell ships”, these unmarked freighters carried thousands of POWs to forced labor “POW” camps, all over the territory that Japan controlled. On November 8, 1942 the Tottori Maru docked at Pusan, Korea and approximately 1200 of the POWs disembarked. They, along with some British and Canadians were then transported, by train to the POW Camp at Mukden, Manchuria. Orin Clel McCreedy died December 6th, 1942 in Pusan, or Keijo (now Seoul) POW Camp Korea enroute to Mukden POW Camp, Manchuria. The cause of death is listed as dysentery, beriberi and an intestinal obstruction. His remains were returned to the United States in 1948 or 1949 and were escorted to Missoula, MT by my Father.
    As graphic as the book is, one still cannot comprehend the unbelievable manner in which these members of the Greatest Generation were treated. We Boomers, our children and their children’s children should never forget their sacrifices.

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to thoroughly research and write this important story.

    F. Frye

  146. Dear Luara,

    I’m emailing you to say thanks for for bringing Louie zamperinis story public and writing a book about it. Because of you I know who he is. I’m a runner so when I read your book it meant more to me then I think it will ever to most people. Louie is and always will be my hero. I can safely say I think about him once a day. Ide like to talk to you more about everything. Please email me back.



  147. Dear Laura,

    I just finished reading Unbroken. I am not a big reader of novels, but because I love Billy Graham and all he stands for, knew the movie was coming out. I wanted to read your book prior to seeing it.

    I absolutely could not put the book down and am so grateful to you for putting the endless hours of research in to getting the story right and telling ALL of it, not just the Hollywood version.

    I already know that the movie does not do justice to Louie’s life as to what so profoundly took place in it after he became a Christian as a result of attending the 1949 Billy Graham Crusade in Los Angeles.

    However, your book explained that miracle it in detail and so many readers are profoundly grateful to you for including it. In fact, I have a feeling that just as you wrote on page 397 what Louie’s last line in his letter to The Bird said, “hope that you would also become a Christian”, others may BECAUSE you do not leave the MOST IMPORTANT part of his life out of your book.

    Thank You and God Bless You,

    PS If your readers do not already know, there is a DVD based on Louie Zamperini’s entire life called Capture by Grace. It can ordered online at http://www.Billy or by calling 1-877-247-2426

  148. Dear Mrs. Hillenbrand,
    The first I heard of your book ‘Unbroken’ is when I saw a movie trailer for it. At the time, I thought the movie looked interesting, so when I found out it was a book, I was extremely curious about what it was like. (I believe that you should read the book before the movie.) After Christmas, I went right to Barnes & Noble (where I spend most of my money anyway) and bought ‘Unbroken.’ It’s been two weeks and I just now finished the book. I literally closed the book and just stared at the wall for a moment. I can’t even describe how that book made me feel. Let me be the first to say that I am NOT an emotional person, but your book had me in tears several times.
    Just last year I learned about WWII, but we focused more on Hitler’s/Nazi concentration camps, so I didn’t know much about POW camps. I’m glad I’ve read your book because it opened my eyes to how much our own citizens and allies went through back then. I hope to see the movie based off your book this weekend. I also learned while reading this that you have chronic fatigue syndrome, and I cannot imagine how hard it was for you to write this book, but let me assure you that you did a fantastic job!
    Overall, I loved your book! It was so beautifully written and captivating. I hope others will read ‘Unbroken’ too. Thank you for writing such a wonderful story.
    P.S. I’m also extremely upset that Louis Zamperini passed away last summer. I hope that he is happy up there with our Creator.

  149. Hello, Laura. I’ve just finished ‘Unbroken’ and found it an incredible book that not only was captivating beyond my expectation, it has changed me and the way I view World War II. I was one of those people who only had a sketchy sense of what happened in the pacific and your book was very enlightening. I greatly appreciate the amount of time and research you put into this book. As a writer myself, I know how much work that is, and how tedious it is to pour over hours of reading for one little useful bit of information. I cannot imagine having to do it with the physical restrictions you had to endure during its completion. It was well worth the effort. You have penned a classic, which will change many readers, just as it has changed me. Well done, and thank you.
    Don Stephens (Author DB Stephens)

  150. Dear Laura.

    Thank you for this book. Unbroken is a story that I think needs to be told and retold so we know history. A couple of books I appreciate came to mind as I read Unbroken and I wonder if you have come across them. One is, ‘The Short Life of Sophie Scholl’, by Hermann Vinke and the other, ‘To End All Wars’, by Ernest Gordon. The quote from Iris Chang reminded me of Nanking and how her work is helpful in understanding how we have got to the present. When the ‘Crusades’ and ‘The Inquisition’ are mentioned I think of Rodney Stark and his work on presenting those events accurately.

    All that is good. David Clark.

  151. I felt a compelling need to write and offer my condolences on the atrocious job done to your beautiful novel in the movie version. every important issue you addressed was apparently thought inconsequential and scenes done better in The Life of Pi and john Wayne’s war movies were agonizingly presented, while redemption and forgiveness were given a “p. s.” at the end of the movie – I am so sorry and can only hope that those who see the film will get the book and then understand the significance of your message.
    thank you for sharing your gift.
    joan duggan

  152. Dear Laura, My husband and I have just finished reading Unbroken, and I am compelled to say thank you for your work. As an author, I know how much it means to have a reader give a thumbs up, and although I am sure you have had an overabundance of them, I feel honored to be among them. I cannot remember when I’ve read every word of a novel, and then continued through the acknowledgments so that I would not miss one word. Bless you and your work! Sincerely, Sandra Lund (and Tom – my husband could not stop saying how well written the book was, and so I picked it up when he was through).

  153. I tried to send my comments to BOTH the Email address at the back of the book. I’ve been unsuccessful. My I have an operating Email or mail address. Thank you.

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  155. I simply couldn’t tear myself away from Unbroken. Thank you for compiling this unbelievable story into such an enjoyable and touching book.

  156. Seabiscuit was a great book, have read it several times now. Plan on getting Unbroken. I really appreciate the way you develop the story and each character. How about a book on Dan Patch, famous 1900′s harness race horse? Just saw the movie(1949) on free TV. Reading about the horse on the web, it appears to have some of the same popular at the time notoriety and following of Seabiscuit. That long ago, the story information research path could be kind of grown over, though.

  157. I do not know if it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing
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    Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too?
    This might be a problem with my web browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
    Thank you

  158. @Marcin,
    If everything goes as planned, I will be sending Part 10 of this series (which covers the topics you mention) next Wednesday at around 9 pm UTC -03:00. Hope that will give you enough time to review it in preparation for your exam. Please stay tuned, and kindly take a couple of minutes after your exam with your feedback as to whether these tutorials were relevant in your preparation. That will be most appreciated.

  159. This is the best life story I have ever a
    Learned about. Thank you for sharing this with us. And thank you to all that has served and had to suffer so that we do not.

  160. Looking forward to many more reads – will use Unbroken for next book club selection.

  161. Ms. Hillenbrand,
    We are high school students from Houston and were deeply affected by your book “Unbroken”. It inspired us in many ways since we both run cross country and track. Louis’ amazing talent and ability is so motivating and his perseverance throughout his life reveals so much about human will power. Louis’ story was truly awe-inspiring, but YOU were the one who who brought his story to life and shared it with the world. We want to thank you so much for relating his remarkable experiences with us and inspiring our lives.
    You are truly amazing and we love you.
    Ellie and Julia, your biggest fans
    P.S. Ellie is reading Seabiscuit and she loves it.

  162. Thank-you Laura for writing such a profoundly riveting book as UNBROKEN. I have just finished reading the story of Louis Zamperini. Up until the point where Louis is beleaguered by the emotional scars of his war experience and looks like his marriage is about to dissolve, I wondered if the story would end positively. His encounter with the Billy Graham ministry and the possibility of forgiving your enemies and of a life change from within, it is like Louis begins his life again. Thank-you for your courage in telling the story truthfully and for giving us the profound hope that no person who has experienced post-traumatic stress disorder needs to live in the hopeless nightmares and flashbacks of war experiences. There is hope and our war vets need to hear the story of hope and redemption, forgiveness and new life!
    Peter Ivay

  163. Hello Laura,

    Your book Unbroken touch me so deeply. The only other book I have been able to read concerning the Pacific veterans and POWs has been Ghost Soldiers. I am the niece of a Wake POW survivor. His story was much like that of Louis that at times I had to put it down as I did reading Ghost Soldiers due to emotions personally effecting me. My uncle was invited to return to Wake which he made as far as Hawaii with his elder son, only to tell him that he could not make that final flight to Wake. So his son flew there with the other men in his place. My Uncle raise a wonderful family and those of his extended family with many issues like those men who returned after the war from their POW experiences at the hands of Japanize. Your book was one that touched me personally due to my uncle and how he shared his life with us. Thanks so much for telling this story and sharing it with the world. My Uncle’s name was Hoyle Chew USMC (ret.)

  164. Hello Laura

    I enjoyed both Seabiscuit and Unbroken! Looking forward to you next book.

    I saw your recent interview on Fox. I wanted to share that as a person with uncontrolled epilepsy, I identify with strong will of the characters in both stories!

    Great job!

    Dan Dougherty
    Epilepsy Advocate

  165. I would like for Ms. Hillenbrand to assist me with writing my person story. I am international, American interior designer, who was working in the Middle East when I was scammed on the internet by a romance scammer. I lost my entire savings for the love of a lie. I am back in the states, unemployed and broke. The biggest global problem is NOT Ebola, health epidemics, nor global warming, nor wars and terrorist. It is internet scammers.
    Please assist me.

  166. We found Seabiscuit a few years agoand bought the video tape. We then bought the book, and also gifted it to our nephew and lent our copy to others. What an inspiration this was. What an inspiration you are!
    Your writing about endurance and being an outsider (even though you live so much inside), speak about your fierce commitment and courage to your writing, your thoroughly amazing research, and the glorious storytelling you have developed. Now I am romping through Unbroken while on holiday. It is SO compelling. We have just realised that the movie is now on our horizon here in New Zealand. How amazing is that. While we appreciate the enormous pain and unimaginable suffering Louie and is mates went through, you so beautifully honour him, and in writing this story over 10 years, you show an equal measure to your own spirit.
    We are so pleased and proud you have Flanagan alongside you..
    Kindra and Liz
    New Zealand

  167. It is my desire to pass along to Ms. Hellenbrand my most sincere thanks and appreciation for her excellent work in the writing of Unbroken. I first read the book several years ago, and have purchased dozens of copies to give to friends and loved ones.

    Having grown up in the Los Angeles area in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, I am very aware of the exploits of Louie Zamperini, and was familiar with his story and influence in the community, and throughout the country.

    Having read Laura Hillenbrand’s account of Louie’s life story, I was most anxious to see the film, and especially to see the most significant aspect of his life that made “forgiveness” and “release” from Louie’s many addictions possible, including the restoration of a failing marriage.

    However, I was disappointed that that segment of Louie’s life didn’t make it to the screen. Although I understand there are only so many “details” that can be sandwiched into a theatrical presentation, that detail is what made Louie’s life relevant. Hopefully, people who see the film will be motivated to find out “the rest of the story”, and purchase a copy of Laura’s book.

    In the meantime, it occurred to me that Ms. Hillenbrand may have another opportunity to consider an equally impressive and remarkable story of the life of Bruce Olson.

    In order to provide a brief, and yet succinct bio of Mr. Olson’s story, I have added a some “highlights” of his life. However, the most compelling narrative would be to read his own personal biography entitled, Bruchko.

    For years I have been convinced that a well written book of Bruce Olson’s life would make a great reading experience, but also a great movie experience. It has intrigue … drama … romance … action … and is socially redeeming.

    Just thought I would pass along my appreciation, and encourage Ms. Hillenbrand to consider such a project.

    Carl R. Johnson

    Brief Bio of Bruce Olson:

    Bruce Olson (b. November 10, 1941) is a Scandinavian American Christian missionary who is best known for his pioneering work in bringing Christianity to the Motilone Indians of Colombia and Venezuela. His story is told in his autobiographies Bruchko and Bruchko and the Motilone Miracle.

    Early life
    Bruce Olson was born in 1941 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the younger of two sons of Marcus and Inga Olson. His father was an investment banker, and his mother was a socialite. Gifted in languages, at an early age Olson learned Greek and Latin. When Olson was 14 years old, he experienced Christian conversion, the experience of being born again, while reading the New Testament. He had seen God as a stern, judgmental figure, and became very critical of Lutheran churches. Then in Luke 19:10, Olson encountered another depiction of God: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Olson had known that he was lost – separated from God by his sins. But here he discovered that God wanted to find him. That night, Bruce Olson spoke to Jesus, and asked Jesus to satisfy him with the same peace and fulfillment that he had read about in the lives of Jesus’ apostles. He asked Jesus to help him be a person who pleases God. From that moment on, Olson’s life was changed.
    At the age of 16, Olson attended his first missionary conference, at the church he began to attend after his conversion. The missionary speaker, a Mr. Rayburn, spoke of his work with the people of New Guinea. Rayburn challenged the congregation to realize that people around the world were starving and dying, separated from Jesus by their sins. Rayburn challenged them to not only put money in the collection plate to help these people, but to go themselves. At that moment, Olson knew that God wanted him to become a missionary to the Indians of South America.
    In the fall of 1959, Olson enrolled in Penn State, transferring to the University of Minnesota a year later to study linguistics. In the meantime, Olson applied to several missions boards, but was rejected as a missionary candidate. But in early 1961, at the age of 19, and over the objections of his parents, Olson left college, bought a plane ticket to Venezuela. At the time, he spoke no Spanish, and had only a few dollars in his hand.

    Shortly after arriving in Venezuela, Olson heard about the Motilones, a violent stone-age tribe living on the borders of Venezuela and Colombia that had been in the news because of violent clashes with oil company employees, seeking to drill on their land. No one in the outside world knew anything about Motilone culture, their language or their life. Olson felt a strong pull towards making contact with the Motilones.

    Work with the Barí
    Until the 1960s, the Motilone had little contact with the outside world. They believed in the existence of a single God, and that evil spirits existed in the world. But they believed that God had rejected them for deceiving Him. A man named Sacamaydodji had come to them, claiming to be a prophet, saying that he could take them over the horizon to a better land. They left God and followed him, but eventually came to believe that Sacamaydodji had been a false prophet, and regretted walking away from God. Still, they had a prophecy that a tall man with yellow hair would come with a banana stalk, and that God would come out of the banana stalk.
    With much difficulty, and after being shot with Motilone arrows, Olson began to live with the Motilone in 1962, learning their language and culture. For one thing, he discovered that the name “Motilone” was a Spanish name for the tribe, meaning “people of short hair.” The Motilone call themselves “Barí,” which means “people” in their tongue. As he grew more and more familiar with the tribe,Olsen got the nickname Bruchko given to him by the Motilone. He began to see ways he could help them. The Barí were subject to the ravages of diseases, to shortages in food supply during the rainy season, and to contacts with the outside world that threatened to destroy the Barí and their way of life. Olson began his work by befriending the tribe’s medicine woman. Olson realized that for him to bring cures to the people would undermine the traditional authority structure in their culture. During an epidemic of pink eye, he watched the medicine woman chanting over the afflicted, asking God to heal them. Olson asked her about the cure, and she sighed, saying that she chanted, but God would not help them, since they had deceived God. Olson went out of the house, and asked an old man afflicted with pink eye if he could touch the corners of his eyes. The old man agreed, and Olson smeared some of the old man’s infected tears into his own eyes. Olson quickly developed pink eye himself, and went to the medicine woman for help. She chanted over him, but the pink eye was not cured.
    Olson gave her some antibiotic ointment, and asked her to apply the ointment to his eyes while she chanted a new chant – perhaps because he was an outsider, the old chant didn’t work on him. Within a few days, the pink eye had cleared up. The medicine woman tried the new chant on others of the afflicted, with no results. Then she asked Olson for his “potion,” and sure enough, when she applied the antibiotic and the chant, the pink eye was eradicated. Her success elevated her status in the eyes of the tribe, and cemented Olson’s bond with her.
    Within the tribe, Olson formed a pact with a young man named Bobarishora, becoming adoptive brothers together. The two worked together, visiting many Barí villages, and helping the medicine men and women establish health centers, following the same strategy of introducing change through the village’s existing authority structure rather than undermining it.
    Initially, some of the Barí had wondered if Olson might be the tall man with yellow hair from the prophecy, but as he did not carry a banana stalk, they soon abandoned that belief. One day in 1965, Olson’s pact-brother Bobarishora cut open a banana stalk, and the leaves inside splayed out, like the pages of a book. Olson pointed to his Bible and said, “This is God’s banana stalk!” Olson recounted a Barí legend he had learned, about a Barí man wanting to help a group of ants build a good home, but because he was so big and different, the ants scattered in fear. Miraculously, the man was transformed into an ant, and as an ant, he was able to show the other ants how to improve their home. Olson used that story to describe how God became incarnate in Jesus, and “walked our trail.” Olson described the death of Jesus, and his resurrection, and told the Barí that the Bible tells the story of Jesus.
    Many nights later, Bobarishora asked Olson how he could walk on Jesus’ trail. Olson had difficulty explaining “faith” in the Barí language. Olson reminded Bobarishora of one of his first celebrations with the tribe, when he was afraid to climb into one of the high-strung hammocks loved by the Barí, to swing free and sing songs with the tribe. He had wanted to keep one foot on the ground, but Bobarishora had told him that he could only sing if he was fully suspended in the hammock. Olson said, “That is how it is when you follow Jesus, Bobby (Bobarishora). No man can tell you how to walk His trail. Only Jesus can. But to find out you have to tie your hammock strings into Him and be suspended in God.” Two days later, Bobarishora told Olson, “Bruchko, I’ve tied my hammock strings into Jesus. Now I speak a new language.” For the Barí, “language” is equivalent to life. Bobarishora spoke of having a new life, suspended in Jesus.
    Months later, at the tribe’s Festival of the Arrows, a time of pact-making and story-telling, Bobarishora was challenged to a singing competition by an older chief named Adjibacbayra. Climbing into a single hammock, the two men sang alternating lines, and Bobarishora sang about how the Barí had been deceived by Sacamaydodji, but that Jesus had walked the Barí’s trail to lead them back to God. The song lasted over ten hours, but the effect was startling. The entire tribe accepted the song about Jesus. Soon, the song had spread to other Barí villages, at other Festival of Arrows. Within months, virtually the entire Barí people had accepted a contextualized version of Christianity.
    Current estimates are that 70% of the Barí people are now Christians.
    As Olson’s work with the Barí grew, he helped them establish a written language, schools, community health centers, and even to work with the Colombian government to protect Barí lands. As Barí young people began to be fluent in both Barí and in Spanish, they studied to become doctors, lawyers, and other professionals, but brought their expertise back to the tribe, using it from within their culture.

    Bruce Olson is a linguist and graduate of sociology from a South American university. He speaks fifteen languages. His findings have appeared in prestigious linguistic journals. He has pioneered in computer translation of tribal languages.

    As a close personal friend of the four presidents of Colombia, he has appeared before the United Nations and the Organization of American States and received many honors for his contributions to the medical and social well-being of South American Indians. His first book, Bruchko, has sold more than 300,000 copies worldwide. He lives in the jungle on the border of Colombia and Venezuela.

  168. Just finished reading “Unbroken”. In some places I laughed, in others I cried. Only one word sums it up. WONDERFUL.

  169. I enjoy, lead to I discovered exactly what I was having a look for.
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  170. Thank you, Ms. Hillenbrand, for writing such a poignant book. It’s fantastic on so many levels. In reading your book, I experienced an onslaught of an incredible array of emotions. A precious book!

  171. I have read both books and seen both movies. She is brilliant. How she captured these two stories, as she puts it, slipped through the cracks is amazing. And through the adversity she suffers…wow.

  172. I was excited to discover this page. I wanted to thank you for
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  174. Very well written review and sentiment. I could not have said it better and could not agree more!

  175. I had given up on contemporary writing. I tasted The Da Vinci Code and spat it out after the first bite. I tried Fifty Shades and trashed it in disgust. No matter how promising the premise or glowing a friend’s recommendation, I picked up book after book and they were all dead messes of cliche, lifeless metaphor, and just plain poor writing.

    I went back to my Kipling, convinced that all the writers who knew how to make prose breathe were dead.

    And then enlightenment, of all places, in the local Walmart – a few days after Christmas 2014, I picked up Unbroken, read the preface, and was owned. I devoured the story in great gulps of two and three hours at a time, hiding from household chores and children. Here was writing that bit, breathed and soared, smelled, tasted and gripped. Here was masterful storytelling, and, as though any more was wanted, also superb scholarship.

    The thread of great writing through the ages is not broken, the torch not dropped – there is Laura Hillenbrand.

  176. I got the book Unbroken for Christmas this year! I have just started reading it and can hardly put it down. My dad just passed away this past March and he too was a WWII POW survivor! What a hero he is to me and reading about the incredible story of Zamperini reminds me of the kind of ‘survivor’ fighter spirit my own dad was!


  177. Thanks you…

    My father was a WWII veteran of the Pacific theater, and twice Post Commander of our local American Legion. I used to go with my father when he worked on the monthly newsletter. I still remember the names of those Legion men, from so many years ago. I also called BINGO at the Legion on Thursday nights from age 10 to 13 or so. I always arrived for work very early (a habit I’ve maintained to this day) and would walk the Legion hall, looking at the pictures of the Gold Star Mothers Memorial…the faces of the men who saved the world.

    Many thanks for your fitting and fantastic tribute to the Greatest Generation.

    -Ray / Baltimore MD

  178. Laura,
    I just finished Unbroken and also read about your struggles with illness. I’m writing to let you know that Louie’s story as well as your own have given me a renewed strength and have provided me with inspiration in dealing with a disabling illness. I have a form of dysautonomia that sounds very similar to your illness. I went from having a very active lifestyle to being bedridden for months at a time interspersed with periods of partial but never full recovery. I have lived in this state for years and have been told there is no cure, and it is often challenging to find any hope or joy as the days and years go by. I just want to thank you for giving me some inspiration to not give up. If you can write books while battling your illness and if Louie could keep going while enduring all that he did, then it makes me think that I can keep trying, even it all it means is that I get out of bed on some days and sit in a chair. Thank you most sincerely!

  179. An incredible and inspiring book – I LOVED it. I’m glad there is now a place on the web (this site) where positive feedback can be offered. I read the book in 2011 and could not find a place on the web at that time to express my enthusiasm.

    Thanks Ms. Hillenbrand for writing the book. And thanks Ms. Jolie for turning it into a movie. I expect to see the movie soon.

  180. Just saw movie…well done…amazing story

  181. Thank you so much for this wonderful book. Louis by his wonderful spirit has taught me the importance of “fighting the fight” and never giving up. I hope that when I receive trials as Louis had that I may be able to rise above them.

    May we all follow Louis’ great example.

  182. Wow! I can hardly get through a magazine article but I couldn’t put Unbroken down. I thought I would read it because my Dad was a World War II Tail Gunner in a B-26 Bomber. His plane was shot down, he was 1 of 3 survivors and was taken prisoner of war by the Germans. It is hard to imagine what service men and women go through in time of war and especially what they endure as Prisoners of War. This book makes you feel as if you are right there with them. AMAZING BOOK!!

  183. Thank you for Unbroken, I am not a big reader, but your book was well done and I could not stop until it was finished.

    I was born in 1960 and my father was in the Korean war. I remember my parents watching Billy Graham and stories of WW II.

    I hope you continue to write and feel well. Great job on the book.

  184. Thank you for Unbroken. I now understand why my father who served in the Pacific felt the way he did about Japenese and refused to talk to us about the war. He passed away at 43 while I was in high school. I read the entire book aloud so my husband and I could share the story. We loved it!

  185. In mid 1980′s, wife and I afflicted with Epstein barr mono- chronic fatigue syndrome. MD said hopeless- Came to research Dr Lius Pawling seminal book on Vit C- Put self thru protocaol of a 6 week bell curve of Vitamin ranged from 3 gms to 12 gms daily- Symptoms ended after 6 weeks dose of 3 to 4gm daily since. Believe his book “How to live longer…” secured Pulitzer prize. Good luck.

  186. Your story and that of Mr. Zamperini has been of such strength to me. I lost my wife of 28 years to ALS in 2013 and have been struggling with how to go on. I have a heart condition plus other health issues and have been feeling sorry for myself and asking if there is any future (an uncomfortable word). “I have to detach myself completely from aspirations….” & “I’d made it this far and refused to give up….” Thanks for the courage this day! in my prayers, Mike

  187. Just finished the book…the first on my new e-reader.

    An outstanding accounting of the life, perils, trials, tribulations and ultimate redemption of a truly amazing man! Society owes you, and all of your team, a huge thank you for your efforts to assemble this story and bring it to light. So many of “that generation” served their country; came home; and chose not to talk about what they’d experienced – good, bad or horrifying! “Unbroken” captures a slice of what took place and preserves it for future generations to read, such that they may be reminded of just how cruel we humans can be … and, ultimately, how forgiving and resilient we can also be.

    Thank you again…I enjoyed every page!

  188. Laura, all my coworkers here in St. Louis are reading your book and everyone I know is taking their families to see the movie! Very powerful message! Thanks for sharing Louie’s story!

  189. Could you tell me the name of the region and town in Italy that Louis’ parents came from?

    Thank you,

    Josephine Versace

  190. Dear Laura,
    I am a mother of a 15 year old daughter who has an illness similar to yours. For a couple of years she had the wrong diagnosis and struggled terribly with pain, weakness, fatigue, brain fog and a host of other symptoms. I wanted to write to you because your symptoms sound similar and i can’t help but wonder if you may have the same illness?? I know it is extremely presumptuous of me! However, if you do have the same illness, and it can help you feel better, then it is worth the risk. My daughter was diagnosed with P.O.T.S (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) which is a form of Dysautonomia (a dysfunction of the Autonomic Nervous System). You are an amazing researcher, so i’m thinking you can easily research this if you think it might fit your symptoms. Please forgive me for any offense this may cause you. But I wish someone would have suggested this illness to us earlier so my daughter wouldn’t have suffered for so long. Anyhooo, thank you for your book and sharing your story too. You are truly an inspiration to myself and my daughter. Sincerely, Angi

  191. Dear Laura,
    Thank you for the tireless effort you put into researching and writing Unbroken. I could not put it down. A few years ago I finished my Master’s degree in History, which made me completely amazed and appreciative of your “Notes” section. I realized that I was likely in the minority of people that even read let alone appreciated notes and ibids so I thought you would like to know. Your book has encouraged me to pull out my old files and begin expanding my thesis research into a bigger work. Thank you you for your words, research, and inspiration.

  192. Dear Laura, I’m so inspired by your story and your determinations to find ways around your symptoms especially vertigo and complete two inspirational books. I also suffer from severe vertigo for the past three years and have had to modify my life completely to work and “live” around it. I can appreciate what it took to measure your energy level each day as to not increase your vertigo and keep a level of concentration. I also can’t look at my computer terminal for more than 10 minutes without feeling the swaying movements of vertigo and can no longer look at any bright lights in general. The vertigo at times has left me leveled with fear yet I keep trying to re group and move forward.The simplest of things: conversations, reading, crowds all trigger my vertigo ~ and that is why I so understand what it took for you to write. I would love for you to write a book about your own life and the exceptional way you never let this illness block your path. Warm Regards Judy N.Y.

  193. Dear Laura,
    I am sorry for the suffering you have endured. I am one of many who has suffered. Never give up hope. When my daughter was married, i couldn’t dance at her wedding. It was challenging to enjoy every day life.

    I totally crashed10 years ago. Doctors kept prescribing steroids and other challenging drugs. Nearly 3 years ago, i crashed again. . . Leukemia. I spent the next 10 months in isolation. I received a bone marrow transplant that changed my life. My new cord blood cells gave me another chance at life. Some day they will treat other disease with bone marrow transplants. I no longer have rhematoid arthritis or hemaphelia.

    I pray you will be renewed and wake up one day beginning a new physical life. You are grounded in your marriage and also as an outstanding author.

    May you be healed and blessed for being a blessing to others.

    D. Arnold

  194. I am a Rotarian for more than 20 years and a member of my former Rotary Club, Harry Fenton, was in the Navy during the war against Japan. He hated the Japs, as he would say because of the experiences he went through and saw. In fact, he was witness to the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. Years later, he too sought redemption via having a Japanese Exchange student from Osaka,Japan stay with him during her senior HS year here. Yumi Shubitani was the student’s name. Unfortunately, she was tragically killed in an auto accident and at her memorial service, everyone spoke about Yumi’s infectious smile. Her father then acknowledged the same by saying how grateful he was to hear so many people speak about his daughter’s smile because he taught her at a very young age to always greet someone with a smile and you will get entrance into their hearts. As I read Unbroken, I could not help to think about Yumi and of my dear friend Harry. Congrats in the publishing of a great book…and its movie.

  195. My heart grieves when I read of all the CFS suffering you have endured for almost 30 years. In 1993, I founded Hope Now For Youth, which has lifted 2000 gang young men from the streets into the American mainstream. Part of their transformation from fighters and shooters involves healing the toxic stress of horrible childhoods through an Assessment I developed. In dealing more recently with women with Autoimmune Disorders, I have found that symptoms are relieved with the same Assessment. I have yet to find someone with AD who has had a healthy childhood. What appears to be happening in AD is that normal adult stresses when added to unresolved childhood stresses pushes the body over its limit, resulting in internalized bodily symptoms, externalized relational violence, or both. If this makes any sense and if I can be of help, please contact me.

  196. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand. I watched your Face The Nation interview with great interest and resonance. I am a writer and normally write magazine articles as well as crime novels. In September of this year however, I published my first biography. It is an authorized biography of Ken Osmond, the actor who played the iconic character Eddie Haskell on the TV show Leave it to Beaver. It was a great experience, and I was could relate so well to your process of digging deep and fact checking. As Mr. Zamperrini had stated to you,. Ken Osmond also informed me that I found out things about his life that he never knew! If you would like, I’d like to send you a signed copy of the book as my gift to you for bringing so many amazing stories to the world.
    Thank you.
    Christopher J. Lynch

  197. Dear Laura,
    I was so impressed with your 60 Minutes interview. Just making the decision and effort to appear took courage.
    Thank you for uncovering and covering these inspiring stories, including your own.
    Good luck on your new story!

  198. My daughter contacted chronic fatigue in her early 20s. She had been very athletic and healthy. A doctor in San Diego suggested that she take large quantities of Vit C in crystal form, mixed with juice or other liquid. It worked.

  199. Ms.Hillenbrand,
    Your book, ‘Unbroken’ was wonderful. I have shared it with several friends. We all went to see the movie and were very disappointed. Jolie left out half of his life story. The part of his life after he returned from POW camp was the most inspiring and beautiful testimony of faith. For those people who don’t read books but see movies could have witnessed how faith in God can truly transform lives. Because it was totally missing from the movie except for a sentence at the end, the opportunity to move people to do humble service was lost. What a shame.

  200. I probably free read 20-25 books per year and have done so for most of my 60 years. I can truly say that “Unbroken” was truly one of the finest. Thank you.

  201. Dear Laura,

    I have read your book Unbroken and really enjoyed it! I have a grandmother who grew up in Germany during the war and has a really fascinating story as well. I really feel like it should be shared with the world. I was hoping to get in contact with you and possible talk about the possiblity of a book. I would really like to talk with you.

    Phone: 920-333-0177
    Thanks Cody Giesseman

  202. Dear Laura,

    As I write, my family and I are enjoying a holiday together in Landstuhl, Germany. As a gift, my daughter gave me your “Unbroken” novel and I look forward to reading it. Thank you so much for sharing your life with so many through your writing.

    Best of the holidays,
    Peter and Annemarie Rounds
    Oswego, NY 13126 USA

  203. Thank you!! this was a remarkable under taking, and you brought it to light….

  204. To Woody:
    Read the endnotes! Ms. Hillenbrand not only talked to Zamperini at great length, but to countless others over many years of research, including Japanese veterans. She read an extraordinary amount.
    This is history writing of a very high standard: well-informed, balanced, riveting, empathetic.

  205. You did not even interview Mr. Zamperini himself…I have researched WW2 history over 35 years and I have forgotten more WW2 history than you will ever know, this fact you did not talk with Zamperini leaves the credibility of your book dubious….

  206. For vertigo, non-invasive treatment that worked for me: Eply maneuvers. Hope this is helpful.

  207. Dear Laura, I have never written to an author before, and I suppose you’ll probably never get this;what with your celebrity status and all, but I am sending it nevertheless. I am a unit historian in our outfit and teach young people about the men and women who served,in order to teach them who REAL heroes are. I could not put “Unbroken” down,once I began to read it! I add my congratulations to the many thousands I am sure you already deservedly have received. God Bless You!

  208. Ms. Hillenbrand,

    I’ve read both of your books and enjoyed them immensely. The historical accuracy for Unbroken I found to be excellent. I have only one comment. You equated the issue of slavery during the time of this country’s Civil War with the brutality of the Japanese pow camps. I do not find this to accurate at all. Human nature being what it is, yes, some of the slave owners were cruel, but a vast majority of them were kind and took care of them properly. Jeff Sharra and Winston Groom bring out much about this period of history. Otherwise, the book is EXCELLENT and very well written. Thank you for your attention to detail. Here is a website I think you may enjoy: You may find this to be enlightening, especially as an author.

  209. Ms. Hillenbrand- Just finished reading “UNBROKEN” today and want to tell you I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was so informative-so graphic- so inspirational. Thank you for writing such an incredible story ! Louie Zamperini was an absolutely amazing person-it seems like a miracle that he was able to handle all that he did-and to live to the ripe old age of 97 ! Best wishes- Robert Meek

  210. Ms. Hillenvrand,
    I am a retired Fireman, and the progeny of a great legacy of service. My grandfather, Col. James Braden was a B29 pilot and led the fire bombing of Tokyo. He served after the war in Japan during the occupation as well. He survived combat in the Pacific and later worked with Gen. Lemay to create the USAF. Unfortunately; he didn’t survive his war and took his own life due to PTSD. He is now buried in the cemetery at West Point. In the movie Unbroken, it is quite possible that it was my Grandfathers squadron that did the fly-by over our boys in the river; maybe even him. Thank you for bringing this story to life and inscribing the importance of service and sacrifice in the popular culture. PTSD took my grandfather; and has crippled my father and myself. My father’s came from ‘Nam, and mine from too many dead children and my service at the Pentagon after 9-11. Your depiction of how Cpt. Zamperini came to find release from PTSD through the Grace of God has touched me. I will explore that further, and I pray that his example through your story telling will help me avoid my grandfathers fate.

  211. I have read about your experience with chronic fatigue syndrome. CFS is included in the list of autoimmune diseases. I am a 15 year advocate for people affected by AD following the death of my son from ITP and my daughter’s diagnosis with MS. My current effort the Autoimmune Advocacy Alliance is work to bring the 50 million people in the U.S. living with AD to the attention of the community in general. Many/most have delayed and often incorrect diagnosis delaying available treatment and allowing their disease to advance. There are no cures for any of the 80+ autoimmune diseases. The harrowing lives of so many with AD could make a terrific book. I would like to talk with you about the subject. This is serious and important. I can imagine with your experience you might have an interest in learning more. I hope to hear from you. Judi Rising

  212. Loved UNBROKEN Laura.

  213. When Seabiscuit traveled cross-country by train, to reach race tracks on Long Island, the rail cars with horses would have been transferred onto barges to cross the Hudson and East Rivers.

  214. I loved your book “Unbroken” and just saw the movie on Christmas and thought they did a good job of staying true to the book and telling Louis Zamperini’s story. I personally have piloted a B-24, fired a .50 cal. while inflight from inside a bomber and dropped dummy bombs from a bomber and thought your book was realistic and accurate.

    I got interested in this when I talked to one of those “Greatest Generation,” my uncle who just turned 92 years old this month and found out he was a Bombardier like Louis Zamperini on the Liberator. My uncle, 1st Lt Lenny Baltzer was a bombardier for the 725th Squadron, 451st Bomb Group (H), 49th Bomb Wing, 15th Air Force in Italy. He was assigned to “Bomber Crew 369” and is written about in the book by the same title and authored by his famous aircraft commander, Lt. Col (retired) William Charles “Andy” Anderson (born 7 May 1920 died 16 May 2003).

    We are trying to find the whereabouts of his co-pilot named 1st Lt Leopold “Pat Murphy” who was born around 1922 probably from Ohio and 6’4” tall. Pat Murphy was last seen after the war at a military reunion in Ohio on Feb 1947 when they all got together for the last time. Lenny’s wish is to see his co-pilot one last time while he is still here on this earth and as we know Louis Zamperini passed this July.

    If anyone has any information please contact me Paul Baltzer at

  215. HI Laura, I can identify with your health issues. I also was misdiagnosed with CFS. I was finally tested for Lyme disease by a Lab in California. Please look into this possibility for I have had continued good health since i started treatment for Lyme. Do not rely on the ELYSA or Western Blot test . CFS is a symptom and not a diagnosis, as another reader posted. I looked into one Dr’s eyes, when he told me I had CFS, and I said, “Ok fine I have CFS but it started when I was bit by a tick”. Please find a Lyme Literate Dr. Good Luck and God BLess.

  216. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: First I would like to say that I thought “Seabiscuit” was one of the five greatest books–including fiction and non-fiction–that I have read in my 75 years.

    I also thought the first part of “Unbroken,” when your hero was struggling to survive 47 days at sea, was terrific. My problem with the POW camp portion of the book is that I did not believe it. I am well aware that human beings are capable of surviving all manner of torture and deprivation, but what Zemperini had to deal with simply rang false. To be constantly beaten by a sadist and to receive neither medical attention nor adequate nutrition for two years and to survive in a physical condition comparable to other POWs who did not face near-daily beatings simply rang false for me.

    Therefore, my question is whether you were able to confirm his story in any meaningful fashion or if the book was simply the narrative as it was told to you by Zemperini.

    Finally, I am curious if you had a problem with the way the movie gave such short shrift to Zemp’s religious redemption.

    Regards, Burt Prelutsky

  217. Hi Laura – I know you have CFS/ME. I had it too. There IS a new way to cure it developed by the leading molecular biologist and metagenomic scientist on earth. Would love to share the info!
    Just email me, or you can call my cell #908-227-5209.

  218. Hello Laura, I want u to know that your books have given me such joy in my life. I have dyslexia and did not learn how to read until I taught myself phoenicaly. I had no interest in reading as it was an exhausting chore. I read Seabiscot only because the reviews where so inviting that I finally bought the book. I read and reread it so much the cover was shot out! Your writting flowed so inviting that I hardly had to read the sentances repeatedly because they didn’t make sense. It’s so frustrating being left behind because your not deemed worth someone who needs to read books.please excuse my spelling
    How does this stupid spell check work anyways?!!! Anywho, your a remarkable woman in your own right. I will remember u in my prayers that GOD will bless u in a way only he knows.

  219. I would like to mail you a small book which deals with a very important social issue affecting the lives of millions of people today.

    I think you will find it of interest. I just need a mailing address.

    Thank You,


  220. Laura,

    Your medical story sounds much like that of my family. We were finally properly diagnosed with Lyme disease. Unfortunately, it is caused by a bacteria that cannot be easily detected through the testing protocol that is currently in place. Lyme-literate medical doctors (LLMD’s) are the only ones who can properly diagnose it through testing that isn’t typically done through insurance doctors, particularly if it’s been in your system for so long. I felt compelled to bring this to your attention after reading about your story. Please look into this, because with proper treatment (heightening your immune system to fight the bacteria into dormancy), you can resume a normal life. My daughters and I went through what you are going through and we are now fully functional and feel great. It took us several years to get to this point, but alternative treatments were the key. I have spent over 1,000 hours researching this illness and the political reasons it is so covered up and ignored. Please do some research on it and don’t rely on the standard tests (ELISA and Western blot) to determine if this is what you have. There are other tests that can be done that aren’t offered up by the insurance-run doctors. CFS is a symptom, not an illness, but the IDSA gives names to a number of “symptom sets” and refers to them as “illnesses” (MS, ALS, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Alzheimers disease, Autism) that are all caused by something, and it’s usually this evasive bacteria that rules your neurological system. Because there is no good test to find this bacteria and no pharmaceutical cure that can make a large corporation millions of dollars, it is not something that doctors want to find or treat. That’s why alternative doctors and treatments are the way to go. Please look into this. There are some wonderful LLMD’s in Washington D.C. who can help. I know many people in my area who travel up there to see them. Best of luck to you.

  221. Laura, I am living with chronic fatigue following stem cell transplant (graft vs host disease), & was wondering if u could share your treatment modalities with me. Who knows, what your treatment and/or therapy might do for me. God bless u & I luv ur work very much.!!!

    Frances Sadler

  222. Laura–have you checked your serum 25 Hydroxy-Vitamin D level? Mine was really low, and after I started taking Vitamin D3 supplements, and brought my Vitamin D level to normal, my asthma and allergy symptoms dramatically improved. Vitamin D is thought to be involved in the immune process.

  223. Hi Laura,

    I watched your interview on Face the Nation this morning. I was very interested in how your did your research for your books. I was also very intrigued on your next book. You mentioned that when you were doing research for Seabisquit and Unbroken, you read the newspapers of the time.

    My husband’s great aunt(his maternal grandmother’s sister)was Hedvig “Sammy” Samuelson. She was one of the women who were murdered by Winnie Ruth Judd, The Trunk Murderess in 1931. You mentioned that your new book that you are currently writing, happened in the same time frame as Seabisquit and Louis Zamperini. The double murder was sensational in 1931, the same year that Zamperini won the Berlin Olympics.

    If you would like to contact me, I would be more that happy to supply more information and insight to the story. Sammy was only 24 years old when she was murdered. Just imagine the impact that penetrated the family.

    Cindy Dziki

  224. Dear Laura,

    I was reading about your chronic fatigue situation and was wondering if you have ever read the book, Healing is Voltage, by Jerry Tennant. I hope you don’t feel that I’m being too presumptuous by my saying that you may have been dealing with a low voltage condition for a long time and I hope you will consider educating yourself about the body’s voltage needs. I care about you and thank you for writing such soulful books.

    Happy New Year!


  225. i am trying to contact Laura to see if she is interested in a true story so eventful that may need a trilogy…it goes back several decades, involving individuals and nations, effects of which the whole world feels to this day….

  226. I am trying to contact Laura Hillenbrand to see if she would be interested in my true story. Although not a historically famous event it did take place about 50 years ago involving two young people in love, a near death shooting while employed as a N.Y.C. policy officer, a touch of irony and long lasting heartbreak that still exists toady!

  227. Have enjoyed both movies from your books and will get your next book as soon as it is published.. I had an inner ear virus in 2011 and researched on my own after doctors, specialist and test did not help. I started taking Manitoba Hemp Oil which was the only thing that had helped al all. I had another light incident last Spring and after doing physical therapy decided to try a Bellicon Rebounder with a support bar. I started using it 5 min a day Dec 7, 2014, have not missed a day and have realized a difference already. I urge you to give both a try. Those of us with invisible disorders are not understood; people just don’t understand and we have to keep on keeping on doing our own research and grasping at hope.

  228. Ms Hillibrand, I have enjoyed your works greatly and admire your perseverance despite your illness. I have suffered similar symptoms for decades and been treated as a hypochondriac, drug seeker and just plain wacko for most of this time. However, I did find one physician who was determined to find the cause of my problem. To make a long story short, I was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). It is an autonomic nervous system disorder that shares many of the same symptoms and components as CFS and usually hits in the late teens to early 30′s. There is a simple, non invasive tilt table test that can either diagnose or eliminate POTS. I will not go on with my story but, if you would like more information, please go to the Dysautonomia Website ( or contact the Mayo Clinic. Like CFS there is no cure but there are actions available to help you lead a more normal life. Good luck and God bless.

  229. There are so many stories that have come out in my adulthood (since 1981) that give new life to World War Two, and Unbroken was definitely one of them. Another new story, though I know nothing of it is ‘Monument’s Men.’ ‘Schindler’s List,’ ‘Wind Talkers,’ also, my favorite, from the Pacific theater: ‘Flags of our Fathers.’
    I had asked my mother once who the guys were on the flag at Iwo Jima, she only knew of the ‘Drunken Indian Ira Hayes.’ What a misguided thing to say. Years later I listened to that song by Johnny Cash, and evidently she never listened to what the ‘Man in Black’ had to say about Mr. Hayes.
    Having read both his biography and his autobiography, just a note on Gregory Boyington: he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor while a POW in Japan. For what it’s worth.
    I just want to say thank you for a great story, I would never have known.

  230. Thank you for bringing a great story to life.

  231. read Among The Mescalaro Apaches about Fr. j

    Read Among The Mescalero Apaches about Fr. Albert Braun who made the march of Batton and spent the rest or the war in a Japanese prison camp. Sgt. Wattanabe was trying to spear him with a wooden spear when the US planes flew over and he fled.

  232. Hello Laura,

    Excellent work on Unbroken, the book.
    How much did Angelina Jolie pay for the rights to the movie?
    You should have sold it with conditions to keep it real. Hollywood hates Jesus, the real reason for the story, would you not agree?

    I hope you get this message and will respond to me out of respect.


  233. Dear Laura,

    I read your book Unbroken a week before the movie come out. I saw Unbroken at the theater the day after Christmas.

    The book brought tears to my eyes, yet at the same time reminded me that through God’s grace many men came home….some unbroken and others very broken.

    I too have been privileged to know a heroic WW2 veteran. Although he was not a prisoner of war — he was almost killed 14 times serving as a young infantry Platoon Sgt(17) with the Hell on Wheels unit under Patton and Eisenhower. His name Paul Andert.

    Recently he was featured as an advisor to the movie FURY with David Ayers and Brad Pitt.

    What I find so remarkable about Paul is his ability to recall details as if they were yesterday. He continues to speak at schools even though he is about to turn 92.
    It seems that those who can speak about such atrocities have an indomitable will to survie and thrive.

    We are so blessed to have these men. Paul always says, “You can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you came from.”

    Our WW2 men and women remind us that as a nation we have overcome incredible odds of brutality in war. A nation that became a superpower a nation that reminded the world while we aren’t perfect, there’s something about us you can’t hold down.

    Louie’s life exemplifies the overcoming spirit that American’s possess. Something we have been blessed with since the beginning of our nation. Stories like Louie’s, Paul’s and others must be kept alive.

    Thank You for all the detail on Phil’s life. If I had know about his story sooner, I would have sent him and his wife a card every year. I would have done something. WHAT A DEAR MAN. WHAT A BRAVE MAN.


    For anyone who would like to check out Paul’s story. Visit his website. I’m the website administrator)
    Paul is currently writing his fourth book.
    This one will be about Patton.

    His first book written in his own words is called Unless you have been there. One professor described his life like that of Forest Gump.
    At every turn – he seemed to escape death and heartache.

    We salute these men like Louie Paul and all our vets. As their numbers dwindle down, my prayers i that we can keep them a little while longer. They are National Treasures. And we need them for such a time as this.

    Thank You for such an excellent book. BRAVO. WELLDONE.


  234. My great uncle, Frank Tinker, was in the prison camp with Zamperini. I saw the movie yesterday and was very shocked and surprised at who they chose to play Frank. Frank was 6’1, had blonde hair and a subtle Michigan accent. John Magaro was chosen to portray him. Magaro is shorter, has dark hair, and speaks with somewhat of a Brooklyn accent. I was just curious of what role, if any, Laura had with casting. Granted he doesn’t play a major role so the accuracy of his character wasn’t as important to them. The movie was fantastic, but they left some great parts out of it. Like Zamperini’s story of meeting Hitler, or the escape plot he and my uncle had. Reading Unbroken and Devil at my Heels, Zamperini’s own book, and then seeing it on the big screen was amazing. Despite Frank being somewhat miscast, it was awesome seeing someone in my family being portrayed in a hollywood movie.

  235. A phenomenal read, thank you. Each generation is getting further away from the stoicism, toughness and courage of these heroes. Really puts our soft lives in perspective.
    We have so much to thank them for, yet do our utmost to hide them away and diminish their usefulness in today’s society.
    Thanks again for a story so incredibly told.

  236. My Daddy, Johnnie Walker, was a survivor of the Bataan Death March and the experiences in the movie put reality to the words like nothing but experience could do. He was in the same camps earlier in the war and the U.S. At 65 pounds after similar abuses and working in the Mitsubishi lead and zinc mines. He lost hearing in his ear from the beatings as portraid in the movie. His final message as that of Louie is FORGIVESNESS. Daddy and Mother returned to Japan several times to help build churches and share the message of forgiveness. Never forget. Every American needs to see and believe that our freedom comes because of those who are unbroken to keep us free at home and abroad. Thank you and God bless you

  237. Hi, I’m reading Unbroken currently.
    I was wondering what ages this book is appropiate for…
    Any thoughts? Just wondering,

  238. Well, you have done it again; written an extraordinary novel. Except you really don’t write novels as much as you craft biographies into history lessons that could serve as text books.

    I had a much older friend who was a navigator in a B-29 in the pacific theater. After ten minutes of business discussion I always threaded our conversation back to his experiences in the war as I was/am always fascinated by them. As I read the section about the destruction of Japanese cities by the use of ordinary ordinance, I paused. Harold explained the exact same thing to me twenty plus ago, how Tokyo was basically flattened and the enemy still showed no signs of surrendering.

    You are so good at what you do I would suggest that you consider
    Washington, Lincoln, Franklin etc.

    Again great research, writing, novel. Thanks!


  239. Thank you very much for your book “Unbroken”- Iam extremely late in reading but what a book and and thank you again!

  240. Wow, great web site formatting! The time have you been blogging to get? you’ve made blogging and site-building look quick. The high heels 43 full view within your internet site is amazing, in addition to the material!

  241. Laura,
    While looking into your book, Unbroken, I saw some info that you have been diagnosed with CFS. If you haven’t been already, you should be screened for all known tick borne illnesses, as they can lead to this type of affliction. Best of luck. A Voice of Experience

  242. Hi, I’m reading Unbroken currently.
    I was wondering what ages this book is appropiate for…
    Any thoughts? Just wondering,

  243. I have read Seabiscuit and Unbroken,and saw both movies. Please writ another book soon. You are a great writer, you make me feel as if I am there observing the story instead of just reading it.

  244. Hello ma’am. My name is Jung Ji Sup, staff writer of Korean newspaper CHOSUN-ILBO.
    I send this e-mail for request interview(phone or onlive).
    The movie ‘UNBROKEN’ will be released 8 Janary in Korea. Your book will be soon published also.
    As you know Korea is the biggest victim of Japaense action during World War II. Many women was made to sex slaves against their will. Also many men force to fight as a member of Japanese army. Much of them were killed not only in the battlefield but also in our country by the Japanese regime.
    Also we have great number of victims of bio experiment.
    That’s a big trauma of modern Korean history.
    And Japan is not going to apologize for what they commited during wartime that makes many Korean annoy and frustrated.
    For thesr reason, we are deeply interested in your book and the movie than any other countries in the world except for Unitd States.
    CHOSUN ILBO is the biggest and most influencing newspaper in Korea. We have also many global readers. Your interview will be great helpful for many Koreans learnt to your book.
    If you are okay. Time and format will in accoardance with your convinience. Waiting for the reply, thank you. My phone number is 82-10-5385-0283

  245. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand,

    Thank you for “Unbroken”. I really appreciated the movie, also, as it gave me a chance to show my son what his grandfather had survived in the same camps.

    My father, Dr. Alfred Weinstein, was in both Camp Omori and Camp Mitsushima. You mention him on page 288 in reference to his attempts to poison The Bird.

    My dad miraculously survived, despite several beri-beri heart attacks along with all the beatings and other privations. He wrote a memoir, “Barbed- Wire Surgeon” in 1948, published by Macmillan and most recently re-published by Deeds.

    I’m sure the children of many POWs join me in thanking you for telling part of their stories along with that of Zamperini.

    Elsa Weinstein

  246. Dear Laura,I read your book two years ago during treatment for breast cancer. It was life changing for me not only for the realization that we have within us the ability to survive almost any hardship with faith and perseverance but because I realized that my father flew along side Mr. Zamperini. I am blessed to have him still with me at age 94. Dad had recorded several stories in his journal that are in your book during training on the B-24 and the early months in the pacific. Francis G. Craven was co-pilot on crew no. 3 in the same squadron. (372nd) Dad never talked much about how difficult it was to fly this plane or about the difficult conditions they endured. Dad plans to attend the opening of the movie today with me and my two siblings. We are looking forward to the discussion afterward! Dad is not a movie goer but feels he must attend in honor of the 372nd squadron and Louie and all the men who risked or gave their lives for this cause. I think he must be one of the last surviving members of this squadron but would love to know if there are more still living. Thank you for writing this amazing story so well. I hope Angeline was able to do it justice. Pamela Craven Hamilton

  247. Congratulations on the success of your new book and movie introduction. It is extremely inspiring to know that someone like yourself can be so sick and yet be able to contribute so much.

    I am writing as a mother of a young daughter who has struggled with CFS/ME for the past 5 years. She is now 24 and housebound. Like you, she was in college with her whole life ahead of her, when she first developed symptoms following a virus. She was an avid horse back rider, fluent in multiple languages and ready to take on the world. Coincidently her name is also Laura and she was born on the same day as you but in 1990.

    During our journey for both a diagnosis and treatment it became clear to me how little was understood about this disease both by the public and the medical community. I was devastated to find out how few dollars are spent for research. I do believe the mystery of this disesase can be solved, just as they have discovered treatment for HIV, but it will take significant monies and national attention.

    So, I am asking if you might consider acting as a spokesperson for CFS/ME. You are in unique position with a window of opportunity to provide international attention from the notoriety of your latest book/movie. Your voice will be heard. We desperately need a spokesperson to bring attention, funding and focus to this devastating disease.

    I do realize this is so much to ask of someone so sick , but I believe, like the success of your books, you will make a difference. I am happy to help in anyway that I can and am willing to be the arms and legs as needed. My wish for everyone this Christmas Eve 2014 is that in the next ten years noone else will suffer like you, my daughter and the millions of others who are laying in beds around the world misunderstood and waiting for a cure.

  248. I read Unbroken about two years ago. It truly made me cry. Our dad was as he used to say “A guest of the Emperor of Japan” for 3.5 years. He was captured in December 1941 in Corregador. Many of the things Louis talked about in the book our dad also talked about. Mom and Dad also had the extra burden of hiding our oldest brother and sister from the Japanese. I hope that A. Jolie and the movie doesn’t take too much poetic license with what was in the book. I do plan to bring tissues with me to the movie.

  249. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand,

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I want to say congratulations on “Unbroken,” because your book and movie definitely hit home!!! I am sorry to read about your life struggle with fibromyalgia, but am optimistic in reading about so many who understand this and are trying to help you with their medical suggestions, so I pray for your recovery.

    Regarding “UnBroken” your ability to capture the thoughts and feelings of those who endured the “cruelty of their enemies” is a tribute to your work. Like the movie, “Saving Private Ryan” you captured a lot of hidden emotions our WWII veterans still feel.

    Knowing the accounts of a WWII Airmen, shot down and taken prisoner behind enemy lines hits home, because it’s something I’ve learned to know first-hand from my father-in-law’s WWII POW accounts. His accounts occurred over 70 years ago. However, his story occurred over the European Theater in Nazis Germany, where temperatures were below -50 degrees and with the Nazis forced marches, beatings, lack of food and heat, its amazing he survived as Nazis murdered many of his brothers in his combat unit. I’m sure you’re aware like the Japanese Bataan March, the Nazis killed indiscriminately our soldiers who couldn’t keep up from the freezing cold, which his 300 mile forced march was no exception. Have you ever thought about making a sequel to cover the other side of the World War for an “equal perspective?”

    Covering the WWII European Theater over Nazis occupied Germany might be such a start. Unfortunately, too many of our loved ones from WWII are dying at an alarming rate, so few remain from the Nazis POW Camps, especially the US Army Air Corps, 369th Bomb Squadron of the US 8th Air Force. My father-in-law is one of the last, in fact he is the last sole survivor of his B-17 Flying Fortress, which he served as the 2nd Lieutenant Bombardier.

    I’m still trying to help Dad with his last living request, by obtaining his military honors to help get his things in order. Metals like the Distinguished Unit Citation, and the Purple Heart from the German Luffwaffe that shot him down, seem impossible to obtain, because it happened 70 years ago? Since his story is similar, but the opposite side of the World, maybe you and those from Randomhouse might be interested in talking with him? Interned at Stalag-Luft 3 Prison, his prison escapes “defied all odds,” especially after the tragic “Great Escape” that occurred. The problem is getting him to talk about it? There’s still a lot of hidden pain from our WWII combat heroes, so maybe you can?

    If interested, contact me and I’ll make the introduction. In any event, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year on your continued success!



  250. Hello Ms. Hillenbrand,

    I wanted to say hello and let you know that I have loved both Seabiscuit and unbroken. I have thoroughly enjoyed the literary nonfiction style that you write in, and also enjoyed the facts I have learned while reading your stories. I also recently read the article about you in the New York Times Magazine this past weekend. I know that you have struggled with fibromyalgia for most of your adult life but was particularly interested in reading about your symptoms of dizziness/vertigo. It sounds to me like you have what is called vestibulo-ocular reflex dysfunction.

    I am an ophthalmologist who sub specializes in neuro-ophthalmology. I have had many patients in my career with similar symptoms. I have been successful in treating those symptoms in many patients with a drug called Diamox. I wondered if your physicians have considered this approach to manage your sense of dizziness.

    If there is an interest after you discuss it with them, I would be happy to discuss it with you by email or with them by email as well.
    I anxiously await the results of whatever you are working on now. I also hope that the new year brings you some improved health.

    Be well,


  251. Hello Ms. Hillenbrand,

    I have read and thoroughly enjoyed both of your novels. I love the literary nonfiction style that you write in and enjoy what I learn as well.

    I read The article written about you in the New York Times Magazine this past weekend. I have known that you have struggled with fibromyalgia for much of your adult life and was reading with interest that part of your symptom complex is vertigo/dizziness. It sounds to me like you have a vestibulo ocular reflex dysfunction and I wondered if that had ever been addressed with medication. I am an ophthalmologist who sub-specializes in neuro-ophthalmology and have had many patients during my career with similar symptoms. I have successfully treated many of them with a low dose of a drug called Diamox and again wondered if that had ever been tried for you.

    It might be worth discussing with your physicians. If there is any interest you can email me for more information or they can as well.

    I look forward to whatever it is you are working on now and also hoping that the new year brings you some improved health.

    Be well,

    Andrew eight. BERMAN, M.D.

  252. The book Unbroken is most inspiring. Is it possible to communicate directly with Ms. Hillenand via a letter? My Father flew B-24′s in WW II, was shot down, became a POW and eventually escaped. I was able to capture a significant part of his early aviation career, but would appreciate the help, guidance and support of such a well known author as Ms. Hilenbrand. Please advise how we might contact one another.

  253. Oh my goodness! I finished reading Unbroken at five o’clock this morning with tears in my eyes. A heart rending, yet inspiring story….masterfully written. Our family has tickets for the movie on opening day, Christmas 2014.
    Thank you!

  254. For your book Unbroken; I have recently finished reading it and it is an amazing story and i can’t believe in my eyes that such events occurred at those days. Thank you very much. It is a pleasure to read it.

  255. Have never contacted a public personality previously. I am . A doctor of health science, a professor in doctoral classes, and unfortunately elderly with some debilitating health issues. I am captivated by your research skills and ability to create such a dynamic, living rhetoric. I want nothing; some thought, force, mystery tells me we have things to talk about, to do together. Is there a way to get through by phone?
    Thanks for some response. I was adolescent with Steven AMBROSE AND WE TALKED about somebody ideas. Perhaps we could do that?

  256. Attempted to send a message through Facebook, but am not sure if
    it was successful. If you did get the message and would like to
    communicate further, am at (408) 278-1993 in San Jose, CA.

    Peter K Talanay

  257. Dear Ms.Hillenbrand,

    First of all, congratulations on your commercial success of Unbroken.
    It is well written, and that is proved by the bestseller position in the New York Times.

    I had the urge to write to you since there are some descriptions I found very questionable. Even though I understand “artistic freedom” must be allowed to dramatize for the purpose of conveying your message “forgiveness” to your readers, Unbroken however, is not a fiction. It is listed and sold as non-fiction.

    One obvious example is where you wrote, “…eaten alive in ritual act of cannibalism…” Now, there might had been eating of human flesh which might had taken place during the time of the war where no food was available similar to the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crash situation in the Andes in 1972. You must had been 5 years old at the time. The survivors had little food, so they fed on the dead passengers who had been preserved in the snow. I understand the food supply for Japanese soldiers was scarce on some islands as the war progressed in the Pacific theatre. As a result, some human flesh may have been eaten in extremis circumstances…but certainly not….eaten alive in a ritual act as if this was an acceptable practice.

    NEVER in her 4000 year history, did Japan exercise cannibalism as you described in Unbroken.
    “…eaten alive in ritual of cannibalism…” is a complete lie.

  258. Hi Laura, I just read the NYT portrait of you. I am a big fan of “Sea Biscuit.” Wonderful book. However, the reason I am leaving this message is to encourage you to look to alternative medicine for diagnosis and treatment of your condition. I would suggest looking at stealth infections and metabolic imbalances working together as the underlying reasons for why you are sick and can’t get well. Please look at the work of William Walsh and his protocols for the testing and treatment of metabolic imbalances, the work of Stephen Harrod Buhner and his work using herbs to treat stealth infections like Lyme and bartonellosis, and the work of Trevor Marshall and his protocols for treating stealth infections. My health condition is very similar to yours and i have been homebound for the last ten years, but have experienced much improvement over the last two years using the above mentioned protocols. In reading your story, there were several clues that you suffer from a chronic bartonellosis infection.

  259. I read the Portrait of You. I could not believe what I was reading. I have been diagnosed with Central Vestibular Dysfunction and Mal de Debarquement Syndrome. Your symptoms are my symptoms. I bob and sway, feel very off balanced all the time. I use audio books because it is so very difficult to read and comprehend most reading material. I have brain fog and can no longer multi-task. There is also an unsettling feeling of a gravitational pull like I’m being pull into the earth. I am mostly home bound but the one thing I find gives me relief is driving. I can get in a car and drive to the ends of the earth but if stopped by a stop light, I begin to sway back and forth. I hope those in other cars just think I’m swaying to the music.

    It was wonderful to read your story and I look forward to seeing the movie Unbroken.

    My Best To You.

  260. I just read the portrait of you. I am a body worker, retired now after 20 years of this hands on work, a so called “alternative therapy”. Yes, Lyme disease and leaky gut syndrome should be considered.

    “Spontaneous Healing”, 1995, by Dr. Andrew Weil, MD looks at osteopathy. Chapter 2, “Right in My Own Back Yard.” describes the remarkable work of the late Dr. Robert Fulford. He watched Fulford achieve remarkable results but could never get the MD’s to stir themselves to see something new. This is still pretty much the case even though osteopaths are real doctors, unlike chiropractors. There is an ongoing lack of communication between osteopaths and MD’s, especially when considering traditional manual (hands on) osteopathy.

    Have you looked at “Cranial” work? When conducted by an osteopath it is called “Cranial Osteopathy” and when administered by others it is called “Cranio Sacral Therapy.” When I say “others” I mean massage therapists, physical therapists and chiropractors. Conducted properly it is exquisitely gentle and yet it can do wonders for the hyper excited nervous system.

    Another approach, “neuromuscular therapy,” is a sort of massage therapy on steroids based largely on the medical investigations of Dr. Janet Travell, MD. She was JFK’s personal physician. Her studies on overcoming pain spanned a 40 year period resulting in a 2 volume medical text on pain management. Did you ever fall or get thrown from a horse? There might be whiplash. which goes on if not treated. Look at the effects of what she called “trigger points” in the region of your head and neck, and especially the “SCM”, the sternocleido mastoid muscle. This very strong neck muscle is easily injured in whiplash situations.

    TP’s here can create just the sorts of problems that reportedly trouble you: dizziness, vertigo, numerous visual issues, all can be created by these muscular nodules which respond so well to manual therapies. I once did a short presentation to some physicians on this muscle and found 27 different symptoms which can arise from TP’s in just this one muscle. None caused pain in the muscle itself so doctors see little reason to look for these issues in the pertinent muscle.

    About 15 years ago I heard a lecture by Udo Erasmus, author of “Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill”. He said that there about 30,000 peer reviewed studies on nutrition and health. Your doctor, he said, has probably not read even one of them. Massage, bodywork and osteopathy are much the same. That means there me be a vast body of knowledge to help you but how would you know?

    Be wary of chiropractic, especially the high speed neck snapping. Dangerous.

    Thank you for your books. They are wonderful.

    Michael J. Soudant

  261. Thank you for writing UNBROKEN, Ms. Hillenbrand. Your ability to paint pictures in your reader’s mind that show exactly what your characters were experiencing rivals that of any author I’ve read. Thanks again.

  262. Of course I love your works! I was reading in the NY Times about your dizziness and wondered if you have read, “The Brain That Changes Itself”, by Dr. Norman Doidge. I love the work of Bach-y-Rita. Hope you find healing dear Laura. Thank you for your work with children. I am a 31 year veteran teacher and mother of a Marine.

  263. Of course I love your works! I was reading in the NY Times about your dizziness and wondered if you have read, “The Brain That Changes Itself”, by Dr. Norman Doidge? I love the work of Bach-y-Rita. Hope you find healing dear Laura. Thank you for your work with children. I am a 31 year veteran teacher and mother of a Marine.

  264. I just finished Unbroken and had to share this. I am a police officer and was working security at a Christmas party at Union Station in Indianapolis. It was a pretty dull event, so I pulled the book out and read page 63. I was literally sitting in the main entrance of the building that Phil and Cecy said those last five minutes in November of 1941, before he left Indiana. Amazing!

  265. Loved this book. Many tears as my father was an Army Air Corps pilot flying missions over Italy. He didn’t ever share much about the war. I know he didn’t suffer the horrors as Louie did. Still wish I knew more.
    Now my question is, why is the Billy Graham part not get included in the movie? Such a life changing event.

  266. Have you elimated gluten from your diet? After years of struggle I elimated gluten and alcohol. I realized after the fact that I had had a gluten intolerance for decades and in retrospect I concluded I was deprived of amino acids and that caused a neuro transmitter disorder One year later, I’m feeling great. Ps. Unbroken is amazing.

  267. I’ve had CFS for the past 25 years. About 7 years ago I read about Dr. Lerner in Michigan I couldn’t afford to go see him but my doctor was willing to prescribe 1000 mg of Valtrex daily for me. It was helped immensely. I’ve tried so many supposed remedies over the years but this literally has saved my life. It’s worth looking into.

  268. Dear Ms. Hillenbram: Per the comment below, I would also suggest you look into chronic lyme as possibly being the disease from which you are suffering. “Seabiscuit” is great and I look forward to reading “Unbroken”.

    Good luck to you.

    Alan Ditchik

  269. Dear Miss Hillenbrand,
    I am a huge fan of your books – to have written 2 such wonderful stories while so limited by chronic fatigue is unbelievably inspiring. I know some of what you have been through as I have fibromyalgia and was basically dismissed for years until I found Dr Paul St Armand (an endocrinologist with UV Berkeley who has it an has put himself into remission). He believes fibro and chronic fatigue are different aspects of the same symdrome.
    I also follow Dr Julian Whitaker, who runs a clinic in La Jolla.
    I am now getting very high dose vitamin c infusions to treat Lyme, which I realize now I have had for over a year and a half, but was dismissed by my doctor (who I had come to really like). I am hoping the infusions will relieve 20 years of harassment from 2 rounds of shingles and vertigo from Mieniers as well as the Lyme. My fibro is under control, but maybe that can be helped also.
    I recommend the book Primal Panacea by Dr Thomas Levy, MD,JD.
    Humans cannot produce their own vitamin c and the RDA for it is 75-90mg. Goats produce 13,000 mg a day and up to 100,000 when under stress, such as illness. If I could afford it, I would go to the Whitaker Clinic for a week of treatment. I am lucky to have found a local clinic that will give me the infusions. Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital will not, although I have doctor friends who work there and would offer it but are not permitted to. Cancer Centers of America use it to keep the side effects of treatment at bay, but Dr Levy says vitamin C will cure anything if given in high enough doses intraveniously. (He has cured both rabies and polio.) There is no money in it, so…….
    Best Wishes,
    Janet Flanders

  270. Laura,
    I just finished reading Unbroken and was sad at the conclusion–I was simply not ready for the epic to be over. I am a huge fan of your writing and am eagerly waiting your next masterpiece. Having read the New York Times article about your struggle with chronic fatigue syndrome, I would very much like to send you a book to read, The Immune System Recovery Plan by Dr. Susan Blum. It outlines the underlining reasons for autoimmune disease and a very practical treatment plan which my son and I, who have struggled with debilitating autoimmune issues, have followed with amazing results. Where can I send you a copy? I have a feeling that it might be the tool that helps your regain your physical life, one without pain and suffering.

    Warm regards,
    Lori Sackler
    P.S. I recently published a book, The M Word: The money Talk every Family Needs to have about Wealth and Their Financial Future and will send you a copy as well if you like. Not a best seller, but has received a ton of attention.

  271. Just finished reading the profile of L. H. in the 12/22/14 issue
    of the NYTIMES Magazine. What struck me immediately was the
    fact that the illness that came so suddenly in college could
    very well be connected to the broken nose….and following up
    on that, even today, might turn into a miracle.

  272. Laura Hillenbrand’s writing is powerful and inspiring. I really loved her book, Unbreakable, and I hope she finds relief from her illness.

    As a person and writer who suffered twice with horrible CFS bouts and discovered, piece by piece, the puzzling mystery of how my illness came about and what caused it, I’m discouraged that the medical community isn’t more enlightened about real issues involved in helping people unravel the extent to which several factors are involved in the diagnosis as well as the life-changing road to recovery: candadiasis overgrowth in the colon, the use of antibiotics to eliminate healthy probiotic immunity, and the use of sugar, carbohydrates, and alcohol which feeds the candida fungus, allowing it to proliferate over time. Candida overgrowth, which causes terrible issues in the body after it goes through the walls of the colon and is absorbed into the bloodstream, overloading the liver and auto-polluting systemically with formaldehyde-like toxins (known as leaky gut syndrome), produces debilitating yeast die-off that result in neurological symptoms such as cognitive confusion, allowing brain chemicals to become disrupted and brain and spinal fluid levels to exert pressure on the nervous system. CFS, can, over time, become another extremely difficult condition: adrenal fatigue, known as hypoadrenalism. Once CFS is resolved with a strict protein and vegetable diet avoiding carbohydrates and adding in full-sprectrum probiotic supplements taken slowly and increased to very high doses (as high as 200 billion daily) ultimately displacing the overgrowth of yeast and improving immunity, the resulting dysbiosis will improve health significantly. However, the adrenal glands can become depleted and produce low amounts of cortisol, a significant body steroid which controls immunity, inflammation, blood sugar, heart rate, as well as normalizing metabolism, and when the levels are too low, the resulting effects are fibromyaligia-like body aches due to uncontrolled inflammation, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) due to inability to reglulate metabolism, low blood pressure and dizziness on standing, extreme sleep disruption and deprivation due to involvement of the hypothalamus and pituitiary glands sending signals to the adrenals to bring up cortisol levels (known as the HPA axis feedback loup), etc. Testing for both CFS/candidiasis and adrenal fatigue, is critical to diagnosing the problems and two of the most important lab tests, both performed at home under the supervision of a knowledgeable phyisican or naturopath, are a stool sample measuring the level of yeast overgrowth and strains involved, and a very important saliva test measuring cortisol levels, IGA (gut immunity), blood sugar, as well as other hormones produced by the adrenal glands, and that will ultimately provide the right information to begin recovery based on real information about this upsetting condition.

    I’m also a writer who escaped into my fiction writing to relieve my suffering during the worst years and was able to experience life so vividly in my imaginative work that I wrote a short story which ultimately was published in a national magazine, culled from a slushpile of 150,00 manuscripts, resulting in a major breakthrough in my writing.

  273. Laura,

    Thank your for stories, especially your personal one. Your story is a beacon of hope . . .

    May you continue to inspire.

  274. I am trying to find out if Louis Zamperini knew of the Rape of Nanjing and Bataan death march. Did Lauren Hillenbrand ask about these events? There is word the Japanese committed far worse atrocities than the Nazis.

  275. I had been advised this fabulous website simply by my personal step-brother. Practical goal optimistic no matter whether this informative article will be published through him or her seeing that nobody recognise these selected in relation to this trouble. You happen to be fantastic! Thanks!

  276. Eat to Live, Joel Fuhrman

  277. I sse that everybody and their uncle is giving you advice about what causes chronic fatigue. Dollars for donuts it is chronic mercruy poisoning which is behind a lot of idiopathic stuff. The book to look in to is “Amalgam Illness, Diagnosis and Treatment” by Andrew Hall Cutler, Phd. My website is a good place to sttart, too

    Mercury toxicity is not hard to treat. People recover very well. It does take a long time and needs to be done properly or else you can make yourself worse. Most people do it on their own as it is so poorly understood by MDs.

  278. Dear Ms Hillenbrand…
    Look into the possibility of chronic lyme disease
    IGenex testing … ILADS
    Lyme is treatable, Chronic Fatigue is not.
    Good Luck
    Looking for bravery? Hear the chronic lyme stories.
    rose flynn

  279. Please feel free to contact me as I have suffered from similar illnesses my entire adult life and I have a brilliant endocrinologist who has saved my life twice and I now, in my early 60′s am starting to feel strong again after years of suffering from exhaustion and pain. He is near Stanford in Palo Alto and his name is Dr. Joseph Prendergast.

    Kind regards,

    Liza 415-302-6417

  280. Hello Laura,
    I am a singer songwriter living in the san francisco bay area. I recently received a e mail from the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome support group I am part of talking about you and your movie. I too have been ill for many years, though I am able to leave my house. I too grew up in a white mount vernin colonial home, I grew up with horses and I write from deep in my soul. I would love to share some of my music with you. I look so forward to reading the book , Unbroken. I want to reach out to you, because, you never know where life takes you unless you reach. Blessings to you Laura, Suzie

  281. I’m loving the audiobook as read by Edward Herrmann. However, I’m currently distracted by the mispronunciation of the town Ephrata, Washington. I think Mr. Herrmann is pronouncing it correctly from say a Biblical perspective, but I believe locals say uh FRAY tuh or e FRAY tuh. Minor quibble . . .

  282. Hi Laura,

    Read a NY Times review today and see that you have been suffering from fibromyalgia for a long time.

    I think you should check out my boss’s website and services. She is a Functional Medicine Nutritionist and works with folks with illnesses like yours. I think she might be able to help you. It’s worth a try. Check her out at:

    Kent Baumkel

  283. Laura,

    I am 67 years old, a retired doctor and solo sailor. Unbroken was given to me as a gift. The day after finishing the book, I fell off my sailing yacht at night in California waters. Cold water, 3 wool sweaters and a soaking vest pulled me under in shock and fear.
    The vision of Zamperini flashed so vividly I could hear him shouting: Don’t give up! Just give it your everything! You got one chance! NOW!

    Well, I somehow found the superhuman strength to make a power kick with my skinny legs and my fingers clawed the trailing edge of the swim platform at transom of the boat which was sailing away….

    I climbed aboard, dropped the sails and went below to strip the wet clothes off, toweled dry, made some hot tea and lived to tell the tale.

    I sincerely believe I would not have survived without your book.
    No kidding!!!

    God Bless you!

    Dr Rico Provasoli
    415 479-1320

  284. I’ve finished a book about my father-in-law who also flew in the South Pacific during 1943-44. There is a research lead that I am trying to nail down. I have a specific question for Ms. Hillenbrand. The section on Lou Zamperini’s Air Corps training was somewhat short. Given his prowess as an athlete, did Mr. Zamperini participate in the 1942 Texas Relays as a member of an Air Corps Track & Field Team? Does she have any information left over from “Unbroken” that deals with this question?

  285. I just read the piece by Mr. Hylton in the NY Times magazine and was sad to hear about the dissolution of your relationship and wanted to offer my empathy and experience. If you’re in a new relationship, good luck and please disregard the following! :)

    If not,… I’ve had CFS for the past seven years and lost my romantic relationship in part due to my CFS. The other part was me being “unfixably” crappy at those types relationships. So in that way CFS has unshackled me from replaying that bad movie again and again. Another happy consequence of not having a significant other, nor anybody but my feline companions in my house, is the elimination of the anxiety/guilt/fear that I was holding someone back and they’d leave. I hope you come to enjoy your unencumbered life as much as I do! Best wishes and regards.

  286. I would like to reach out to Laura with information that may really help her state of health. I am a writer and have had Chronic Fatigue and have found amazing help with my illness. I would love to get information to her. I have no need for her to communicate with me, but I would love to get a message to her if that is in any way possible. I would like to tell her that there is amazing help for her. Thank you for passing along my message. My email is listed above. My phone is 808-756-6844. I live on the island of Hawaii. Aloha, Nan Temkin Dudley…

  287. MS. Hillenbrand, Please Google Judith Gyurky. A story Idea. There are still number of people in Batesville Va who remember her or are actual members of her family.

  288. I have experienced similar vertigo episodes. The use of an infrared sauna seems to have helped me. I apologize for the unsolicited suggestion burI know first hand the frustration of persistent vertigo.

  289. Thank you for your excellent books. CFS is a very bad disorder. Have you thoroughly explored the possibility that you have gluten sensitivity, leaky gut and/or celiac disease? CFS is very much associated with gluten disorders and sadly, most doctors will not recognize it. Celiac and gluten disorders often have no symptoms but fatigue. Do your own research on this and find a functional medicine doctor to help you. We are a physician family and have studied celiac/gluten disorders extensively. Good luck.

  290. I just can’t tell you how much I enjoyed your novel, “Unbroken”. It was spectacular and touched me to the core of my being. The way you did your research, and the way you write is something else. I was especially impressed with your descriptions of the aviation events.

    I served in the Air Force from 1970-2003 and flew the F-111 and the F-16 during my career…….never in combat fortunately. The closest I got to war was our “Red Flag Exercises” in the desert of Nevada. Given my weakened immune system and low tolerance for harsh conditions (especially the cold) if I experienced anything close to what Louie did, I would have died early on………

    I’m sorry you’ve had health problems. I hope they are better now. I work for American Airlines and would love to meet you in person to express my appreciation for your service in writing this book for our veterans and inspiring the film of the same name. You have done quite a service to our country.

    I have a network of about 300 friends on email. Here’s the Book Review I sent out after finishing “Unbroken”:

    I don’t read many books during the year, but when I do the ones I read are highly recommended from people I trust. The book, “Unbroken” was recommended to me by my friend and lifetime mentor, Gen O Sampson, last year. I’m sorry I waited too long to read it. It’s definitely one of the five best books I’ve ever read!

    Unbroken is the story of Louie Zamperini. His story is in the “unbelievable” category. One reason I wished I would have read this book earlier is because Louie died in July of this year at the age of 97, and had he been living I would have flown to see him just to shake his hand and thank him for his service to our country.

    The author of this book, Laura Hillenbrand, is also the author of the national best seller, “Seabiscuit”. She says in her acknowledgments that she felt certain she would never find another subject that fascinated her like the Depression-era racehorse and the men who campaigned him. But she changed her mind when she had “her first conversation with the infectiously effervescent and apparently immortal Louie Zamperini”.

    Laura has a gift of writing like no other to make past scenes come alive with vivid clarity. I have read many excerpts of men in prisoner of war camps and heard testimonies of the harsh conditions, but her descriptions bring you to tears and give you an appreciation for our veterans that will remain.

    The movie “Unbroken” comes out on Christmas Day this year, and I will go see it. But I can guarantee you it will not have the impact that the book had on me.

    The story is about a young Italian prankster from Torrence, California who had a gift for running and an unstoppable determination. He would have broken the 4-minute mile, but after he ran the 1500 meter in the Olympics, he was drafted into the Army Air Corps and became a bombardier on a B-24. Looking for fellow crew members from another downed B-24, his plane crashes in the Pacific Ocean and he begins a long story of survival, resilience and redemption. It’s a story you won’t forget.

    With great admiration for our service men and women, Bill Murray

  291. I just wanted to say thank you for bringing us this mans story in such a wonderful way I have recently broken my back and been deemed Disabled after two surgery’s and it kind makes my situation look small and very manageable. You did a wonderful job telling this story and bringing it to life. Thank you and I look forward to your next book.

  292. I read the book and of course it’s an incredible story and a great book. What I’ve been curious about is that, in all the publicity I’ve seen about the movie, including Jon Stewart’s interview with Angelina Jolie, I’ve never heard the author mentioned. The author of the book on which a film was based often does not get a lot of publicity, but in this case (a) the book was a bestseller; (b) the fact that it was written by the same author as “Seabiscuit” certainly seems like a point of interest worth mentioning. Hmm…?

  293. Life-changing story about a heroic and legendary man. May he rest in peace.

  294. Hello Laura-

    I thoroughly enjoyed your book Unbroken. It inspired me to include it in my
    blog, which I thought you would like to see:

    All the best, from one author to another,


  295. My 10th grade World Literature classes have just completed Unbroken for the second year in a row. I have enjoyed teaching this so much, as I have seen 15-year-old students relate to and enjoy Louie’s life story so much.

    This year, the students completed literature circles to highlight the events of the story, and beautiful characterization projects to illustrate and support Louie’s character with textual references.

    I have a chalkboard countdown to the movie on my classroom door!

    I can’t wait to read what you are writing next!

    Thank you for such a wonderful book that allows us teachers to provide something meaningful and rich for high school students to read.

    Best Wishes,

    Bonnie Espy

  296. Dear Sir/Madam

    I am Mr.Frank Koko, Director Foreign Allocation Department of the IMF. My office monitors and controls the affairs of the bank and approving of allforeign payments before the final release by the FUNDS TRANSFER Department. I am the final signatory to any transfer or remittance of huge funds movingwithin banks both on the local and international levels in line with foreign claim settlement.

    I have before me list of funds, which could not be transferred to some nominated accounts as these accounts have been identified either “ghostaccounts”, “unclaimed deposits or over-invoiced” sum. On this note, I wish to have a deal with you as regards to these unpaid funds. I have a file beforeme and the data are correct and un-tampered. As it is my duty to recommend the transfer of these surplus funds to the Nigeria Treasury and ReserveAccounts as unclaimed deposits.

    I have the opportunity to write you based on the instructions I received few days ago from the Foreign Debts reconciliation dept to submit the List ofpayment reports/expenditures and audited reports of revenues. In this light, I am soliciting for your confidentiality and consent to apportion thisunclaimed sum in your name as the beneficiary and it will be transferred or ship to you after necessary and due legalization and notarization of claim.

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  298. I just finished reading Unbroken for the second time. As a former USAF navigator with lots of flying in the Pacific, I couldn’t help but question one part of Chapter seven. It states that it took eight hours to fly from their base is Hawaii to Midway Island, prior to their bombing raid on Wake. If I am correct, a B-24 should fly the 1300 or so miles in half that time. Wonderful book and I thank you for it.

  299. I just finished reading Unbroken. It was a great story and a wonderful book. I couldn’t lay it down. Hope you have more books in the future. I plan on reading Sea Biscuit now.

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  301. Can I purchase a copy of “Unbroken” in Brazilian Portuguese?

  302. Hi Laura!

    Kenyon 1972

    Visited Gambier 7/2012, first time in 40 years.

    The magic of the place bridged the decades since I last walked “Middle Path”.

    Have you ever returned?

    Graduated with a BA in fine art, went on to get married, have 3 kids, and spent 30+ years
    in the gilded cage of mortgage banking. Fortunately escaped with my soul intact, back to
    the path I left way too long ago. My very own life. Photography and painting.

    Living in Buckeystown, just south of Frederick. If you ever get up this way, or if I can
    ever be of assistance to you, in any way, just give me a call.

    Photos or videos, even aerial shots, if you happen to need any location shots for any of your work. I would be pleased to assist/contribute, “gratis”, of course.

    Anticipating your next masterpiece!

    “Middle Path” Regards,


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  304. Unbroken was one of the best books I have ever read. Louie Zamperini was such a remarkable man. His life showed such amazing forgiveness. I am thrilled his life has been made into a movie and look so forward to seeing it Christmas Day.

  305. Unbroken was one of the greatest reads of my life! I was so moved by Mr. Zamperini’s story. Which was so inspiring!!

  306. I just finished reading UNBROKEN…one of the best reads of my life, and agreeably “[A] one-in-a-billion story…inspiring.”-NEW YORK ~ as quoted from the back cover of the paperback. Immense thanks to the great author, Laura Hillenbrand, as well as to all those mentioned in her Acknowledgements, for making the book a reality.

  307. Although it would probably be difficult, I hope that you write a book about your illness. I too have a little understood disease with no cause called peripheral neuropathy that has ruined my balance and walking. I have also had vertigo but only 3 or 4 times so I know how awful it is. I would love to read your New Yorker article but they make you subscribe to lots of issues and it’s just your article I want. But your books are so interesting and thorough it would be great exposure for this awful illness for you to write a book about your experiences and let your fans know how extreme the affects can be on one’s life. Thank you for Seabisquit and Unbroken. I pray you get better.

  308. I can’t thank you enough for your book. It brought back memories for my father who met Louis Zamperini back when he was in high school. My dad read your book and shared the story with our family about how he and his friends met Louis and ended up going sailing with him. They got to hear about Louis’ life and stories and Louis even shared about giving his life to Christ. My father never forgot it. Bless you.

  309. As I finished your book today, am helping my Dad with final days/weeks of his life. US Navy WWII Okinawa, Ie Shima, Phillipines- landing craft coxswain. I am sharing excerpts from your book with him daily. He was not a POW but was in a lot of action with island landings and kamikazes. Lost many friends. The book has I think been therapeutic for him, so wish he was able to read it all himself. He has told me things in these last days that have remained unmentioned for nearly 70 years, realizing now that I truly had no idea.
    Thank you

  310. I had the honor of seeing an unedited version of Unbroken in August. I thought the movie was excellent, moviegoers will appreciate this movie.

    I saw Laura’s interview with Tom Brokaw, and if the vertigo is still a concern, then I might suggest seeing a Neurological Chiropractor. I hope this information helps.

  311. My husband and I are looking forward to seeing the movie, “Unbroken”. My husband is a Vietnam Vet who has PTSD and understands some of what the book is about.
    I am wondering if Laura would ever write a book about
    Senator John McCain and what he endured during his capture by the North Vietnamese. Just a suggestion.

    I saw the movie Seabiscuit, and it was wonderful!

  312. I know Laura is probably so busy right now but saw her interview and her speaking about her illness with Vertigo and exhaustion. My partner and I are dealing with the very same problem and doctors and tests don’t seem to come up with an answer. We can’t go out much due to his dizziness and falling. If she found a remedy or help and is better now I would so appreciate any info she could give us. We live in New Orleans and my phone # is 504-434-8155. Thanks so much and we loved Sea Biscuit and look forward to Unbroken.

  313. Please tell Laura that I loved both Seabiscuit and Unbroken. Whenever I need a boost, I watch the documentary of Seabiscuit and his beat up jockey Red Pollard. True heroes both of them (and of course Louis makes 3!) in a world of too much hero “inflation”.
    I wish you well, gutsy Laura. You too are an inspiration.
    CB (physicist)

  314. Ms. Hillenbrand, I read Unbroken I guess not long after it was published and I was blown away. So glad to see it has finally been made into a movie. I am now going through treatment for breast cancer and the way Louie stayed strong I also have tried to stay strong and fight to stay alive. I will be, at the movie on Christmas Day to see this amazing movie. I am not as famous as Louie was but would love to tell you my story if I could. I have always been told that I should write a book about my life but I am not a writer as you can see. Also wanted you to know that I too was born on May 15th, so early Happy B-Day. Love your books keep them coming and I will keep reading them. Thank you Denise in Texas.

  315. Dear Laura Hillenbrand,

    Thank you for pouring your heart and soul into this book UNBROKEN. I can hardly wait for the movie.


    B.Miner, a new Laura Hillenbrand fan

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  317. When I first heard about “Seabiscuit” in a book store, I was so interested in the story about a man and a horse. I had no interests in horse racing, but when I got home and started reading the book, I couldn’t put it down. It is one of my all time favorite books——that is until the book “Unbroken” came along! I’ve read several books on WWII and the Holocaust, but when “Unbroken” was released and I read it, the book, the writing, the whole story line just blew me away! Laura Hillenbrand is such a phenomenal and extraordinary writer! This book will go down in history as one of the greatest books ever written! I can’t wait to go and see the movie when it debuts on Christmas day of this year!

  318. Last night I watched you Laura and Angelina Jolie talking about your book and the movie. I am sure you know a way to contact Angelina and I don’t so please can you give her this blog. She needs to know what mesh does to women before she has her surgery. Laura I also deal with vertigo due to a drug called Gentomicin used last year. There is no cure for me but I write to inform the women of the world what is happening to our bodies. I keep screaming but no one listens.

  319. My mother tells me that our cousin whose last name is Hamilton was one of his track coaches in college. Great story

  320. Laura,

    First off, I commend you for your hard work in spite of the difficulties created by your medical conditions. I pray that you find the strength to see the joy in each new day.

    Secondly, I want to thank you for writing a story that needed to be read. You did a tremendous job in finding a story that had been heard and publicized to some and diving into the details of the heroic feats and distributing the story to the masses. So much has been said about the story of Louis Zamperini, but the one thing I especially appreciate about your work in ‘Unbroken’ is your attention to Russell Phillips – he is no doubt a hero with a magnificent story of overcoming adversity.

  321. I greatly enjoyed Seabiscuit and Unbroken. My father who died nine years ago was the same age as Louis Z. He was in the military in WWW II, but was not sent overseas.

    Unbroken is such a great inspirational story of brotherly love that may have kept young Louis out of jail by getting him into running and an heroic story of courage and faith that changed a life.

    I have an idea for your next project, if you are interested.

  322. Your book is extremely well written…I read it, and reviewed it once again. I have 3 degrees from USC…my parents were classmates of Louis…I coached track for a short while with brother Pete at Banning High School while in graduate school.

    I was very lucky to have my great aunt be Margaret Mitchell. I inherited a large number of her private family letters. One of them led me to the small town of Vimoutiers France…the US air force bombed it accidentally in anticipation of the invasion of Normandy…more than 2,000 people were killed…she and a French air force pilot privately managed to put the town back together again after the war…I traveled to France and then to British Columbia to track the story, study, and learn…While in France my wife and I were awarded honorary citizenship…I was able to have the story published by the AP and by USC. It shares many things in common with your book…especially the importance of giving back…humanitarianism, and doing things right!!! This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the movie Gone With The Wind. I would like to share this story with you if I had an e mail address…

    I created a list of people whom I believe should be interested…like Tom Brokaw, Oprah Winfrey, Shannon Doherty (played the part of Margaret Mitchell in a television movie), Angelina Jolie, and yourself. My problem is finding any sort of way to communicate. This seems so odd given all of todays technology…can you provide any suggestions…??

    Thank you so much for your time…and your book


  323. I picked it up because I loved Seabiscuit and because I’m a runner. I kept reading through the difficult parts – only in the morning, never before sleep – because I am in awe of what can be endured, and then overcome; because I owe it Louis and others like him not to turn away.
    I read, and re-read the passages about his conversion at a Billy Graham revival. Your telling of the story transcends all religious boundaries. That seems miraculous, but I know it was actually thoughtful, difficult work. I’m not religious, yet it resonated with me and reassured me. Thank you.

  324. Ms. Hillenbrand, I have just finished reading your inspiring account of your struggles with CFS. It was as if I was reading the tale of my wife’s un-diagnosed disease and a light flashed. She has been seen by many good doctors in multiple specialties, but to date we are still praying for an answer. I would much appreciate any information you might offer in terms of resources available for diagnosis and treatment of CFS. Sincerely

  325. Ms. Hillenbrand
    I just purchased your book and I will be reading it soon. I was interested in your bio because I too have vertigo that robs me of chunks of my life while I am in an episode. I get it three or four times a year and I have had it last as long as five months. I understand the severe nausea and desperation that accompanies the illness. Numerous doctors and tests reveal no cause. I recently wrote and published a fiction novel titled Nola Rain. I just wanted to reach out to you as one who understands. I wish with all my heart better days for you.

  326. Laura, thanks for writing this incredible story.i truly had a hard time putting the book down.i’ve never sent a comment back to an author! Until now, dan hollar

  327. Dear Laura,
    I also watched the special last night and saw that you are ill with fatigue and vertigo. I had the same illness with other symptoms and went to scores of Boston Doctors. Finally diagnosed by taking matters into my own hands. I have late stage Lyme disease. If you have any desire to explore this possibility, I suggest you get a Western Blot test through Igenex in Palo Alto. Antibiotics are the answer to helping you at least start feeling better. Doctors don’t really know how to diagnose Lyme and it’s co infections. There are thousands like you going undiagnosed and it is awful. I am so much better now after being treated for this for over a year. I plan to buy your book today and read it. It looks amazing.

  328. Dear Laura, Thank you for writing this story. I wanted to reach out to you as I have been putting together my grandmother’s story. Mary Lou Petty-Skok, my grandmother was a swimmer in the 36′ Olympics with Loui and has many photo’s of the games. Her original is in the Seattle Hall of fame. Sadly we lost her this spring 3 days shy of her 99th birthday. We lost two great American treasures this year. I would love to interview you if you would be so kind. Sending you blessings and kind regards.
    Robin Munger

  329. I just finished viewing the nbc special about the screen adaptation of Unbroken depicting the life of Louis zamperini. I would like to introduce you the life of the Grest Joe Rolino. Born in brooklyn ny ,a decorated ww2 veteran , rose to be known as THE WORLDS STRONGEST MAN, known by some of the worlds greatest boxers, lived a healthy strong exemplar life to the incredible age of 103 years only to be killed as a pedestrian 2 blocks from his home while getting his early morning coffee. The intersection where he resided with his niece was renamed The great joe Rolino corner by nyc with a ceremony honoring his life. His Llfe story may be of interest to you. Respectfully chris garofalo.

  330. Writing for 2 reasons:
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  331. Dear Laura,

    I am a decorated and disabled Vietnam Veteran who flew in attack helicopter combat missions in Vietnam. I read your book Unbroken in constant awe. Many people in our Republic of the United States of America have no idea of the sacrifices made by those who serve so that we may live in peace and tranquility with freedom and liberty.

    Wars are filled with atrocities and inhumanities far too immense for most people to even begin to comprehend. I have written a book about my experiences as a young boy going through the military and off to combat in Vietnam. It is rather pale in comparison to Unbroken. You are an exceptional author. I served a total of 18 years in attack helicopter operations and remain a fiercely loyal American Patriot.

    Thank you for this tremendous heartfelt story.

    Richard Christensen

  332. Hi,

    I felt I had to contact you. I just finished your book Unbroken. I read it in little over a week and found it not only fascinating and compelling, but, unfortunately, somewhat familiar with its basic content.

    I live in a small western Montana town just west Missoula. I graduated from college at Eastern Montana College in Billings(’69 -’74[took some time off]). My major was secondary art education.

    It was here I met Ben Steele who was one of my art professors during my stay at Eastern. He not only was an amazing teacher, but, also had an incredible, memorable and commendable personality. He almost was never without a smile, very soft spoken, never outwardly displayed any anger at us sometime impatient and arrogant students.

    I mentioned a familiarity with your book’s content. Earlier this year I read a book called “Tears in the Darkness” by Michael and Elizabeth Norman. It is a biographical account of Ben’s WWII experiences as a POW that started with the Bataan Death March.

    As students we knew only a smattering of his wartime experiences as he did show us some of his drawings when he felt there was some type of technical parallel to what he was trying to convey. But, I/we had little idea as to the extreme of these experiences were until I read his/the authors’ book.

    I will be recommending your book as well as Ben’s to anybody I meet that might remotely show an interest in WWII history.


    Brian Schmid

    P.S. After 40 years, I was able to email Ben(94 yrs. young) via the authors and thank him for my found memories of him and his influences in my life for in 2005 I retired after 31 years as a high school art teacher.

  333. This is without a doubt the best book I have ever read.It should be used to teach history. I learned more about WWII from this book than I have learned my entire life or ever learned in a history class. It brought me to tears, humbled me and gave me great insight to the human necessity to survive.Your extensive research is amazing.

  334. I am a proud daughter of a United States Air Force veteran. I am equally as proud of Laura Hillenbrand for bringing Louie Zamperini’s life story to America and the world. I wish I had had the pleasure of meeting this wonderful man!

  335. This is the most profound reading experience of my lifetime (I’m nearly 75 yrs old a a voracious reader). My near connections to Louie Zamperini are amazing, having been raised a few miles from the Torrance Zamperini home, flying as a stewardess for a military contract carrier and being exposed to the Pacific islands of Wake, Guam and Japan numerous times during Vietnam and finally, living in San Clemente near Pete.
    I couldn’t put this book down. It is stunning & an education
    of epic porportions. Should be required reading in every high school in America. Thank you Laura, for the most profound reading experience of my life.

  336. What a wonderful story. My father-in-law was aboard the USS Indianapolis during WWII. Thank you and your team for all the incredible hard work of putting this story together.

  337. One member of our book club recently brought up
    his disbelief that the occupants of the life boat were able
    to identify the types of aircraft flying overhead from their flying altitude to the surface of the ocean.

    Could you elaborate on that point?

    Thank you for bringing this man’s life to light. A fantastic

  338. On this -Pearl Harbor Day,Sunday December 7th I completed my read of “Unbroken”. I am so moved by the writing and want to thank you for telling the story of Louis Zamperini.

  339. What a wonderfull book. It was terrible & exciting & grand all at the same time. What a character LOouie was & si amazing that he could survive so very much. Hope you will write another book.

  340. As a veteran of Vietnam and DESERT STORM I don’t read war books because they bring back my own painful memories of war. But since I planned to see the movie when released I obtained it on my Kindle. I couldn’t put it down. It was as easy to read as a novel. It also helped put my memories in perspective. Although I have seen many die, have taken lives, and have so many memories of horrible wounds and injuries, the struggles of Louis Zamperini help put mine in perspective. Wish I could have met him. Thank you for writing such an incredible book.

  341. I feel compelled to express my appreciation for all the effort you put forth to produce such a great work of UNBROKEN. An outstanding accomplishment that I enjoyed very much. Not normaly a huge reader, I couldn’t help but read it as often as I gained a chance to do so until completion. Awesome book.

  342. Thank you…my father was a prison guard for Japanese POWs…his pain was so haunting for me….your book brought back vivid memories of his suffering and how it affected my life…forgiveness is the key
    Hank Beckhoff

  343. Please keep telling them.

  344. Ms Hillenbrand
    You are truly a treasure. There is no need for fiction. There are so many great stories

  345. I’ve never been a fan of non-fiction but could not put this book down. I have a 14 year old student with lymphoma and reading about the heart and courage of Louis gave me hope for my student.

  346. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand,
    Your effort and determination to write Seabiscuit and Unbroken while suffering from CFS and vertigo
    is extraordinary…as are your books. Thank you for these wonderful gifts.

    I imagine you’ve investigated numerous cures for your health ailments but, in case you are not familiar
    with the book “It Starts With Food” (Hartwig authors), I suggest you take a look. It offers the science
    and testimonials that prove many health ailments are caused by improper diet, including CFS and
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    I hope this is helpful.
    Best wishes,
    Andrew Kramer

  347. Louis was a camp counselor at my church’s summer camp in Forest Falls, California in the 50′s. I remember him with all of the “down on their luck” boys from the inner-city that he brought to camp with him each summer. He was a wonderful, inspirational man and touched the lives of all who knew him.

  348. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand
    Many thanks for a masterpeice of inspiration. As a scientist, I especially appreciate your thorough research and objective accounting of a true hero’s life. You took the hard way and time will prove the worth of your toil and talent!

    Tony Zhang, PhD

  349. this was an amazing book

  350. Jeana and I were inspired by Louis Zamperini’s story to write this tribute song for Unbroken. We would love your comments on the song. “When The Only One Cheering is You”

  351. My name is Colden Fees and I am a student at Sussex Academy. For my writing class we wrote entries for the Letters About Literature program. For my submission I chose to use Unbroken. I would have preferred to write to Loui himself but I cannot find a place to send fan mail to his family. I have included my full essay, I hope you will read it. Thank you.

    Dear Loui Zamperini,
    “How about this one?” My mom is standing in the audio book isle at my local library holding a 11 disc set with the title reading Unbroken. It is over ten hours long! I read the summary on the back. “A story of survival and resilience.. The life of Louie Zamperini.” Before this time I had never read a true war story so this was a completely new experience for me. It sounded interesting, so I agreed to give it a try.
    I have a thirty minute commute to get to school so this provides a perfect opportunity for me to listen. Each day my mom and I would turn on the story and pick up where we left off, eager to hear the next part since we were so awed. It didn’t take long before we began to listen to the story consistently each morning and afternoon. It was a ritual.
    I was intrigued from the very beginning. Loui’s pre-war life was not your ordinary childhood. He strived to be the best runner he could and was determined to reach his goals. “Though all three men faced the same hardship, their differing perceptions of it appeared to be shaping their fates. Louie and Phil’s hope displaced their fear and inspired them to work toward their survival, and each success renewed their physical and emotional vigor.” That is the person I want to be, a hardworking and determined man. Whenever I feel as if I am struggling I think about Loui and I act how he would act, git my teeth and work. Whenever I feel as if there is too much pressure on me and stress I think of Loui. I realize how my experiences aren’t even close to half as strenuous as his. I reflect on how he lived in hell for years of his life and he stuck with it and persevered. I think, if he can do it then I can do it and I have no excuse to give up.
    I think how strong of a man Loui is to be humiliated and beaten but not retaliate. He chose not to end his life because he saw the good side of it all. This takes incredible strength, which I do not have. I could never have gone through the prisoner of war camps and come out alive on the other end. He is twice the man I will ever be and I admire that. Then at the end he forgave the people that prisoner him and tortured him. “In a single, silent moment, his rage, his fear, his humiliation and helplessness, had fallen away. That morning, he believed, he was a new creation. Softly, he wept.” He has self-confidence and self-resilience. Those are traits I am trying to acquire and I the way I will obtain them is by following Loui Zamperini’s footsteps.
    I also look around me every day and realize how thankful I should be that I have a safe and comfortable environment. While in the POW camps Loui had none of the comforts of life. “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. ——” My eyes are opened to all of the benefits of my life even when it may seem that I don’t have everything I want.
    The story of Loui has been immensely inspirational for me. I have become a stronger and more determined person by experiencing his life. I never knew that a story could be so inspirational and I am so glad that I decided to read this amazing story of survival.

    Colden Fees

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  353. Dear Ms. Hills brand,
    I read Unbroken. It was one of the best books I have ever read. The most important part of Mr. Zamperini’s story was when he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. When you sold your book to Mrs. Pitt you had to know tha she, and Hollywood would NEVER allow this part of his redemption and healing to be told. I have always been dumbfounded how an author could sell a precious book for money and let it be ruined by Hollywood. I will not go see the movie.

  354. TERRIFIC!…i am a veteran of Iraq…spent 12 months there…your writing is captivating…when i read the book i was in the drink with him…write more!!

  355. Good Morning,

    I cannot say I enjoyed reading your book “Unbroken”. I can say it was thought provoking and clearly illustrated the depths and heights of the human spirit. I read with interest the quote by Jean Amery on resentment. In fact, I was so intrigued that I started researching some of his works. Human dignity is universal and unfailing. I was curious Laura as to whether you stumbled upon Jean Amery’s quote or how you came upon putting it in the book. That quote and your illustration of human dignity in both humane and inhumane circumstances really struck at the soul of the matter. Thank you.

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  357. Hello – I just finished reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I was very emotional after reading this book and was dismayed to find out the Mr. Zamperini had passed away in July of this year. That was when I started to cry…

  358. I am presently reading ‘Unbroken’. I notice a tremendous error in one of the photographs. This unreferenced photo shows the Black Nan being shot down. It was shot down on April 10, 1945 in Europe. This plane was in the 464th bomb group, the same group in which my brother concurrently served. This plane could not be in the Pacific theater. Could this be pictorial plagarism?

    This leads me to believe there may be other inconsistencies.

  359. How might I make contact with the author. My Father has had a somewhat similar experince , but in the European theater. Pilot of a B-24J, shot down, POW, escaped etc…etc…I wrote an “Account” of the many events, but sure would apprciate the experince of a professional in rewriting it.
    Thank you for your interest.

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  362. Bought Unbroken in Paperback for my mom (85) as she is the reader and my dad (87) is the collector. They loved everything Seabiscuit & WWII so I was attracted to Unbroken. As Mom is reading, they realize that one of the POWs is Commander John Fitzgerald who was my Dad’s cousin. Unbroken now becomes more a family heirloom for us. We are wondering if there are autographed, hardback editions of Unbroken available for sale. An autographed, first edition would make my parents very happy. Amazon only mentions paperbacks. Thank you for your response. Martin Family

  363. Laura,
    Your book has touched my heart deeply. My great uncle, William H. Dunwoodie, was a pilot for Canada in WWII. His life story paralleled Louie’s — right down to the point that when he was missing in action his young wife at home had a deep sense of hearing him say “Cec, I’m okay,” over and over again. Your book has provided great insight into what he endured and what an amazing man he was to live a full and functional life afterwards. He passed away at age 91 having lived and loved fully after enduring being shot down and inhumanely treated at a number of German POW camps… a nurse poured acid in his eye when he reported that his vision in that eye had returned after being blinded by shrapnel. (He kept quiet when the other eye’s vision came back… pretending he was blind, he would sneak around at night and gather extra food for himself and other POWs.) Through it all he had the same resilience and sense of humor that Louie maintained. On a three day walk from one camp to another (no food and no water) my uncle was so thin and weak he was unable to keep walking. Two American soldiers (also POWs) carried him and risked their own lives to save his. For this I am forever grateful. Thank you for bringing Louie’s story to life as it told me things my uncle never did. For you I pray God’s blessing and also healing if your health has not yet been restored.

    Laurel Kirchner

  364. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand,

    No one should receive the quantity of effusive praise that you are enjoying for Unbroken but having just finished it I cannot in good conscience do anything but add to it. You have told a remarkable story of course, but you’ve done it with no dramatic ploys and no authorial devices. I am so impressed.

    You have also captured the essence of a time and situation in American history more evocatively than anything I remember since Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific and the movie that followed. Thank you, but I’ve read your work much too fast and must now wonder what to do to reload my Kindle.

    Incidentally, I am the only child of WWII parents and with a father who piloted B-24s. Both have now passed and all memorabilia of them and their war years perished in a house fire this past summer. Reading about the plane and its pilots was especially satisfying for me. Thank you.

    Spike Hampson

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  366. I am a great admirer of Ms. Hildebrand’s “Seabiscuit.” After the first couple of chapters, although I hadn’t been to the track in about 20 years, I made a trip to Belmont. Couldn’t resist and won the first race!

    I had great success dealing with CFS with an acupuncturist in NYC. Would like to email you about this and suggestions for a book on LICH (the little hospital that almost could). There’s a lot behind the scenes there.

  367. great read, brilliantly written and truly inspirational story.
    Wallsend on Tyne

  368. This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am in fact
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  369. Laura, I am reading your most excellent book UNBROKEN. In WWII for sure we had many courageous heroes. Than you for bringing us news of this Louie. Rick PS thank you for the hours of research it must have taken you AND all your writer skills. Rick

  370. I would like to send Ms Hiilenbrand a Seabiscuit hat for an autograph , been around race horses all my life. Thanks
    Mark Shepperd Please provide me with a mailing address, for this request.

  371. I’m a Cold War Army vet.I read this book in less than 2 weeks and finished it just before Veteran’s Day ’14. I’ve read many WWII books and watched many movies but this is the first book of that genre that physically and emotionally moved me. I couldn’t describe Mr. Zamperini’s torture to my wife without having to collect myself and dry my eyes. My being seemed heavier and my mood darkened as I progressed from one horrible event to another. The local Veteran’s Day ceremony brought me to tears thinking about what so many military and civilian men and women experienced on either side of the oceans. Their sacrifice of self and family. The events that our veterans of the previous and current wars relive and live with is extraordinary. When I was serving, I often wondered how I would perform in battle and how I would handle those events in my post-war life. I’ll probably never know but I doubt that I could have held on as Mr. Zamperini and with that amount of dignity and then the social service he provided in his post-war life. This is just another example of why the WWII generation is the greatest generation. I am truly in awe.

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  373. I have just finished reading your book Unbroken. I can’t remember a book that has brought out so many emotions, it beggars belief what people endured, the strength of the human spirit, courage and resilience, but sadly what humans will do to each other.
    My Great Uncle was captured in Singapore on his 21st birthday and was enslaved on the Burma railway, he never spoke of it, and carried his experiences and nightmares to the grave.
    Thank you for recording the story of Louie’s life, it will live on forever.

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  375. one of the most compelling and amazing stories i have ever read.

    I have never cried so much during a book.

  376. hello Laura…
    I’ve just bought your book which I wasn’t actually searching for, but spotted on the shelf at a local Target store and decided it was something I would really get into…having just finished Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard’s co-authored documentary ~> Killing Patton. I found it quite interesting however, that coincidentally, both books happen to make mention of Anne Frank (on pg. 4 of your book). The mention of Adolf Hitler in both books is surely more expected, of course. I wonder now what other interesting similarities I may find in common with the 2 books as I continue reading Unbroken. :-)

  377. Hello Laura, my 95 year old WWII buddy, Don Harder, flew B24′s in the war. He was a radioman. Don and I have both read Unbroken. On page 79 is a picture of a B24 getting shot down. The name of that plane was “Black Nan”. Don witnessed it getting shot down that day from his plane. Don asked me to help locate you. I think Don would like to talk to you about some of his B24 flying experiences. Don’s phone number here in Oostburg Wisconsin is 920-550-5549. Please give him a call. Kind regards, Hal R Seider 920-946-1160

  378. Hi my name is Grace Cooper and my teammates for a nation wide project for national history day would like to interview you for this project. It would inspire people across the world and give them greater attention to your book. The topic is leadership and legacy and we decided to do the number one leader in our hearts that is going to to take the first place stand, Louis Zamperini. For this important project we need to interview someone who knew this man as a primary source. Would you please email me confirming that you would like to be asked 10 advanced questions from your heart of this great man. Thank you, from gracie Cooper 8thgrader at moultrie middle school.

  379. I just finished Unbroken and really enjoyed it. I really like your style of writing as it lightens up things when they get too serious. I am amazed he lived through the experience and lived to age 97.

  380. I just finished reading Unbroken. It is the best book I have read i n a long time. Thank you for a wonderful story.

  381. I was born a few days before Pearl Harbor, but my family was relatively untouched by WWII. Thanks to this outstanding book, I have gained a deep appreciation for the men and women who went to war and saved our world.

  382. My father was a bomber crew chief 2nd WW in Europe. I am very familiar with the B24 and have actually ridden in the only flying copy extant. A quick skim of the book revealed a gross error of fact in chapter 6, page 77. The plane is credited with taking off with 75,000 lbs. of ordinence. This is 1,000% more than the capability of the aircraft. 7,500 lbs. is about the maximum. It’s hard to believe this escaped all the proof reads. A quick “google” will confirm this 3,500-5,000 was normal. Sorry, I hope you get this corrected at some point.

  383. Hi Laura, I wanted you to read this post that my son wrote on Facebook. He has huge following: You think YOU got problems???
    I just finished a book recently called Unbroken. It’s a true story about a World War II pilot that went almost literally to hell and back via crashed planes, 47 days on a raft at sea with no food (world record), constant shark attacks, and being rescued by a Japanese crew who kindly escorted him to a Japanese POW camp where he was tortured and starved daily for years.
    He miraculously made it through weighing in at a whopping 79 pounds and became a world renowned speaker and evangelist. Most of his friends at sea with him didn’t even survive the 47 day rafting adventure.
    Here was the best line of the book …
    “The one’s who survived were those who chose to view each set of problems as a challenge to their intelligence.”
    Perspective was LITERALLY the difference between life and death.
    The dudes on the raft who saw their situation as hopeless simply died. The other guys spent each day cleverly collecting and storing rain water, figuring out ways to kill birds and fish, and (this is my favorite part) peppering each other with questions to keep their minds from devolving into a state of psychosis. They never lost hope. They never quit.
    When the main character of the book arrived at the POW camp he viewed all his torture as a challenge to his will and dignity. He refused to let them break him.
    This is all symbolic of life.
    Life is war. Every day is a battle.
    We are all currently adrift at sea fighting for our lives. If not our lives then our hearts – to keep our hearts alive and not lose hope.
    This world does not like your heart. This world wants to KILL your heart. Your mission is to keep it alive. And, oh, while you’re at it? Make sure your fellow soldiers’ hearts stay alive as well. You get medals for that in the afterlife.
    Myself included.
    Don’t be fooled by the smiles and laughter. People are dying inside, whether they know it consciously or not. The smartest people in the world know it and feel it the sharpest.
    Start viewing your problems as no more than that … problems. Everyone has them. I have them. If you knew my problems you would fall right out of your chair. You have no idea.
    Problems can be solved. They may be too big for you to solve them, but the very act of trying enlarges you to the point where you can. That’s why they’re here in the first place. Problems are your friend, not your enemy. They’re an opportunity for growth, and growth is the point.
    What’s your biggest problem? Believe the answer is out there, search for it, try a million different things, and solve it. You will never have that problem again. It will be quickly be replaced by something much bigger. : ) Such is life. Expecting anything different is to be out of synch with reality, delusional and miserable.
    REAL life is not a big party with some hardships sprinkled in to be brushed away as quickly as possible.
    REAL life is war with some parties sprinkled in to give you a taste of the eternal party to come.
    Get it out of your head that life should be easy. I used to think that and it made me absolutely miserable. Lower “comfort” on your list of values from the top to off the list completely. People who value comfort are losing the battle BIG TIME. They’re not even in it. They are scared, hiding draft dodgers who trick themselves into thinking they’re something they are not.
    I HIGHLY recommend reading that book. After seeing what this one man endured, my problems looked a heck of a lot smaller to me. I’ve got some challenges, but I mean … sharks aren’t jumping up at my face all day while I’m hungry. That would be super annoying.

  384. So good to hear that you are able to recraft Louis Z’s story so younger readers can appreciate the sacrifice he made, as well as numerous others. This is the second book of yours I read, and am both exhilarated and exhausted.Your attention to detail and graceful quality to composition of events that I had no former knowledge of held me engrossed from start to finish. Looking forward to your next work,


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  387. Hi Laura. I received your Goodreads email today regarding your young readers rewrite of Louie’s story Unbroken. THANK YOU! I have already used pieces of the original to help my students pick out keywords and ideas, and now I can take it to a greater audience. You just made my day! Thank you for sharing your craft.


  388. Ms. Hillenbrand, Unbroken is one of the best non-fiction books I have read. It is a great idea to write a version for younger readers. I can’t wait for the movie. I only hope it does your book and Louie’s story justice.

  389. Ms. Hillenbrand,

    I’m sure you may unaware of the connection I have to your book “Unbroken.” While doing family research on my uncle, I was made aware of your book, which incorporated or referred to history of the 529th and 530th Bombardment Squadrons and the 380th Bomber Group, which arrived at Hickham Field, Hawaii. I had hoped to send you a personal email, and hope that you are able to respond to this. In your book, “Unbroken,” the plane that went missing, Corpening’s Crew listed a passenger on their list. That passenger was my uncle; MSgt. Richard E. Boucher. I have been haunted by the connection between Louis Zamperini and his story, whose plight was precipitated by the search for a plane on which my uncle fly and is still listed as Missing In Action. I wish I had had the opportunity to meet Mr. Zamperini.

  390. Laura Hillenbrand, you are an amazing woman! I enjoyed reading “Seabiscuit” but “Unbroken” just blew me away! There are not enough words to describe the admiration and respect I have for one who is capable of this talented writing and now to top it off with a children’s version. Just amazing! I send you warm wishes for all that is good.

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  392. I simply enjoyed reading this book of courage and human redemption. being a fire expert for the last 35 years I have meet several burn survivors that over came mountains of pain and severing to over come all odds of survival . One example is Louise Taylor who I represented after serving 42 in prison for the death of 28 in a hotel fire in Tucson Arizona , he was innocent and . Last year he was released at the age of 59 . This story needs to be told and Laura needs to tell it . All the best Patrick Andler

  393. Laura, you are an artist with words! Thanks for sharing your gift with the rest of us. I only just started reading Unbroken, and already have to tell you, thank you. There were several sentences that I needed to linger on because you crafted them so well. Not only do I get to read a great story, but I get to enjoy an inspiring writing style. Thanks!

  394. Laura,
    I just finished reading “Unbroken” great story, thanks so much. I was fascinated with the book and the story of survival even more so that Bird survived as well. I hope the children of Louie carry on his legacy and story beyond the book and film.

    I’m also intrigued with your chronic illness, CFS. Have you been tested for Lyme disease? I would encourage you to get tested. I’m curious if you where cleared of that diagnosis before you where given the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

  395. Всем привет

  396. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand,

    Thank you for becoming a writer.

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  399. Hello! My name is Christine and I am working on my final senior portfolio as a journalism major at Auburn University. I have done some research on Operation International Children and would love to conduct a short interview with Ms. Hillenbrand purely about OIC.

  400. Gclub, I purchased Unbroken through Amazon 3 weeks ago for book club, imagine my surprise I get to chapter that almost half pages are cut off! From page 206 to 236 are damaged. I will still read it but disappointing. Molly

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  402. Dear Laura,

    When an acquaintance learned that I had 78-speed propaganda records from the radio show “The Postman Calls,” but did not know their purpose, she suggested that I read “Unbroken.” Those records, now transcribed onto a CD, belonged to my late uncle who was captured at Corregidor, and became a Japanese Prisoner of War for 3 1/2 years.

    Though he was just a big, lazy kid who’d joined the Army in a show of bravado, and Unbroken is the story of brave, resilient Louis Zamperini, they had in common great suffering–in captivity and when they returned. Unbroken has presented in great deal what my uncle endured and why his return was so challenging–for him, and for his family.

    Thank you for writing Unbroken. It gives a voice to so many men who couldn’t, or wouldn’t tell their stories. The world will know of the atrocities suffered in Japanese prison camps and the valiant struggles of those who survived to function once again in society.

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  405. I read ‘Seabiscuit’ several years ago and just finished ‘Unbroken’. Thank you, thank you, thank you Laura Hillenbrand for teaching me about two monumental episodes in America’s history that were all but forgotten and would have remained so if not for your meticulous, loving research and incredible authorship. You have enriched my life!

  406. Dear Laura, I have just finished your outstanding book Unbroken; I came upon it as I was ordering “The Invention of
    Wings” As both of my parents were in WW2, Mom an army nurse and Dad in medical supply, I was interested. Also a couple of uncles were in the Pacific. Oh my, the struggles of the strong men and women and the evil of the oppressors. As a child of the 50′s I remember drills in school to march into shelters…
    Also remember listening and watching Billy Graham. I live in
    Minneapolis, and know Rev. Graham had headquarters here.
    Thank you so much for this gift. Hope we can each in our own way stop the suffering and abuse of our fellow man.
    Looking forward to the movie. Gratefully, Pat

  407. Just completed Unbroken… AMAZING ! Your work on this really paid off – producing a compelling story of grit, courage endurance and success.

    Here is a great link to see the B-24 inside and out … move the mouse and you can see it all in 3D. copy and paste this link:

  408. Dear Laura,

    Does bending your head forward still cause dizziness? Upper cervical chiropractic is very effective at helping that condition. Look up http://www.atlasorthogonal or, if your haven’t. This type of treatment will help in your recovery.

    Unbroken was Fabulous!

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  410. At this moment I am going away to do my breakfast, after having my breakfast coming yet again to read additional news.

  411. Absolutely loved this book! Truly inspirational, and really is one of the greatest books I’ve ever read! Can’t wait for the movie, hoping it will live up t the great example this book set!

  412. Loved the book! Wished for two days after that it hadn’t ended.
    Two treatments for chronic fatigue which did wonders for my sister: D-ribose 5g 3xday and faith that God will give you the answer after some research on your part. The answer’s different for each individual. I spent years finding “the cure” to my autoimmune disease (lupus) and with God’s help found the nutrients and balance my body was deficient in. Once I did I couldn’t believe how quickly my body rebounded. Went from bedridden to fully thriving in a couple years! It’s not that I don’t still have bad days. I know that I still have this genetic tendency and need to really be careful with my energy at times of sickness and stress. I pray that the answers will come to you as you ponder over the matter. Best wishes to you! You are an incredibly talented writer and I truly appreciate you sharing that talent with me!

  413. Hello Laura,

    Big fan of your books. Quick question we are producing a film based on a true story that revolves around the coal industry. Long story short it’s based on the Rich family who are the largest land owners in Pennsyvania. I wanted to see if you’d be interested in looking at the story to adapt into a book. It’s a remarkable. I’m sure your repped at either CAA or WME. If you would be so kind to point me in the right direction of who represents you that would be wonderful.

    Looking forward to watching Unbroken. I sincerely hope they did the book justice.

    All the best,


  414. Hello. I purchased Unbroken through Amazon 3 weeks ago for book club, imagine my surprise I get to chapter that almost half pages are cut off! From page 206 to 236 are damaged. I will still read it but disappointing. Molly

  415. Just started reading Unbroken. Its sickening how you sold your soul to the Jews by keeping the lie of the HoloHoax alive and the unjust demonizing of Adolf Hitler who turned Germany around during the 30s.

    Jesse Owens was snubbed by FDR, not Hitler, who waved to him.

  416. I just finished Seabiscuit, which had gathered dust in my library fort a number of years, a gift from my daughter-in-law, and I have to tell you it was the first book of thousands I’ve read over my 72 years that I did not want to end. You captured not only the essence of the racing world but truly the essence of the times as they were. You actually brought tears to my eyes as I read the incredible account of the match race with War Admiral. You writing is elegant as I suspect are you and I know I will pick up this wonderful accounting of the Horse and his entourage and read it again and again God willing…Thank you for this incredible effort and best wishes to you and yours.

    Gary J Thuro

  417. I finished the book last night. One of the best books I have read in a long time next to “Lone Survivor”. The way Ms Hillenbrand uses the words to explain the pain and suffering of the POWs in the Asian Threater was excellent. I had a difficult time putting the book down. I have read several books on WWII and the battles, people and results. This one has really touch my heart. The chapter on his becoming a christian was very moving. Louie’s struggles after war and the paths that took him through the remainder of his life really touched my spirit. Thank you Ms Hillenbrand for bringing the life of Louie Zamperini to the American public. I plan to see the movie, but the movie is never as good as the book. Thank you again for the research and writing a book that tells the story of an American hero like no other.


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  420. Laura, I just finished reading Unbroken. What a fantastic tale told so superbly that the book keeps the reader riveted. I was not aware of all the brutality and murder of our Americans and found what the Bird did disgusting. A great story and inspirational. It was great to watch some of the videos too. God Bless you Laura.

  421. Dear Laura,
    Just wanted to let you know that I’m sitting in a 10th grade World History class and the students are avidly discussing your book, Unbroken. I am loving this! Thank you for inspiring our youth!

  422. Your book has been on my list to read since its release in 2010. Although an avid reader, time was consumed by my professional job and volunteer endeavors but fast-forward four years, I can finally say I can check Unbroken off my list.

    It was a raw read and I was utterly hooked from the start. It horrifies me to know it is real, not a fictitious tale. My grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, refused to speak of her camp interment, her escape, and her use as a translator that ultimately led to her survival. Reading this book made me wish that she had. Louie’s story is of courage. His survival is a testament to bravery I can’t even imagine. It struck a chord that is hard for me to articulate.

    Your own struggle with health issues is one too of resilience. In July, I was forced to take a leave of absence from work to address my health issues that spiraled out of control. I don’t normally take the time to contact authors but while I have unexpected, forced time on my hands, I felt compelled. I have been documenting my journey in a blog as a means of sharing information and resources to others who also suffer from autoimmune diseases with the ultimate hope I can be a source of inspiration and empathy. However, I can only hope that through my continued journey I can summon an ounce of the strength that you so eloquently documented and shared with the world – both that of the war heroes and your own. Thank you.

  423. Just finished reading Unbroken! What an amazing life Louis Zamperini lived and God’s faithfulness through out his life was so evident! Thank you for choosing to write a story that was so incredible and inspiring! Please keep doing what your doing! God has certainly blessed you with a gift for writing!

  424. Laura, I have been wanting to contact you to say I loved your books Seabiscuit and Unbroken. I have had CFS the last 16 years and know your battle with this godawful illness. Your books offered a temporary and blissful diversion from the darkness of my life due to CFS. Thank you for putting a face on CFIDS. I call it the “Rodney Dangerfield” of illnesses because it doesn’t get any respect. Maybe there will be a treatment before I die, but not counting on it. I look forward to your next book and hope you are doing well. Bill Sullivan, Sacramento, CA. God Bless

  425. Miss Laura,Great Book,like Seabiscuit.WW2 is my area Of concern.Omori was a brutal place.A garbage dump,built by other pows.The japanese made a rice distribution center out of the pow camp.By stealing rice,pows survived.They were sold into slave labor.My late Uncle Robert worked making Japanese Zeros.He was captured in the philippines after being injured in the Colin Kelly flight.Very little is written about Omori.I will review the movie.kindest regards,Mike Altman

  426. Just a fan eagerly awaiting your next best seller! I admire immensely the depth of research of your subject, followed by your gift for presenting your subject in a organized yet gripping style. That you have accomplished this all the while dealing with fatigue syndrome is remarkable. I thank you for the many hours of pure joy I have experienced reading your books.

  427. I am so grateful for being introduced to such a remarkable life story of Louis Zamperini through, probably the best book I’ve ever read – Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I am only 17, but I’ve read hundreds of books and I’m still waiting for the one that’s gonna leave a bigger impact on me. Truly extraordinary.

    Mrs. Hillenbrand, thank you.

  428. My boyfriend is a huge fan of yours and I want to get him an autographed book! Please please please consider helping me. He is turning 18 and I want to get him something special !

  429. I am currently reading the kindle version it truly is a very inspiring book.It makes you realize that we as Americans,take a lot for granted.I have a fathernlaw who is alive at age 95 and spent 2 years in a German prison of war camp.I would be interested if Laura Hillenbrand would be interested in writing a book about his life.

  430. After reading both Seabiscuit and Unbroken I wanted to know more about the author. I learned Laura Hillenbrand suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrom.

    Please forward this information about her disease and possible treatment.

    Stanford Medicine School has a video on YouTube “CFS E20″ based on the article “Immune system disruption: the search for answers” by Kris Newby. The YouTube video features Dr. Jose Montoya and is about the Stanford Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Initiative and especially about a young woman who has been treated and cured.

    I hope this will be helpful.
    Patricia Hanlon

  431. Hi Laura,
    Finished Unbroken a few days ago. I generally don’t enjoy biography, but this blew me away.
    I sort of figured a lot of it was made up, because, of course, you weren’t there and I figured there wasn’t much record of his life.
    When I got near the end of the book, it became clear that there were countless hours of interviews.
    Anyway, great book. Thanks so much.
    p.s. And your photo in the back is stunning.
    Charles Sibirsky

  432. I am finding it most difficult to stop reading UNBROKEN. By far the best book I’ve read all year. Thanks so much for writing this, and hopefully Miss Jolie does this justice on the big screen.

  433. I was moved by the story of Louie’s life. I can’t imagine the amount of work that went into this book but am thankful for all the people that contributed to it. I most appreciate the way the story was told and let the reader form his own opinions. I am mostly shocked that I’ve never heard of Louie’s life before this book. Our society needs a wake up call to start valuing this hero and others like him.

  434. Dear Laura:
    When I recently saw the story about Lois Zamperini’s death and your interview I knew I had to right you with an idea about a future book that you would be a great author for. I know you probably have other ideas for books but I would like to propose one for your consideration. This story, like Unbroken, is a story of survival – but more.
    On September 23, 2005, President George Bush draped the pale blue ribbon of the Congressional Medal of Honor on 76-year-old Tibor “Ted” Rubin for his heroic actions as an American soldier and POW during the Korean Ward 55 years earlier. On April 11, 2013 President Barack Obama posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor to CPT (Chaplain) Emil Kapuan, a Roman Catholic priest (whose photo has an uncanny resemblance of a young Kirk Douglas), for his heroism and sacrifice in Korea 63 years before.
    Why are these two Medal of Honor recipients connected? Both served with the 8th Cavalry during the Korean War and both may have been in the same North Korean prisoner of war camp. Both performed heroic acts in that POW camp that resulted in saving the lives of numerous other American POWs. Both are two heroes of “the Forgotten War” that need to be recognized for their sacrifice and bravery. Both of these heroes risked their lives in the POW camp to gather food and care for their fellow POWs (in fact CH Kapuan nickname in the camp was Father Ditmus [so called from the thief crucified with Jesus]).
    Tibor Rubin is unique in that he is the only Jewish Holocaust survivor (he survived the Mathausen Death camp) to receive the MoH. Father Kapuan is one of only a few Chaplains to receive the MoH and may be the only MoH recipient to be canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.
    I think their story would make an exceptional book about survival, sacrifice and bravery. I include a short synopsis of their story for you.

    Very Respectfully,

    Roger L. Ward

    PS Gary Sinise would be a great director for a movie about Rubin & Kapuan

  435. Hi Laura, I’m a hairstylist and one of my clients who is doctor read your book and asked that I contact you. She said that there was strep mentioned in your history My son his 25 was a college student training for the olympic tryouts in boxing when it hit him out of the blue. He was bedridden for the 3 years and has been getting better for the last year. We finally found that he has a autoimmune disease to strep that effected his body and brain. It is very rare but can be tested and treated.There are only four specialist within the specialiy in the country that treat this illness. I travel 4 hour each way to Doctor Bouboulis in Darian Conn. he is a genius. It’s been a nightmare . I I never leave any stones unturned. As you can see I’m as far from a writer that one can be. Wishing you the best. Dianne

  436. Just finished your book,audio edition. Will be recommending and gifting to all readers known to me. What a life and story. Please continue to write these transcending tales that everyone should be able to witness through your work.

  437. Thank you for this amazing book! It is giving me such courage and inspiration as I suffer with symptoms of CFS and Fibromyalgia. I practice writing and someday hope to publish something of value. I am telling everyone to read Unbroken because I feel it can strengthen anyone’s resolve. Lynette

  438. Hello Laura,

    I was wondering if you would be interested in writing a book about my mother. She is 86 years old. Born in the US, she moved to Japan as a young girl. Her story is about survival and escape from Hiroshima in the aftermath of the atomic bomb…

    I’m not a writer, but think there are many that would love to hear her story.


  439. Just finished the book while vacationing in New Orleans. Went to the WW2 Museum today and was so very grateful to have read the book. My dad served in Guam, , Tinian, and Saipan and just died in February. All of this together leaves me quite emotional and so much more aware of what the war meant to all of us. I am so glad I had the opportunity to read Laura’s book!

  440. Hi-

    I am very interested in finding out if Laura would be available and interested in speaking to an audience of parents in the Fort Worth/ Dallas Area?

    I saw on her website she will be in the Area on Dec. 6th.

    We host this event with 4 Private schools in the Fort Worth area and would love to get the opportunity to host Laura at this Speaker Forum Event.
    Please send information of brooking Laura to : (817) 917-3444..

    Thank you and look forward to hearing from you,
    Moira Taylor

  441. Dear Ms. Marvin,

    I would like to contact Ms. Laura Hillenbrand regarding the idea for a new book. It is in the horse racing genre and is a true story. Hopefully, you can pass along my email (above)and my phone number, 919-270-2578.

    It is my hope that Ms. Hillenbrand is well enough to discuss this with me.

    Thank you for your time and assistance in this matter. I hope you can help me.

    Jennifer Rainey

  442. Hello Laura,

    I am a songwriter. My partner Jeana and I wrote this song “When the Only One Cheering is You” about the inspirational story of Louis Zamperini. We would like to share it with you.

    We would be very interested in your and his thoughts and comments on the song.

    All the best,

  443. Ms. Hillebrand: if there is any chance you will read this I would like to express my disappointment in learning that Ms. Jolie has omitted the most important part of your great story about Louis. I understand his bout with alcoholism and commitment to Christ will not be in the film….Was there not anything you could have done about this?
    Thank you

  444. Pete Zamparini was my husbands high school coach and favorite teacher and Louise and Anthony Zamparini were our first landlords. We never met Louie but I can still remember 40 years ago hearing the pride in Louise voice when she talked about Louie. Louie was not the only Zamparini to make an impression, I treasure Mrs Zamparinis recipe for meat sauce that she taught me when I was first married and Mr Zamparinis advice for a long marriage “never go to bed angry” which have proved to be valuable advice. Knowing the three Zamparinis that we did know it is no wonder Louie was such a remarkable man, he came from an incredible family.

  445. Great book
    My problems seem so minor compare to Lou’s
    I have been a guardian on honor flight 7 times
    And the world war 2 veterans have great stories
    The ww2 memorial in DC is great
    When I read your book I thought I was right there
    Keep up the good work,
    Dean mahovlic

  446. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand,

    I am a Japanese native and enjoyed reading Unbroken. The story of a real person with superb will power, determination, vulnerability and strength is superb. I also found the detailed observation of WWII and POW life from the U.S. military person very interesting. I feel it is important to understand the historical event from various perspectives.

    I have a few questions, though, as follows:

    1) Page 315, Line 9-10; “eaten alive in ritual acts of cannibalism.” I am not aware of such ” ritual acts of cannibalism” in Japanese culture. Where is this statement coming from? If it is true, and mentioned by Mr. Zamerini, being such a person with meticulous details and “superlative pack rat,” I would like to see the source of this statement. If this is not true, I would like to have this corrected. This could be very offensive to Japanese people.

    2) Page 321, Line 17; “leaving Japan, he hoped….” Okinawa is a part of Japan. So Louis was not leaving Japan when he was airborne on the way to Okinawa. This statement could be very offensive to people of Okinawa.

    I would appreciate if I can receive your reply.

    Tomoko Takahashi

  447. This is my first time go to see at here and
    i am truly pleassant to read everthing at alone place.

  448. I rarely venture outside of the world romance novels, but this caught my eye! I found I couldn’t put it down! Great job. Thank you for such an intimate insight into the world of Japanese POW’s.

  449. I’m looking forward to reading “Unbroken”.

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  451. Hi Laura I love your books. I’m a huge fan. I’m just wondering are you working on any new books at this time? anxiously await your next work – your loyal fan LE

  452. Thank you so much for writing “Unbroken.” It is truly one of the most fascinating stories I’ve ever read!

  453. Thanks for your books. I love them.

  454. Wow. I just finished the book. I had purchased a hard copy of Unbroken for my youngest son’s 21st birthday as he shares an interest in WWII aircraft and biographical stories from that era. My copy is the paperback version that became available recently before buying it for myself. Unlike some that have posted here about it being so riveting they could not put it down, I was only able to get through it in much smaller, slower-paced doses. True stories like this of such horrific experiences cannot be quickly devoured regardless of the skill of the writer. It was Ms. Hillenbrand’s writing style that first riveted me to the anecdotes of Louie’s early history, but when the events transitioned from interesting details to the incredible life raft survival saga, I had to take periodic breaks to allow me to process the intensity of what those men endured. The cruelty of POW life Louie was forced to experience, along with so many others, at times left me unable to continue reading. I had to put the book down for a day or two just to let the emotional intensity subside enough to continue. I am especially appreciative of Ms. Hillenbrand’s description of Louie’s spiritual epiphany and the life of faith that transformed him into the better version of himself I think most of the readers hoped for as they read about his immediate post-war struggles. As I finished the last page I could almost sense the immense blessings that have rippled outward from Louie to all of those that came into contact with him after his religious faith conversion. What a tremendous story of survival, suffering and redemption. I salute Louis Zamperini and the incredible research efforts of Laura Hillenbrand for bringing his almost larger-than-life story. Saude!

  455. Author Laura Hillenbrand has written another truly brillant body of work: “Unbroken.” As a former Cold War prisoner of the early Moslem Jihadists, I can relate to what it means to be at the hands of some very severe captors. Ms. Hillenbrand captured more than just the essence of being a prisoner, she brings the reader to feel the pain and suffering of being a prisoner held in a foreign land by those who hate us for being Americans or unlike them. I trained former Japanese WWII pilots and would routinely ask them about their “War Culture” as Ms. Hillenbrand so perfectly articultated in “Unbroken.” Ms. Hillenbrand also captured the strong and determined spirit of those who resist being brought down by their captors. Congratulations to this wonderful author and may she enjoy good health and happiness in all that she continues to do.

    Best regards, Go Big! or Go Home! Go Navy!

    CDR Jerry K. Loeb, USN (Ret.)
    Author: “Anthem”

  456. The last time I read a book in two days was “THE GODFATHER”. “UNBROKEN” was glued to my hands. I love the TRUE triumph when all odds are against you themes. CINDERELA MAN,THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED, to name a few. I own Seabiscut the movie and now I want to get the book! What are you working on now? Keep up the good work(s)!

  457. I just finished reading Unbroken and wanted to thank you for writing this book. My father was in the occupation forces in Japan for at least a year with the Army Air Corp as a radio operator. I think I now realize why he hated the Japanese people so much. I wish he was still here so I could ask him about what he knew about the former POW’s and there treatment. He also lost an Uncle in a B-24 in the Pacific area on 8 Dec 1941. His aircraft was lost for unknown reasons and no sign ever found.

  458. Laura,
    Thank you for writing Unbroken. The book was beautifully written and a fitting tribute to Mr. Zamperini, Phil, and the other POWs and their families. Having just finished reading it, I feel emotionally drained and uplifted. This is a story, and a book, I will never forget.
    Very respectfully,
    Dave Grogan

  459. Thank you for the privilege of allowing me to get to know Mr. Zamperini. Ms Hillenbrand, you don’t need me to echo the words of millions before me regarding this amazingly written and telling work of art. Yet suffice it to say I am ill-equipped to praise it, you and all those involved (including the unwillingly POWs and their loved ones) adequately.

    Mr. Zamperini’s story is of course, incredible and your skill as a writer succeeded in placing me and no doubt all other readers “right there”, almost feeling every emotion, every vicious blow and every moment of happiness.

    This book has accomplished a number of things for me. Three of them are, the education I received, the “entertainment” of being engrossed in a wonderful book and the escapism a “good book” provides.

    The following two are perhaps the most important…

    One, I feel as if I lost a “best friend”… and two, I will never be able to walk past a 90-something year old again without wondering who I am walking past.

    Thanks for your “work of art”, and based on the book’s credits and closing words, I hope your health is in top form.


  460. I had heard about this book and felt driven to read it. I bought it recently. It’s a fairly large book, and I thought it would take quite a while to get through it. I was wrong! I could scarcely put it down, and read it in its entirety in about 5 days. This book is so well written! One of the best adjectives to describe it is “riveting”! Thank you, Ms. Hillenbrand, for writing this book and telling this story! There were parts that moved me so deeply that I WEPT! I will be recommending this book many times over, and will be purchasing copies to give as gifts! Again, thank you!

  461. Just read that Ms Jolie gas decided to remove the pivotal point of Louies life, of the story of his being able to forgive from the movie, I have bought and given away probably 25 of your books to friends. Thank you for writing it. I truly believe that if Louie were alive to see the movie shown with no reference to Gods healing grace, he would have felt deeply hurt and betrayed.

    Thanks for writing it in truth for him
    Kind regards, Greg Eagy

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  463. I just complete a review of Unbroken. It’s available to read at

    Thanks for writing about Zamperini’s life!

  464. After reading Unbroken about a local legend, Louis Zamperini, I decided to read Seabiscuit and just finished it. Thank you for the experience you shared in both of these books. You inspire the reader to truly learn and understand about each topic. While reading Unbroken, I discovered that I could only read it during the day, as it gave me nightmares filled with sharks and explosions. I found myself googling WWII and talking to friends who remembered their experiences. I was also able to share my husband’s passion for aviation and he taught me to identify planes. I have reread chapters of Seabiscuit, googled videos of the races, and have not stopped thinking about the story for the past three days since finishing the book. I feel compelled to share how much I have gained from your books. Thank you seems so meager, but it is truly heart felt.

  465. I just finished reading Unbroken. I’m sure that you’ve heard it many times before, but “I could not put it down!”. Excellent and inspiring book on the life of a truly American hero.
    My late father was a combat veteran of the Pacific War. He was at Guam, Okinawa, the Philippines and a small, unknown island where his path intersected with Ernie Pyle on the war correspondent’s last day. Daddy was 43 when I was born in 1963. He died when I was 18. He never talked about the war. I became curious about the time I turned 40 and did extensive research on his military career during WWII. I contacted many of his Army friends and got information. I had it bound in an album and wound up sending it to 33 states and 2 to the Philippines. It was a soul journey of closure for me.
    I know that everyone thinks that their story is unique and special, but I’d be glad to send a copy of the album to you as a gift and thank you for writing Unbroken.
    Also, if you should ever embark on another research project for a book, I’d be glad to volunteer any research time to help you.
    Marc Willis
    Birmingham, AL

  466. just finished “Unbroken” and must tell you that it is undoubtedly the most difficult and most engaging book I have read in a long time. It is superbly written, incredibly researched and presents an horrific story that informs the reader so well. It is a book that I have recommended enthusiastically as a “must”. I hope that Laura continues to enjoy many years of prosperity and fulfillment because of this work; and I hope that she contiues to enrich our lives with her talents.

  467. Just finished unbroken. Wondering, what ever happened to Louie’s wife? Were they together till the end?

    Dear Laura,
    I read “Seabiscuit” years ago, and “Unbroken” just recently. Both are fantastic, easy-to-read inspirational books. But what has inspired me the most is knowing that you accomplished these while dealing with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

    Wanting to know more about your illness and how you experienced it, I read the 2010 Washington Post article, and also your article “A Sudden Illness” in the New Yorker.

    For the past ten years I have also had Chronic Fatigue, Depression and chronic pain, and I’ve been searching for a cure. As a psychiatrist I first utilized the best that my profession and western medicine has to offer, but they helped very little. So I took a spiritual approach, turned to eastern medicine, and finally to Shamanic Medicine. I am improving, and I hope that someday I’ll be completely well.

    I now look at illness from these different perspectives, so when I read “A Sudden Illness” there were many “Aha” moments. Fascinating story. If you would like my insights, let me know.

    I do hope your are feeling better and have the strength and energy to enjoy your well-deserved success.
    Jolene Starr, M.D.

  469. Bonjour,

    Je me nomme Lukaz PONNET, et je suis un étudiant français. A l’heure où j’écris ces mots, je viens tout juste de finir ce fabuleux livre qu’est “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption”.

    Que dire, si ce n’est merci. Un très grand merci à vous, à votre passion, et à ce grand personnage dont l’essence demeure présente au sein de ce récit. Merci pour cette leçon d’histoire, pour cette leçon d’humanité, pour m’avoir permis de découvrir un homme qui n’a pas abandonné. Merci pour avoir su décrire son parcours extraordinaire, dont je ressors les larmes aux yeux.

    J’ai peu de connaissances dans votre langue, mais je tiens quand même à vous rendre hommage avec la mienne, à vous et à votre travail, et à M. Zamperini qui nous a quittés. Peut-être ce message ne sera t-il jamais lu, mais je suis heureux de l’écrire en ce jour.

    Longue vie à vous,

    Lukaz PONNET

  470. Unfortunately, I am not a voracious reader, but saw an interview recently with Louie on a news show. Raising my curiosity, I read Unbroken; it was one of the most intriguing and incredible books I have ever read. You were able to communicate the numbing effects of the punishment meted out to the POWs and Louie.

    I am a retired researcher and commend you for the amazing effort you put into finding details and weaving them into this book. I also felt a bit wistful that all these people have died (very recently, Louie). Even the acknowledgements were worthwhile.

    Thanks for telling this story!!

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  472. I was riveted by Unbroken and wrote a 5-star recommendation on my blog. Thanks for all the blood, sweat and tears that went into the research and writing. You have left a legacy for Louis Zamperini and for countless others who are “lost but not forgotten”.

  473. Greetings Laura, I have enjoyed your books immensely! My father was a naval officer in the pacific, so Unbroken had special meaning for me. We share other interests, I have been working as a College Therapist specializing in International Student population and currently volunteer at a Refugee Center in New Haven, CT. Our most significant commonality is my son has been diagnosed with CFS. An active soccer player in High School after a series of infections is now at home in bed. I am becoming active in trying to raise money for research for the disease. If you would ever consider in some way becoming involved, it would be such an honor for you to lend your voice. I wish you renewed and restored health and best wishes for your continued success! my personal email is above.

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  475. Thank you very much for writing the book. Not only did I benefit personally from reading it, but I see some hope that our family might still, after all this time, find some specific information about the captivity of one of our elders, who was interned in Japan right from the outset of the war through to liberation. He was 52 and a civilian employed on Guam when he was taken prisoner; despite age and his wooden leg, he survived and returned to us, and lived another 9 years, but understandably, we didn’t end up with much detail about his experiences (not even name of detention camp, for example.)
    Could you please refer me to potential sources of information, or a potential mentor to help me start the search? All our family would be grateful.

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  477. I am looking to see if you either do SKYPE or author visits for schools. Our 8th graders will be reading your book titled Unbroken : A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. We would love to have them be able to SKYPE or meet you in person to learn about you, the book, and writing. Out school is located in the Buffalo, Ny area.


  478. My brother suggested I might like this web site. He used to be totally right.

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  479. This book peeked my interest, after seeing an interview on the “Today” show featuring Angelina Jolie and Louie Lamperini. The “true” story kept me spell bound. I felt as if I was right there with the men, through it all. I learned more from this book, than any history class. I’m not a quick reader, but finished this book in less than 3 full days.

    My Dad was a Bombardiere in WWII. He never spoke about his war time experiences. I am grateful to have his very limited diary of a few of his missions. How I wish I could hear his account of his actual experiences.

    I truly hope that Ms. Jolie has done justice with the movie that is being released this December, 2014. The book should be a “must read”, for our youth. Freedom is not something to be taken for granted. The sacrafices these men and others make today, should never be forgotten or taken for granted.

    I would like to give a very personal thank you to Ms. Hillenbrand for all her hard work and effort to bring this story to life, as well as everyone who assisted her.

    After reading this book, I will never forget these men, who endured the most intolerable torture, pain and ultimate sacrifice. Thank you, to all our men and women who serve our country today. May God keep you all safe!

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  481. My wife (Pat Walker Locke) is the 1st African American women (by order of Merit and one of only 2 – the other being Joy Dallas – in the class of 1980) to graduate from West Point. Your work has (I think!) finally convinced her to tell her story! Thank You! Now to find someone like you to help – no easy task there! :)

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  483. I am 65 years old, a Vietnam Era Veteran, served in the Marine Corps and also in the Army from 1969 until 1975. My father served in the Marines during WWII. My father-in-law served during the war in the North Atlantic in the Navy and went down of 2 destroyers but managed to survive. My Uncle, Howard Bender, is one of the few Pearl Harbor survivors still living today and living in California. My uncle knew Louie. I have read just a hand full of books in my life time but Unbroken is by far the most brilliantly written book I have read in my life. Don’t go to too many movies as Hollywood has a way of messing up what authors write but I will be the first one in line at the movie theatre here in Michigan when Unbroken comes out as I will definitely go see this movie.

    Please pass this email on to Ms. Hillenbrand and tell her that I hope this movie wins numerous awards. These types of stories and the history in this book need to be told and the American public can never ever forget what our men and women have done and endured for all of our freedoms!

    Larry Tyson

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  485. How can I get my book signed or a signed copy of Unbroken?

  486. Laura:
    I love your words. I love your passion. I love you. All I can really say is thank you for your talent. Your way of telling this story was so beautiful. THANK YOU. Everything changed after I read your books.

  487. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In fact, I felt lost when I had reached the end. After reading about Louie and learning of his character, or true grit – I felt like I watched a friend’s life unfold. What a daring man. Also, kudos to his wife, whom rode the current with him on his return from war. Thanks for sharing Louie’s incredible life! Job well done Ms. Hillenbrand.

  488. Now I know about another American hero. I cried so many times while reading about what Louie endured. So cool that Billy Graham could be the facilitator that brought Louie back to God. Wow! My uncle Bernard Dailey died 2 days before his 19th birthday. He was shot down during a Berlin raid. He was a turret gunner on a B-24 Liberator. I never knew this plane was called the “Flying Coffin.” While reading your book, I kept thinking maybe my uncle would have survived the crash if he was NOT in a B-24. I had no idea about the plane’s terrible record. I saw the B-24 at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base and cried thinking about how my mom was only 14 and her big brother was missing in action for 5 years. No one knew that my uncle’s plane crashed in a farmer’s field near Margraten, Holland. There was one survivor. A group of farmers came to the wreckage and carried the bodies out and found the one living airman. The farmers quickly buried the dead and took care of the wounded soldier so the Germans would not find the bodies or the one survivor. It took many months before the wounded soldier could get across enemy lines. It was not until 1949 that my mother and her family got the news about the fate of Bernard and his crewman. There was so much red tape after the war that it took forever for the story to unfold. The soldier’s remains were returned to the US and the men were buried at a military cemetary near St. Louis. The military chose that place as it was centrally located from where the soldiers were from. My uncle was from Latrobe, Pa. War stories are sad for my mom and I feel the same. My mom and her family lived through a terrible time and endured such a terrible loss. Thank you so much for writing this book!!! Maureen Dailey Hogan Schaefer

  489. Quite simply the most inspiring, gripping and unbelievable true story I have ever read! My generation has never known the horror, devastation and cruelty of war—save what happened on 9/11. Too young for Vietnam– too old for later conflicts– I never served—but I have infinite respect for those military heroes—none more stunning than Louis Zamperini.

    This truly is a milestone book— worthy of all the praise. Now I understand why it has been a long time best seller. I hope the movie is true to the book— and will certainly see it!

    Finally, I couldn’t help but learn more about Laura Hillenbrand after reading this unforgettable story. Have to say that I got teary as I read about her personal story and her plight with CFS. In her own way, she knows what it is to live without total freedom. It is an awful irony to know that she is stricken with a condition that has “captured” her. I know I join all that have read her outstanding books along with all her friends and loved ones in wishing, hoping and praying that she is freed one day soon from this cruel condition.

  490. This book was absolutely amazing. I usually don’t like historical fiction and had to read one for school. I was fascinated by the things that he experienced and couldn’t believe that it happened. Before I read this book I didn’t even know about the POW camps. It was a big learning experience for me and its very sad that Louie recently died. He lived a remarkable life.

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  492. I don’t know what I was doing in 2010 when this book came out but I am so glad I have read it now. Beautifully written,very descriptive and an amazing story about an amazing man. Definitely one of my all time favorites. Just wanted to thank you for writing such a wonderful book. Judy LaDouceur Marlborough ct

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  494. Laura,

    I just want to say how much I appreciate your heart and sensitivity, reflected in your writing style and the way you handle your subjects. Heart, sensitivity, and intelligence are powerful combinations. I am glad the public responds because of the way you touch them through your work.

    I do hope this note finds you in good spirits. Perhaps you will find a smile or two in my own sensitivity, in a letter I wrote to my eighty-nine year-old father, early on Father’s Day morning. You can see that in the upper right-hand corner of my website.

    Soon it will be replaced by an essay I have been working on (yes, Fatiguing!). I am an expert in the history of Christian violence. I take a Pew Forum suvey, which states that 310,380,000 Americans say, “I am a Christian.” I discuss Christian supermajorities in European and American history; discuss Evangelicals and Catholics–their salvation systems with special reference to ethics and morality–and conclude, “We really should not expect American Christians, who essentially follow European Christian Traditions, which have explained away Jesus’ commands and expectations for his disciples, to do more than they have (e.g., Native Americans, African slaves, the history of voting rights, the history of labor, the long nearly unbroken string of U.S. Presidents, Congresses, and Supreme Courts), nor to expect them to change.”


    Anyway, take care of yourself; love those who love you; be at peace in your valued contributions; and flourish!


  495. Hi, I just finished Unbroken and enjoyed it so much I had trouble putting it down. Louis’ story is an incredible story of a true American hero. I’ve read a lot about WWII, but never much of the Pacific theater and never of the atrocities of the Japanese POW camps. Thanks so much for sharing the story. You’re an incredible writer and Louis an incredible subject!
    Ric Renquest – Morgantown, WV

  496. Starting reading books because of Electronic Books for some reason, I guess I like electronic gadgets.

    Loved Vince Flynn’s books, Hard to put them down, Until Unbroken
    Could not put the Book Down, Great Writing, Have always had an interest in WWII, I was born in 1944, Louie helped save my Bacon I could say. My Sister was as USC in the 1940′s -Was Helen of Troy in 1951. Grew up near Torrance, In Inglewood.
    We had in Inglewood a Track we called the Farm, Ill bet Louie
    ran there at one time.

    Anyway, Just thought the Book was so well written I had to send a Note.

    Mike Johnson –Irvine, California

  497. Mrs. Hillenbrand,
    I just finished Unbroken and I wanted to let you know how much I admired it. At first, it was just a book for me to read for summer homework for an AP class, but after a little while, I started to read it because it entranced me. Not only did Louie’s life stun me, but your style of writing made all the more encapturing. I couldn’t have asked for a better book to read (which some people might find strange considering I’m a 16 year old girl) and I have been recommending it to nearly everyone I talk to. It is truly an incredible story to read sand I know for a fact that it will stay with me til the day I die.
    If not for you, I doubt I would have come across Louis Zamperini’s name and story for a long, long time, so thank you for that. My dad read the book as well several years ago and we’ve been talking about it since I began reading it. When I told him I was writing to you about it, he asked me to mention his thanks as well for writing Unbroken.
    I have been a writer since I was little and I only hope that one day, I will be able to entrance people as easily as you did to me and so many others. Thank you for your contribution to the book world. I’m sure Louis was so excited when he met you, and I know you did his life justice. I’m waiting eagerly for the movie so I can see your wonderful book come to life. Louis would be proud. Thank you

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  501. Laura, what a gift you have for writing! Unbroken had me in tears almost throughout the entire book. Born Jan 30, 1942, I was totally unaware of Louie Zamperini and would still be today if it were not for your book. In truth, this book should be a MANDATORY read for EVERY COLLEGE STUDENT in America.

    You are such an amazing woman and God has definitely used you in this world. I wish I could find how you are doing now with your dreadful, dreadful illness – in hopes that you are getting better.

    I live just 5 miles from Kenyon College. I wish I could have known you. I think you would have been an amazingly wonderful person to know. Thank you, thank you, thank you for “Unbroken”. And YES, Seabiscuit too! I have the DVD and watch it over now and again. I don’t know if I could watch the movie of “Unbroken”. It is sooo heartwrenching, yet praise God for His never-ending love for us and patience in waiting for us to truly find Him. Best of best wishes to you~

  502. Laura,

    I have just read Unbroken, your magnificent telling of Louie Zamperini’s story. Louie’s story in America’s story. Thank your for bringing it to life so we can appreciate our cultural heritage and honor the heroes of our country’s past. I felt like Louie could have grown up in my neighborhood!

    You writing skills are marvelous. I turned the pages with an eagerness I haven’t experienced since being a young man reading James Bond novels. I was surprised with the range and intensity of my feelings as I relived Louie’s story. From anger to rage; from sadness to pity; from being incredulous to being proud to be an American…it was a roller coaster ride of a read.

    You were able to wrest every ounce of humanity from terribly inhumane conditions and circumstances. I am not a touchy-feely kind of guy, but I found my own tears joining those of Louie. You are responsible for that. Thank you.

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    I’ll search the ends of the earth to read everything she ever writes.


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  514. Laura,

    I wanted to let you know that I am a avid reader. It’s not unusual of me to read three books at a time (between audio and written). Thus throughout my life I have read MANY books. However, I wanted to share with you that NONE have moved me the way Unbroken has. Louie’s story is unbelievable, but that is only part of it (though a GREAT, GREAT story!). I have never had anyone who brought a story to life quite the way you do. Not only do you have a gift for telling a 360 degree view of everything happening at that time, you bring the story to life and make the reader feel as if there are there with the character. Trust me, this is a gift that you have that few (even popular writers) have. I look forward to reading ALL other books that you write.
    Concerning Unbroken – it moved me so much that I cried tears of joy when the POW camp was liberated. Ironically I finished reading Unbroken the day Louie died.

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  519. I have read Laura’s books and admire her as an author. My 90 year old mother wrote her memoirs at the age of 80 and there is a terrific story here. She was the daughter of a doctor who died young during the depression and the family was left with nothing when the insurance company went broke. She eventually married a soldier an d had 8 children, including a son who lost his leg in Vietnam and became like the character in Born on the 4th of July. It is a sort of a love story that spanned many decades and she is a very charismatic character. She even ran for US Congress and had a really god showing. It is a story Laura should consider. I can send the book if she is interested. I have both hard and soft copies. It was self published only for family.

  520. Thank you for writing this book – - I can’t stop thinking about this amazing man – - and his life – - and what he went through – - I couldn’t put down the book – - once I started reading it.

    Now my husband is listening to the audio version –

    I loved Seabiscuit – but this one will stay with me for a long, long time.

    God bless you – -

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  522. Hello! I am doing GISHWHES (the greatest international scavenger hunt the world has ever seen) for the charity “Random Acts” this week, and was wondering if you would be willing to help out? I promise this is not a scam, I’m just trying to do as much as I can! One of the items is to acquire a video for our team (“whittyteamname”) of you doing a dramatic reading of the California drivers handbook ( I know it’s pretty ridiculous, but it would just be a short video! There is only a week for the hunt so there is a bit of a time restraint. If you are willing to help please email me back as you would be an amazing help!
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  523. Met Louis Zamperini about 1957 when I was 14 yrs. old at a winter week-end retreat for teens, boys & girls, at Clear Lake, CA. Mr. Zamperini was the guest speaker and hero. I have a signed copy of the 2nd printing of his 1956 book, Devil At My Heels. Thanks Ms. Hillenbrand for writing Unbroken and for being such a dear friend to Mr. Zamperini and his family during the past several years.

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  527. My Father a New Zealand coast watcher was a POW in Zentsuji.

    I have been researching his history since his death in 1999.

    In 2002 I went to Kiribati (Gilbert Is) to visit the place where my father was captured (Bikati, northern tip Butaritari (Makin) Atoll) in 1941. I also visited the memorial to the 22 Europeans (including 17 NZ coast watchers) who were executed by beheading on Oct 15 1942.

    Two things related to the book UNBROKEN:
    1. When they met in Zentsuji, Fred Garrett broke the news to my father that his 17 coast watching comrades from the Gilbert Islands had been executed

    2. In 2012 when I went to Japan as part of my research I visited the old site of Ofuna POW camp, because a number of Dad’s close friends from Zentsuji had “done time” in Ofuna.

    When there I met up with an old lady of 99 and her daughter. They lived next to the camp and still live on the c\same site. They had many tales to tell. In their yard was the last remaining remnant of Ofuna, a concrete support for the guard house (I believe this last relic is now held in a nearby temple.)

    This 99 year old woman’s son who was only a boy at the time had been traumatised by the war and after the war would draw pictures of events. One of the memorable events he drew was a picture of Mr Zamperini’s race in Ofuna.

    I have digital copies of this and his other drawings….. Would you like to take this further. If so please contact me by return Email.

    Kevin Menzies

  528. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand,
    Finished reading Unbroken, finding it riveting and a wonderful read. Even tho I knew Louie survived I found myself on edge as I read wondering and hoping he makes it out alive. Your book was so readable I read every page of the acknowledgements. I also read Seabiscuit and look forward to your next book. Finally hope your illness was short-term and that you are well today.
    Very sincerely
    Mark Simon, ( former Lt. US Navy)

  529. I just finished read your book and I wanted to commend you for capturing these events and the spirit of the man who lived them. It is so important to tell and retell the stories of heros such as Louie Zamperini and remind us all of the power of the human spirit. This book is a fitting tribute to all of the Worl War II veterans and veterans of for before and since then. Thanks so much for all your hard work and the beautiful way you presented it.

  530. Hello, Ms. Hillenbrand.

    My name is Shant Avakian. I loved your magnificent work, “Unbroken.” It is such an inspiring life story! How does one go about writing a biography; do you have any advice for a aspiring biographer?

    Thank you very much,

    Shant Avakian

  531. I have just read “Unbroken,” and I believe it is the finest account of of WWII in the Pacific that I have ever read. And as a history Major, I have read many. Ms Hillenbrand’s research and story telling skills are of the highest order. This may be one of the very few books that I will reread in the future.

    Robert Gare

  532. Dear Ms Hillenbrand,
    I just finished reading your book UNBROKEN and was impressed with the story of Loie Zamperini and the wonderful job that you did in writing it; afterward, I googled at your profile and my respect for your writing and determination in the face of your CFS is immense!

    I have ordered your SEABISCUIT and expect it to be as engrossing as UNBROKEN; thank you for providing a week of reading pleasure!


  533. I read Seabiscuit followed by unbroken. I cannot put into words how much I loved both books. Unbroken especially moved me. Laura has a wonderful ability to keep a story moving along and I couldn’t put either books down but didn’t want them to end. I pray another book is on it’s way. I am a major fan now.

  534. I could not put this book down. Grippingly and honestly written Laura Hillenbrand. This mans story is a example to us all of how the human spirit can overcome anything and go on to forgive and prosper. Wonderful story.

  535. I just finished reading your book and was brought to tears. Never in my 75 years have I read a book that prompted this display. This is an outstanding book and Mr. Zamperini was an outstanding human being. Thanks for sharing his life.

  536. I have always been overwhelmingly proud and thankful for the sacrifices made by these men. Your book has ushered that gratitude off the map. My father’s wartime was on the European front so my attention had always been with that side of the war. Too it seems, has been the focus of most of the Hollywood stories -or maybe I only paid attention to the one side?
    ‘Unbroken’ mostly left me wanting to find a way to convey the atrocities to a new generation so that they will never forget, but it is impossible to understand without pouring over the hundreds of pages needed to accurately describe. In the same way one is left speechless trying to describe a star-filled sky to someone who isn’t seeing it, attempting to describe what these men endured and other men committed is impossible without the words from your account pouring off the pages of your book directly into a reader. I cant imagine how the movie will accomplish telling this ‘story’ without leaving the audience numb. I look forward to seeing it and hope it spurs people to read the book. Thank you for the dedication it took to bring this account to the necessary detail, it was an amazing feat.

  537. Just finished the Audible audio book. Life changing. Thank you Laura, for your tremendous book!

  538. Ms. Hillenbrand, I’m sure my comments will not be much different than those of many others. You are blessed with a gift that I hope you will continue to share with mankind; we can use a little positive reinforcement and grace these days.

    I am sure this is a reflective time for you; one I hope is not too sad. Losing a friend is never easy; a broken heart heals so slowly if they heal at all.

    God bless you; continue your work, your work is a gift to all of us and we know, Louie is waiting not so patiently for your next effort.

    I’ll remember you in my prayers; Louie also!

    Thank you again!

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  543. Hi Laura – I just wanted to say thank you for all of your intense work and research that you did when writing Unbroken. I love this book. I was completely mesmerized by it and continue to recommend it to all of my friends. It’s almost too hard to believe, isn’t it? It is so sad what so many men had to endure during the war. Thank you.
    Cheryl Sawdy

  544. Based on the descriptive audio portion alone, I’m pumped for the rest of the book, and to see the movie.

    Your “Seabiscuit…” work inspired both J. David Miller and I when we were writing our book about the South Carolina Gamecocks.

  545. I feel compelled to write and tell you what a magnificent job you did on describing a life lived. To tell the truth I had never heard of Louis Zamperini until you introduced him to me and the world. Your book was spell binding and took me to all the places you wanted the reader to go. Looking forward to any future books you are planning. I hope your health is improving. My prayers are with you. Stay well and thank you again for your gift to all of us that appreciate what people like Lou sacrificed for us.

  546. Just finished Unbroken. Fabulous book. Can’t wait to see the movie! Father was flight engineer on B17.

    I’ve worked on military base for 40 years. Love war history. Relatives in Civil War, father WWII and Korea. Husband and brother Vietnam. Nephew, Iraq. All safe and back home.

    Great book. Thank you.

  547. I have just finished reading Unbroken. I was familiar with the horrific treatment of POW’s by the Japanese but your book describes an unimaginable level of abuse. I am amazed that any prisoner was able to survive these camps.
    Your book is one of the best that I have read in many years. I am delighted that Louie’s story will be told on the big screen. Like Lone Survivor, it will awake our collective consciousness of the bravery and sacrifice made by American servicemen and servicewoman to protect our freedom and way of life.
    Thank you.

  548. I could no put it down, each time I did to accomplish something in my house, forget it, get back to the book. I was born in 1933 but didn’t know about all those horrible things going on in Japan and the Pacific Islands. What a hero Louie was, plus all those other innocent men that went thru Hell.
    Thank you for sharing this history with the world and especially me.
    God Bless.

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  551. I’m sure you get a lot of book ideas, but after reading Unbroken I wanted to tell you a story about my Grandparents. My Grandfather was a polish officer during WWII during the Nazi invasion. My Grandmother took two young girls, one of them my mother, to Germany. They were poor and forced to eat rotten food, to even include cats. The part of the story that I find amazing is when my Grandfather was captured and put in a German POW camp. My grandmother left the girls with family and set out to find him. When she eventually did she was forced to sleep with the Nazi in charge of the camp in exchange for my Grandfather’s freedom. The story goes on but while she was doing that my Grandfather escaped with the help of a small German boy who liked his uniform. My Grandfather traded his officer’s boots and belt buckle for his freedom, while my Grandmother was being raped. Again, the story goes on but eventually they reunited and settled in Germany where my Grandfather worked as an architect rebuilding the cities that the allies destroyed. My mother tells a wonderful story and has pictures. I think this story is fascinating and would make a wonderful book. Thank you for allowing my to tell just a small part of it.

  552. When I heard about Louie’s untimely death a few weeks ago, I thought I was going to cry. I thought he was going to live forever. He was my inspiration. A kid with an authority problem that fixed himself up with running and went on to become an aviator. I can relate. I cannot thank you enough for introducing him into my life. The world will never be the same without the great Torrance Tornado.

  553. Just finished reading the book Unbroken. It was very truly one of the best books that I have read. There is several examples of the American “CAN DO” spirit. Bless all those soldiers and their families for enduring such sacrafices. Looking forward to seeing the movie. Thanks for bringing recognition to so many heroes.The American Flag hangs outside my home everyday and after reading this book it just makes me that much prouder and truly grateful for our soldiers.

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  555. I have to admit, I have never been moved so much by a book to ponder the thought of leaving the author a comment or message but I just finished reading Unbroken and it was truly the most amazing story I have ever read! For a long time Seabiscuit was my favorite book but now I have two favorite books. Thank you for your years of dedication to Louie’s story and sharing it with us. I truly believed that I knew who he was and that is a special gift you have given your readers. I also just learned that Louie passed away on July 2nd but I am glad he was around to see his incredible life written so beautifully! I truly look forward to your next book, unsure of how but certain it will be just a great if not better than Seabiscuit and Unbroken.


  556. HI Laura, I had never heard of you before a few days ago, and I am old enough, so I guess I should have. I was walking through Barnes and Noble, here in Austin, with an acquaintance of mine, and she pointed out your new book “Unbroken”. Both my acquaintance and I have had lots of issues with fatigue, multiple allergy and chemical sensitivities, and you know the story. She told me that you had Chronic Fatigue, yet you were able to create two best selling books. I was amazed. I understand from reading what is on the Web that you have had a very tough version, and I understand that writing helps to keep your spirit alive, which really is critical. I have found that when our spirit is very low, it is like we are losing out twice, once with our physical health, and on top of that, losing our love of life, which is really doubly crippling.
    I took to writing a monthly email newsletter which I sent free of charge to people I knew or had met, just so they would become part of my community and I would be able to express my views even if I couldn’t meet with them physically. So I know what this means. I also used the vehicle of creating art work to give back some beauty to the world. Both have really helped sustain me. I was glad that you have a man who loves you, understands what you are going through, and supports you emotionally . That is a real blessing. If you would ever like to say hi, send me an email.

  557. I was compelled to tell you how much I loved Seabiscuit but just finished Unbroken. Am filled with so many emotions I had to write again. This story is told so well I felt I was in that plane, that raft, that pow camp. My father, a sailer in WWII, was in the Pacific on a carrier. He never spoke of those years. And as a rule I don’t enjoy “war” stories. Louie’s story was so much more. Thank you.

  558. I thought I would never get back my love, for the way he left me and went away, said there is nothing left between us anymore, but thanks to the love spells casted by you, now things are changing, your spells are working Lord. Azeez, last week my lover called me twice and this week twice a day, it seems as if my lover is repenting on what he did, he wants to come back in my life, I will keep you posted for the update but thanks a lot Lord. Azeez, because for an orphan like, getting back something which is gone means a lot, thanks The spell caster email is lordazeez1990@hotmail. com he can help you

  559. Laura:
    I have just finished reading Unbroken for the 2nd time and wondered if you could answer a couple of questions for me. Very sorry to hear of Louie’s death. My father was a B29 pilot in the pacific theater and could very easily have known Louie. First question: There is mention of a daughter and, if not mistaken, also a son born to Louie, but very little is mentioned about them in the book. Did they have a failed relationship with Louie due to his deteriorating condition after the war? I also notice that they weren’t mentioned in the epilogue. My 2nd question involves the Lieutenant who ordered Louie’s crew to go up in the Green Hornet when it seemed to be common knowledge that the plane was not safe. Was there any remorse shown by this Lieutenant after the fact? It seemed to be a poor decision on his part. Thanks for your time. This is an excellent book and am looking forward to the movie.
    Dave Birkenholz
    Newton, IA

  560. Dear Ms Hillenbrand,

    I want to thank you for writing Unbroken, the way you wrote it, the labor and effort you expended to render such an inspirational gift to the world.

    I also wanted to share that both of my older children suffer debilitating illnesses and Unbroken has been a touch stone for our older son – - I read it to him, the last book we ever read out loud together – - he is too old for his Dad to read him books now. I truly could not have picked a better book to be that last “father and son read out loud” book.

    Lastly, I wanted to encourage you to examine the work of Dr Terry Wahls, MD, the woman who wrote the Wahls Protocol and who’s Tedtalk on youtube, “Minding your Mitochondria” went viral. I believe that her work could offer a meaningful response to the CFS you suffer.

    Thank you again for what you have done, for what you do.

    With respect and admiration,

    Greg Barrack
    Colonel, U.S. Army

  561. Please keep up the great work. We need our stories.

  562. i am wondering if ms. hillenbrand has considered a true “caveman” diet for relief with her chronic illness….specifically, the diet outlined by ray audette in his book “neanderthin” [i hate that name! the book is more about how the author overcame the effects of chronic & debilitating autoimmune diseases through a dramatic change in diet, which western medicine fails to recognize as a viable option]. it seems now that some experts believe that CFS, too, may be an autoimmune disease.

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  564. How does one get a signed copy of “Unbroken” without going to a book signing. I would like one for my son, active duty Army. His birthday is August 25th.Thanks for the help.

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  566. An amazing story wonderfully told, thank you for this illuminating tale. As I was telling others about this book when I first started reading it I related how exciting it was to read your descriptions of the races. In doing so I always compared it to Seabiscuit but it was only when I finished the book that I learned both were written by the same wonderful author.

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  568. What a remarkable book. So beautifully written, you feel like you are right there with Zamperini, praying for him, and at the same time gaining strength from his incredible experiences. I am changed by having read this book and knowing this story. Can’t wait for the movie. Thank you for the gift of this book Laura. We are all blessed by your work.

  569. Great read! We need a reminder of the sacrifices made by men like Louie in our behalf. The story also relates to another of my heros, Billy Graham.
    Thanks for the inspirational read.

  570. Just wanted to thank you for making me aware of Mr. Zamperini and his trials in this world. Saddened to hear of his passing on July the 3rd…truly puts things in perspective for me when I try to process what some people endure in this life..Still working on the forgiveness part! Thank you and I hope you are feeling well

  571. Dear Laura, I just finished reading Unbroken. Like Seabiscuit a great story and well written. Bravo. Part of my reason for this note is we have two things shared in common, my daughter Rachael Karp(Lizotte) graduated from Kenyon College and she also came down with Chronic Fatigue Synd in her 2nd year at Kenyon. What is your next book adventure?
    Thank you.
    Very truly yours, Tom Karp

  572. I loved your book but there is a mistake on pg. 334 at the bottom Tojo was not the master mind of peral harbor it was Isoroku Yamamoto so if it’s not to late and if you have time can you fix it
    And I’m sorry that Louie died the other day.
    Chris Belfi

  573. Omfg, thanks so much for posting this! It is gonna help when I am thinking about going to see a movie in Jacksonville! Very Cool!

  574. Ms. Hillenbrand, you have been in my thoughts often since hearing of Louis Zamperini’s death a week ago. In an interview with World Magazine, he spoke of his friendship with you and of your courage in writing through CFS and its challenges. In light of that friendship, please accept my condolences on his loss. May His God and mine comfort and strengthen you. May He protect you from any exacerbation of symptoms grief might ordinarily cause.

    Thank you for pressing on. Your own story encourages me in my own chronic illness journey.

    God bless you,

  575. Hi I read about Laura I think it was in Newsweek a while ago. I have two things I would like to mention to you. One is I loved her story about Sea Biscuit I have a horse myself. I just watched a horse show on RFD about a war horse called Reckless. What an AMAZING story I would love to see this story go farther there has been a few books written but years ago and would love for Laura to look into this wonderful horse story. The name of the show I watched is The horse show by Rick Lamb. The second thing I wanted to mention is I thought I read a while back that Laura suffered from vertigo if I’m wrong about that I apologize. If I am right I have suffered since childhood with the same problem I am now 55 years old. I’m sure she ahs seen the best doctors I myself had been to so many I lost count. But finally an ENT gave my a high dose 1 GM of Valacyclovir within days my dizzy spells were gone I have no clue why but I had spent 2 years crawling from room to room with severe vertigo. Just thought you never know it could help I know I would of given anything in that 2 year period to to get some help. Well that is all I wanted to share I hope she is doing well and I hope she investigates this wonderful horse story. BTW I plan on reading Unbroken as well. Thanks for your time Lori Pegram Wesley Chapel, Florida.

  576. With the passing of Mr. Zamperini prior to his riding in the Rose Parade this year, I finally picked up your book to learn more about this great man. As a resident of Los Angeles, I am embarrassed to find how little I knew. I love biographical material and expected a good read but was so taken by your account of his life and the Pacific POW issue that I am now making certain others hear about your amazing book. Thank you for the years of research and compassion that went into this story. It is a must read for anyone who cares about this time in our history. I feel honored to have met him and others through your writing.

  577. Unbelievable story, written superbly! Could not put it down! May God bless your amazing effort many times over! Looking forward to seeing the movie, but can’t imagine it holding a candle to your book! WOW! Thank your for bringing this story to life. What a tribute to a remarkable man and war hero!

    Barbara Gowen

  578. I just finished reading UNBROKEN, an ammazing story told with heart. As a Viet Nam veteran I was “hooked” from the very first page to the very last page. It was difficult to put down.

    However, as a professional voice artist and narrator of 21 different audio books, I was disappointed that UNBROKEN was already available as an audio book. Oh well :)

  579. Mrs. Hillenbrand,
    I rarely carve out the necessary time to read, partially because many books fall short of the time spent to consume them. But nothing could have been further from the truth when reading your book Unbroken. You have a delightful style of writing!! Your ability to recount Mr. Zamperini’s life history with such detail and fervor was palpable!! Having just finished your book on the day of Mr. Zamparini’s passing, I was overcome with sadness. As the wife of a military airman, a children’s social worker, avid consumer of survivor stories and a Christian, Louie’s story touched me on many levels. I have the utmost respect for Louie Zamparini and I am eternally grateful that you shared his triumphant story with me and the rest of the world~ Thank you!!!!!!! I am eager to read (and therefore learn) about the next subject to whom you would devote the same amount of care and fortitude.

  580. Congratulations Laura!
    Your writing is so soothing. I felt like I was there with Louie, I now know of our greatest American hero.
    When I saw he pasted away, I decided to download your book on my iPad. It really never left my side for 3 days. Five Stars!


  581. Laura

    I have only been able to Finish 3 Books in my Life in a weekend

    Two are yours UNBROKEN and SEABISCUIT

    When I was 19 I sunk in the Pacific 800 miles from CA. 1965

    We were Rescued by a Submarine If you would like to Hear the story

    Please call 646 214 7832

    Floating in a raft for 18 hours hit a cord

    Bill Tapert
    Danbury Ct

  582. Bless you for introducing me to Louie Z. I am better for “knowing” him.

    I pray you are better….I pray for your health and happiness. God bless you and your husband.

  583. Ms Hillenbrand,
    I have just finished reading unbroken. You did an unbelievable job. My congratulations. I was wondering if you did have or have anything to do with the movie that will be out this December that’s being helmed by Angelina Jolie? If not, I’m hoping that she gets all the technical help she needs to make a movie worth watching as you have made the book worth reading. They always say the book is better than the movie. I’m hoping for at least a tie with this one. Many thanks again for writing something that was long overdue and needed to be told.

  584. Ms. Hillenbrand,
    I read your book last year, It was quite good. I think you got the essence of Mr. Zamperini very well. Thank you for writing the book.

  585. Dear Laura,

    I am a published author living in Los Angeles, CA. I am also a fellow sufferer of CFS. I also developed my first symptoms in 1987, and still struggle with frequent relapses and miserable symptoms.
    I keep trying to write, but often I am too weak or depressed to write. I am on a regime of medications which all help to a point, but I am still left often exhausted and aching.
    I want to congratulate you on your latest new book! It must have been quite a project.
    I am contacting you wondering if we could communicate in some way. I do not know any other writers with our disabling illness, and you could be a wonderful encouragement to me if you have the time and/ or the energy. Please feel free to contact me at any time. I wish you good health and more success in your future.
    Judith Hayes

  586. It was just my regular Sunday morning recording of “Sunday Morning” that I learned of the great life of Louie Zamperini along with your story. What a gift it will be to learn about this man through your writing. I am grateful, for this story this morning, reminded me that we never know who we pass by in our daily lives and how important it is to realize we may be passing on some incredible opportunties to learn of people like Louie. What an amazing man, you brought to our attention. Thank you, I will be buying your book this week.

  587. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand,
    I can only guess how many ‘thank yous’ you’ve received for bringing Louie Zamperini’s story to life, but I will add one.

    My father is 83, served during Korea, was an accomplished track man and happened to see Louie run a marathon c. 1938 in northern New Jersey. A friendly uncle saw his early love of running and brought him to the race. Last summer I gave him the book and I’ve never seen him so immersed.

    This thank you does little to express the depth of our gratitude for your own valiant effort in bringing to life Louie’s story of mischief, talent, courage, perseverance and love.


    Tom Flynn

  588. Laura, I read UNBROKEN, and this is the best book I have ever read. Now I know the names of other books I will read them. Nothing will ever touch my heart like this one. I read where Louis Zamperini died, I am sorry for that. He was a treasure. He lived a life no one will ever totally understand, but you. Thank you so much for the pleasure of your skillful writing

  589. I read your book, Unbroken, when it first came out. I was immediately drawn in by the story, reading it every chance I got and finishing it in two days! Thank you for helping Mr. Zamperini tell his story! That being said, I know the two of you must have been very close and my heart goes out to you and his friends and family at this sad time!

  590. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand,

    I just finished reading “Unbroken” a few days ago. I am so sorry that you have lost such a dear friend, yet I know that Louie is with his Savior, enjoying sweet fellowship with Him. I hope that you can find comfort in the way you have brought Louie’s story to so many, and helped us remember the enormous sacrifice of the Greatest Generation so that we can enjoy our precious American freedoms.

    A big hug1


  591. When I saw the news of Louie’s death yesterday, I was very sad but my next thought was, “I have to see what Laura Hillenbrand says”–that is how bound to each other you are to me. Louie’s courage at fighting outer and inner enemies–I try to emulate him but most days do not come close to his or your abilities.
    I have read and reread Seabiscuit many times, read and reread A Sudden Illness-as an Ohio native, the Kenyon College connection was hard to ignore-and read Unbroken with tears in my eyes. I respect you so much for your struggle against chronic fatigue syndrome and for your writing skills. I am waiting impatiently for your next book.

  592. A Prayer Answered,

    When I read “Unbroken” years ago and found out Louis Zamperini was still alive, I thought about sending my book to him to get an autograph. Although I knew WW II veterans were dying at an alarming rate, I never did. Hearing of Louis’ death this week filled me with remorse. I said a prayer for him and asked for a miracle – some way of getting his signature for my book.

    Louis was listening and told Laura to put a picture of the note he wrote to her with his Purple Heart on her Facebook page. You can’t imagine my jubilation seeing this note. I had read about his gift to Laura, and the reasons he did it. This has special significance, so I printed a copy and it now resides on the inside cover of “Unbroken.”

    I didn’t get want I originally wanted, I got something much better. Thank you Louis and Laura for listening.

  593. Dear Ms Hillenbrand, Heartfelt Thanks to you for spending seven years researching and writing one of the best -if not the best and most moving books I have ever read. How lucky you are to have been able to spend time over years with this most wonderful man. How could you not fall in love with Louis Zamperini? What an exceptional human being… And what a loss for the world that Louis is no longer with us … Because of the way you told his story, It brought tears to my eyes when I heard of his death, and I felt as though I had lost a member of my own family. Thank-you again for introducing me to such a great and inspirational man. Louie, I’m happy to know that you have been reunited with the people you loved in your life that had passed on before you.. May you rest in peace

  594. Ms Hillenbrand, Today is Nick Cristiano’s 89th birthday. He was shot down in 1945 and spend time in the same prison camp as Mr Zamperini was in. One of his sons’ Nick Jr. is a pilot for US Air after a career as a pilot in the Air Force. We are all trying to get Nick Sr invited to the opening of “Unbroken”. I think he has earned an invite and he could certainly add his experiences during the war. You can visit his sons’ facebook page. Nick Cristiano. He has a few pics posted of his father from the papers from 1945. I have known the family for close to 50 years. Thank you.

  595. Dr. Enlander in NY has done wonders for Chronic Fatigue with the use of GCMAF and other treatments. It is definitely worth a call as he is the doctor to the royal family when they visit NY and has helped thousands of patients with chronic fatigue. He has his own clinical research center for chronic fatigue and has ongoing research grants for chronic fatigue. He also provides the medicines at a fraction of the cost which is truly kind. He has been dedicated to chronic fatigue for many years and has helped so many patients with this illness with new medicines that have been recently developed by himself and others.

  596. Hello Mrs. Hillenbrand, today I was saddened learning of the loss of Louie. I am retired as a pilot for UAL after 36 years. I retired Oct. 99′. When I was about 10 years of age, I heard Louie tell his story at a church in Santa Cruz, CA. I was spellbound! Many years later I was in my early career with United. I owned a small plane I kept at the Torrance airport. I was seated at the counter of a small cafe at the airport having coffee. A gentleman seated next to me started a conversation. He introduced himself; it was Louie. We chatted for over two hours. It was a thrill. I told him of having heard his testimony as a youth. I was fortunate during my aviation career to receive several awards for my work ia aviation safety, all fond memories. But one of the highlights of my career was meeting Louie,( he told me to call him Louie ). God bless you for writing his story. I could not put it down. As short as our personal encounter was, I feel a personal loss. Thank you, Capt. Paul Myers

  597. I would love to read your book “Unbroken”. Saw a little about it on Fox News today.

  598. Ms. Hillenbrand,

    My wife and I read “Unbroken” quite some time ago and were extremely moved by it, both by the man and your recounting of his life.

    I cannot tell from published reports whether this is true or not but……………………… it MAY well be that Mr. Zamperini died on the 4th of July! In Japan. If not, he came within a few hours of having done so.

    Should you find out that this is true I’d greatly appreciate knowing.

    Sincere kind regards,

    Lew and Suzanne Pringle

  599. I Am truly Heart Broken To Hear About Louis Zamperini’s Passing Today!..Just An Incredible Courageous Man!..Thank You Laura For Writing About This True Hero..It’s So Inspirational ..There Isn’t Enough Words To Describe What A Great Man He Was!…R.I.P…Louis!..A Truly Sad Day For America & My Prayers & Thoughts Are With You As Well Laura…God Bless!

  600. Song here my mistake: Rest in peace Louie.

  601. Louie. Where do I even begin… I don’t know you, nor have I even met you. But your book has touched my life and changed the ways I look at the world. From the smallest things, to the biggest things, from the most peaceful, to the most drastic. Your book has changed the way I view the world and gives me a reason to push forward. When I run, I think, “Do it for Louie, don’t give up!” and I run knowing that your book gives me strength to do more than I could ever imagine. Thank you for all you have done Louie, your book has influenced my life and made me realize that these 15 years are just the beginning of what I can do. Thank you for your service, sacrifice and your Unbroken spirit to push us all forward. May you rest in peace in the name of the heavenly father. I wrote a song after I read your book, named “Unbroken” of course, with the raging fast and loud parts when you are battling the bird and survival on the raft, to the quiet peaceful parts showing your willingness to go on in the doldrums. For anyone who would like to understand what this book means to me you can listen to the song here. Louie, I thank you for all you have done for me. You will always be my greatest inspiration, even though you’re not here, you will always be in my heart and soul. Rest in peace. Touched and changed, Brendan Shahrokh, 15

  602. From a super fan
    Well we all lost Louie today. Felt like i knew him though thanks to your exceptional book.
    Please don’t let Hollywood soften the message of the hell he went through.
    I read everything you write.

    Leo Barclay

  603. Heartbreakingly sad day for America … Louis’ story was one of the most amazing I have ever read. When I think about courage, endurance, survival, and hope, I not only think of Unbroken and Seabiscuit, I think of you, Laura.
    With the 4th of July tomorrow, we all need to think about what men like Louis have secured for us through his efforts and valor: freedom. Has there ever been a sweeter word?
    Thank you Laura, for bringing this bigger than life human to life for us all.

  604. You must be heartbroken, but I am going to place another burden on it. You yourself are one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever encountered. Your talent is vital and your prose is so vivid, but what makes you special to me is your courage, your own refusal to give in. It’s no wonder you understood Louis Zamperini so well: you are kindred spirits. I’m a high-school history teacher, and a student wrote me a note at the end of the year. The World War I unit was her favorite, she said–it shocked me, too–because now she understands the value of human life. I don’t think I’ve ever had a student so completely understand one of my lessons, and it was a lesson reaffirmed, for me, in Louie’s story.

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  606. I’m a book blogger for my local library ( and therefore the source of many book recommendations for friends. When anybody asks me what to read, I’ll tick off a list of recent things I’ve finished, but I always include Unbroken. You know how Turner Class Movies classifies movies as “The Essentials”? That’s how I feel about your book. It’s essential. The subject’s story is astonishing. Zamperini was among the greatest of the greatest generation. And by the way, Ms. Hillenbrand, you write as if you were in the raft with Louie! Both of you inspire.

  607. The passing of Louis Zamperini today.

    In the 1950s I read stories about WW II. I watched “Victory at Sea” every Sunday afternoon with my Dad and brothers. My Dad was a WW II veteran, serving in the Army Air Corps in Italy, and died in 2007. I think about him with the passing of each of the WW II veteran.

    There was little color film and war was black and white. Laura Hillenbrand brought color and life to Louis’ war experiences. It is hard to imagine an alternate life scenario for Louis had they not taken the “jinxed” B-24 on that rescue mission.

    Louis was the best of the best. Rest in peace Louis. I hope your buddies welcome you with open arms in heaven.

  608. This was the best book I have ever read about a person who lived thru so much.The way the book was written I just didn’t want to put it down.

  609. Thank you, Laura for bringing Louis Zamperini to us. His passing would have gone largely unnoticed, if not for you. Your words concerning his death brought me to tears. Your books are 2 of my favorites, and I’m eagerly anticipating your next. THANK YOU….

  610. The world lost a great man and inspiration yesterday. RIP Louie

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  612. My neighbor gave me the book UNBROKEN to read, at first I was hesitant to read it, but once I started I could not put it down.
    I was just wondering about Louie’s sister Virginia, there is not much about her, like there is with Pete and Sylvia.?

  613. Hello,

    I would like to speak with Ms Hillenbrand about a military story dated back to 1965 at the Guam Naval Base. There was a murder of my cousin Randy. My Uncle Lash Mann was involved in top secret missions behind enemy lines in the pacific theatre with the Japanese. We all believe that this murder had something to do with it. My Uncle was very upset with this government having found out about the secret deal we made with Japs. But the story just don’t end there, it had spanned many, many years. My Uncle also was one of the people who started S.A.C.O Sino American Cooperative Organization, a Naval group that history refuses to write about. There are plenty of my family that can attest to this.

    I would like very much if Ms. Hillenbrand to e-mail me or call @ 540-352-4412. I beleive this story needs to be told, it has haunted our family for decades. Thank you

    Warm Regards,


  614. Laura,
    Thank you so much for the brilliant and highly interesting and masterful book, “Unbroken.” I want to tell you that this book is one of the finest masterpieces I have ever read. I have always enjoyed books on sports and also on WW2 . This covered both topics brilliantly with great interest and unbelievable talent. I will be looking forward to the movie with great anticipation.
    Thanks again for this brilliant piece of superior literature.


  615. May I submit a prayer request to you?

    Thank you.

  616. A dear friend of mine wrote a memoir of her immune dysfunction, in fact that is the title of the book. She would like to send a copy to Laura. I myself have MCS. We understand Laura’s plight. How can I forward her a copy of Judith Lopez’s book?

  617. Dear Laura,

    I LOVED you book and enjoyed reading it.

    I was wondering if you can sign my personal copy. It will be a great addition to my collection.

    Thank you very much

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  619. I 72 and have been an avid reader since my early teens; I read 3 to4 books a month while enjoying a very full active life.
    I am a veteran and served in the Pacific in the 1960′s….why I missed this story is beyond me. However, it is by far the best read I honestly believe I have ever had. The detail and insight required a lot of work on the authors part….what a great job she did. Thank Ms. Laura, This is the best read ever.

    Best regards

  620. First let me say that I was transfixed to Unbroken and had to read non stop till I finished it! Thank you for this compelling book that showed the absolutely incredible history of WW II. It was fantastic. I have a renewed respect for the forgotten solders from that horrific war. It’s all thanks to you Laura! Next I would like to say shame on you people who take advantage of this site to sell your wares from everything from “love guru’s to steam showers?! Whut???? Really. Shame on you all! If you have not read this incredible book then sell your CRAP else where and leave this comment site alone! Once again fantastic book Laura and I’m looking forward to the movie!!!! #can hardly wait! thanks again for a wonderful accurate story!

  621. I am a songwriter. My partner Jeana and I wrote this song about your inspirational novel Unbroken. We would be very interested in your thoughts and comments on the song.

  622. My father and Mr Zamperini both competed
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    My father will turn 100 soon and has many memories the final trials. I was hoping to show him a film of that day on the 12th of July and if it exists and I get lucky, maybe he will be in that film if it exists. I thought possibly during your research for the book you might have come across such as film. I have tried many avenues but have not been lucky enough to find any video. If you have,and would be so kind, I would appreciate any help you might give me in connecting with those archives. Thanks much.

  623. I just finished Unbroken and it was a fantastic read. I loved how you made this part of history come alive to me. I have always been a student of history especially WWII but your book drove home the atrocities that our soldiers suffered at the hands of the Japanese. I can’t wait for your next book.

  624. I am 17 years old and go to marion harding high school in ohio, my english teacher Marry Hardgrove had us read “Unbroken” as one of our books this year. This book has made a big impact on me as a person. I loved the book, but what really inspired me was your life story. I want to be a doctor and anything that has to do with any type of disease just simple fascinates me,i am in Health tech. at harding where myself and 9 other kids are studying for the medical fild and getting our STNA when we graduate, and when I read “A sudden illenss” and saw that you had a illenss called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome i had to know more. I would love to talk with you about the disease. You are an inspiring and amazing person. I hope to hear back from you.

  625. Beautiful story. Made my 82 year old Air Force veteran father cry. Never seen that before.
    Good stuff.

  626. My email to reporter at LA Times:
    Just accessed your great/brief report re: athlete Zamperini’s well-deserved appointment as Grand Marshall for the 2015 Rose Parade….. but was dismayed that you twice mentioned the related fine book (Unbroken) but never mentioned the author who certainly merits recognition (Laura Hillenbrand also author of best seller, Seabiscuit). Perhaps that info was excerpted from the text on line? She certainly deserves as much attentiion as Angelina Jolie who can thank Hillenbrand for the well-written story.

  627. I just finished your book and I could not put it down.Very well written and good research and subject matter. We need more inspirational books about real heroes. My dad was in the Navy in the Pacific theater. As a gunner, they went from island to island helping the Marines on the shores with the battles. I have high respect for what they all done,at a young age. Thank you again for your fine book.

  628. Hello Ms. Hillenbrand, I just finished reading your book “Unbroken”. You wrote a great book about Capt. L. Zamperini’s life. Capt. Z is one tough character by surviving all those hardships during WWII. My mother survived WWII as a teenager in London and always says her story should be in a book. She turns 90 years old this June. I served in the USAF for 23 years.

  629. You’re fantastic book has just been selected as the only book on the Ashland High School summer reading list. I’m a friend of Ron Koltnow’s and a long time buyer and bookseller.

  630. I find no mention of David Rensin’s book, “Devil at My Heels,” in your book, “Unbroken.” Any reason the two books came out just a few years apart? Both are similar and important but the dynamics might be interesting to the reader of both books. Thanks, ken r

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    I finished reading UNBROKEN this morning, and the book is tremenous!

    My father served in Europe during WW II, making amphibous landings at Sicily, Salerno, Anzio Beach (liberated Rome) and on the French Riviera. Then pushed up through France and finally liberated the Dauchou concentration camp on April 29, 1945.

    I have written a small book about his experiences and other family members and included some about the war in the Pacific.

    I work in DC and am interested in meeting you and discussing the similarities of our stories. Look forward to hearing from you when you have time. My cell phone number is 703-587-1988. God bless you and hope he makes you well.

  633. I am thooughly enjoying the audio book of Unbroken and am wondering if it is possible to get an audio book of “We thought we heard the Angels Sing” or you could make one. It is the epic story of Eddie Rickenbacker and his crew going down in 1943 and how they survived for I think 24 days. A book of it was written by one of the survivors Lt. James Whittacker. I am 85 years old and remember meeting him and it too was a marvelous story. Thank you.

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  635. Laura,
    First off I wish you a better health!
    Around our house we understand fatigue all too well! If I’m correct you live in Phoenix and hopefully Mayo clinic has something for you!!!!!
    I just finished reading “Unbroken” this week while I was there for my 2nd Transplant aka TX(Had a liver TX there also in 2009.)

    Don’t TRULY DO NOT think I could have made it without your book (and Louie) this week!

    It gave me back my will to live!

    Peace and prayers to us all.

    Don Benton

    PS Not sure if CFS can be helped by this….but you never know…I’m already feeling better and I’ve been off work for five months for the third time….It sounds gross but it has a 90% cure rate..for people with bad immune systems TXer’s have them. And I JUST had this TX yesterday!!!! see site PLEASE!

    Gods Speed and thank you for BOTH your Books! YOU and all your PEOPLE that help you, give us Little people…. Hope!

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  637. Thank you for sharing this book and the information the B-24. This book gave a great insight into the training, and closeness that the crew shared. In 2007, I was fortunate enough to have the remains of an uncle, who was lost in April of 1944, returned home for burial. Your book explained a number of questions that ran through my mind, especially, the listing of MIAs and the thirteen month time period before declaring them dead. Thanks so much for taking the time to write about Louis Zamperini’s life, his struggles and the recovery. It may help others understand what some of veterans are going through today.

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  642. I had an idea for another character driven book that I wanted to send to Laura. Is there a snail mail address that I can send an article to with notes to share with her? Sue Huggler,, 210-822-2332.

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  644. A couple of years ago I read the book “Unbroken”. I loved it. I had already read about Mr. Zamperini from his book “Devil at my Heels” . I am thrilled to hear that a movie about his life will be out in December this year. I would live to know if Mr. Zamperini plans to be speaking in Arkansas or even in the surrounding states. If possible could you please let me know about his speaking schedule.

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  651. To Laura, Having just finished reading Unbroken, I wanted to email you to comment on this amazing account of the POW’s being held in Japan. At times it was very difficult reading, so I can only imagine what you must have felt doing the research and writing the book.
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  658. I just finished Unbroken on an audio CD. It is definitely one of the best books I have listened to during my commute. The book is very interesting and well written. So many of my friends suggested this book, and I can understand their recommendation, it is a great book. Thank you for telling Louie’s story. Laura has written an outstanding book and Ed Herrmann has brought it to life.

  659. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand,

    I am a high school teacher in Oak Park, Illinois. We have started teaching Unbroken to our freshmen with great success.

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  664. I just finished reading “Unbroken.” I was extremely moved by the emotional depth of the experience shared by Louis. His generosity is beyond inspiring and I am thankful. My father was a veteran of WWII, a soldier in the Polish Army and a prisoner-of-war twice. He never shared his experiences nor the pain though I witnessed his very troubled sleep when he napped. I long to better understand his experiences, to better understand the man with access to his war time records. As was evident in the closing pages of Unbroken, years of research seem required. Thank you to Laura Hillenbrand for her dedication to seeing the book through and giving me a glimpse into the life of a POW, and to Louis Zamperini for letting us into his life. What a very special man.

  665. Thoroughly enjoyed the book. Excellent job at weaving together adventure, human pathos, humor and faith. The title is an apt description of mans’ ability to withstand enormous physical and mental abuse and, God willing, survive.

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  677. A wonderful read! So excited when Billy Graham came into the story!

  678. Laura, we are a publisher in Atlanta, Deeds Publishing, who recently republished Barbed Wire Surgeon with Dr. Weinstein’s grandson, Brian. Following is a quote on his site:

    Barbed-Wire Surgeon has been used as a reference in many books. Most notably in two enthralling and extremely popular books, Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. In fact, Dr. Weinstein is specifically highlighted in Unbroken for the part he played in the attempted poisoning of sadistic Japanese Corporal Mutsuhiro Watanabe, a.k.a. “the Bird”. The full details are inside of Barbed-Wire Surgeon.

    I would love to send you a copy of the book. Would you consider a short review/endorsement? If you cannot, I would still be happy to send you a copy. I just need to have an address to send it to.

    By the way, I loved Unbroken; a fabulous read. Thank you so much.

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  681. Laura,
    My wife and myself were on a cruise to Mexico last week and I got lost in reading “Unbroken”. Your book was riveting. I could not put it down until I was finished. I suppose I could relate to the story because of my father who was a sergeant first class with the 101st airborne artillery division in the Korean conflict and his similar stories of the bad treatment of downed pilots in North Korean prison camps. Thank you for being the author of such a wonderful book. My heart goes out to Louie, my father and others who have endured the impossible. It is men like Louie that have made this country great.

  682. Laura,
    What a fabulous book you have written. I have been friends with Louie for 25 years and visited him at his home numerous times. Every time I met with him or spoke with him on the phone, he told me of the progress of the book; from your original interest in writing his story and his reluctance due to his already having written his book “Devil at My Heels” to his admiration of your thoroughness and his difficulty reading your book because of its vivid recreation of his extreme experiences, so much so that he could only read a few pages before putting the book down and looking out the window because it brought him back so closely to his former reality. Oh how he admires and thinks so fondly of you and all you have had to endure in your lifes struggles. I was with him in his home the day after the book came out and brought the Wall Street Journal with me to show him the full page photo and article about him and the book. He took the paper and looked at it for what seemed a minute with his mouth open in amazement. As you know, he never wanted fame and adulation but it’s too late for that now. Congratulations on your book! As Louie said to me on more than one occasion, “This book is going to reach and touch alot of people with hope and the idea that forgiveness is possible.” If at some point in the future I have the chance, I’d like to thank you personally for your work in bringing Louie’s story to life. God bless you and your family. Alan Johnson, friend of Louie Zamperini.

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  686. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand,

    I just finished reading Unbroken. This is the best book I have ever read, period. Thank you for penning it and bringing this amazing story to the world.

  687. This story should be required reading. With two older half-brothers who were scheduled for the invasion of Japan, one as a bombardier and the other as an infantry platoon leader, I have long had a fascination with WWll. Your book has been the most spell-binding account I have read. Thank you for your perseverance.Now I have to find out how you learned of this unique tale.

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  689. Dear Laura,

    I finished reading Unbroken a little over a week ago. It is a captivating, compelling and remarkable story, as is Seabiscuit. You are a truly powerful writer.

    I have enjoyed these books immensely. So much so, I wondered why there was such a long length of time in between your books. In reading the acknowledgements of Unbroken, I read your mention of at times being too sick to conduct in-person interviews. That in turn spurred my curiosity which lead me to A Sudden Illness — How My Life Changed. This is also a captivating, tremendous piece of writing and the only thing needed to explain the time between your books.

    You and Borden are blessed to have each other. Please take extra good care of yourself. Best wishes for good health.

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  690. For Laura Hillenbrand: enjoyed both Seabiscuit & Unbroken they are fine examples of a talented author re. Seabiscuit do you believe that Howard, Smith, Woolf,doctors et al knew or did not know about Pollard’s blind eye warm regards Joe Henry Colo Spgs., Co

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  692. Absolutely loved the book Laura. My dad was a F/O B-24 Navigator. But I have to bring to your attention a typo. Where you are disclosing how the POWS used Morse Code to communicate with each other, you state that they used ‘tit’ for dot and ‘dah’ for dash. It should be ‘dit’ for dot. ;)

  693. Just finished this book. Spectacular story telling once again. Kept me riveted for the whole book. Loved it. Laura is truly gifted in her writing style.

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  697. I have read both Seabiscuit and Unbroken. I love all the detail and appreciate all the research that went into these books.I know so much more about what the war was like reading Unbroken than any history book I have studied.I am looking forward to the movie, but I can’t imagine getting as much out of it as I did the book. Louis Zamperini is amazing, and I am thankful he is still living to answer our questions.

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    Congratulations on your winning book, “Unbroken”. I’m in line for the audio book version from the public library and it won’t be long until I download it.

    Is it actress/director, Angelina Jolie, who will be taking on the challenge to make “Unbroken” into a film? I believe Ms. Jolie has the talent and skills to make it an award winning film like the success of Seabiscuit.

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    I just finished “Unbroken” which was past on to me
    By my younger sister . Your book was beutifulllly
    Written, an education, & inspiring
    Much like “The Greatest Generation”
    Our father was a WW II vet who joined the army6 months
    After my parents graduated from MIT
    He was a DDay veteran & was shipped to

    South Pacific with plans to invade Japan
    Our parents were married in 1941 and were apart
    For over 3 years
    What is unique is that my Dad was a amateur
    Water color artist. He sent 5 by 7 post cards
    To our Mother. With 2 full albums of both Europe
    & South Pacific
    We are in the process of having prints made
    For display at an appropriate museum
    Your story has inspired me to finally do something
    With this invaluable bit of history
    Bill Auerbach

  703. Laura, I just finished reading UNBROKEN. This is the best book I have read in quite some time. I am telling others about it so I hope they too read the book.

    My father and uncles never spoke much about the war, I wish hey were still here to talk about it but books like this are taking place of that now.

    Keep writing!

  704. On p. 245 you describe Pappy Boyiington as a Medal of Honor winner. Most of those who hold this high honor, including my late father in law Rudy Davila would rather be referred to as a recipient. Rudy was also a teacher at Banning.

    Thank you for a very great book.

    David Lemmenes

  705. Our book club is currently reading Unbroken for the clubs April meeting. The group lives in Montgomery County. Does Laura has any local lectures/live presentations scheduled?


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  708. Dear Laura, I just finished the last page of your book this evening. It is the best book I have read in a long, long time. I thank you for making the story of Louis Zamperini so alive for the rest of us to learn from. It is nice to know it will always be there for Americans in the future to get a taste of what it was like to have lived through WWII. My father used to try to tell us all stories of his time in the War in Africa, but we just didn’t get it, so after a while he stopped. He must be laughing at me now. Thank you so much, Linda Juliano, Bedford, MA

  709. my name is Kayla
    i want to tell you about my past and how blessed i am today. please i understand how it feels to be heartbroken.i have a 5years relationship with my boyfriend not until when he brought me an invitation letter that he was getting married to somebody else because i love him so much and we promise to live our lives together ever since my life have been filled with pains,heart break and i almost took my life because of him.A friend of mine told me how DR.LOVESPELL helped her to get her husband back together after 3year,before i contacted DR.LOVESPELL( number tel.+2348104004707 is the spell caster who cast a spell in two days my boyfriend and i are back together.i am so happy for what DR.LOVESPELL had done for me and my family too it a miracle for me, life have changed for the best.i don’t need to explain it more than this but for you to contact him and your life will change for the best i promise you.

  710. Laura,

    I just finished Unbroken that I bought last week. Unbelievable… by far the best book I’ve ever read! Couldn’t put it down.

    thanks so much for sharing the details of Louis’s incredibly journey.


  711. Very nice information. Finding sweet deals is a factor when we discuss peace of mind. Can we keep spreading the word about best deals on ebay. Once again, informative thoughts. Have a great day.

  712. Good day to anyone ready this testimony. I was heartbroken when husband moved in with another woman abandoning our family. So I had a spell to bring him back home and stop the affair he had with the new girl. In just 4 days he left her and went to live at the motel to cover his shame. He called to say so and also get news of the kids. The discussion was pleasant, as if he was changing to become the man I knew when we got married. Now he’s back home and absolutely crazy in love with me and the kids.

    I am so thrilled by this spell that I can’t find the right words to say how I feel right now. All I can decently say is that Dr. Ipkakperan saved the most important thing in my life. My family gives thanks to you Sir for bringing back my husband home.

    If you passing true the same problems in your home contact Dr. Ipkakperan for help on his Email:

  713. Laura, if I may call you that,I am shocked by this book. I ave never read any books by you before, and I am an avid reader, but this book is, by far, one of the best i have ever read. I understand that a movie is in the works to come out pretty soon. Usually when I’ve read a book and it is made into a movie I skip the movie. NOT THIS TIME.
    I received the book this past Christmas and am about half done. I only started the book a couple of days ago. The story, writing, etc. are great. I can’t believe what Louis Zamperini has gone through.He was an Olympian back in 1936. He might have run the mile in 1940, but WWll got in the way. What he has done through the war and afterwards has been fantastic. As I write this I understand that he is still alive and in great spirits.
    I will let you go and return to this page when I’m finished with this book. It is one that I will read again.
    Back in the 1960′s I thought that I night become an Olympian, but such was not to be. I ran very well in High School and College, but never that good.
    Thanks for reading my little story and I will get back to you in a few days.


  714. Laura, if I may call you that, I received your book UNBROKEN, for Christmas this year. I began reading the book a few days ago and am about half way done. (I am an avid reader.)I am astounded at the writing, style, story and will never forget reading this book.It is fantastic and I have heard that it will be made into a movie. Many times after I’ve read a book and a movie comes out, I skip the movie. This time I will go to that movie.

  715. Hello every one,i have a true life testimony to share in regards to how my beloved husband broke up and left me with two kids and started dating another woman,i have really been through hell in search for some one who could give me advice on how to get him back but all suggestion’s and advice i got from my friends did not work and even i have tried to talk to my husbands parents he was so sturborn and never listened to them and all this make things worse until i was in a very busy shop here in new york when i heard a voice and i turned and i saw my cousin sister whom i have not seen for more than one year we then talked and she ask me how was my husband and behold i just remembered and i burst out of tears,she hold me and ask if anything is wrong, i then narrated the whole story to her and she then refered me to a powerful spell caster called Priest sunny and she gave me the email and instructed i should try him that Priest sunny have also helped her when she had similar issue, so i believed and gave it a try and priest sunny made it clear that my husband was under a spell and glory be to God that after performing all necessary things my husband quarreled with her and just in two days he came looking for me and today we are happy and together as one family once more again. Thanks priest sunny, and if you are also passing through this please i advice you to reach him on his personal email; or call him on +2348135049467.
    Name;susan martin.
    country;usa,new york.

  716. Thanks for finally talking about > Laura Hillenbrand: Guestbook < Loved it!

  717. laura– great ,great book
    joined navy at 17 yrs ol end of war spent 2-3 months in Tokyo bay walked many times thru ashes of Tokyo.we are from penn. hillenbrands take care of yourself and get back to good health

    do we have common relatives?
    best to you and yours.– George hillenbrand

  718. Laura, I’ve never been more proud of you. Your drive to adapt your life to the disabling symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME) is nothing short of the courage and guts showing on page and screen in both ‘Seabiscuit’ AND ‘Unbroken’. “If I can take it, I can make it.” should be the rally cry for all those suffering with this and other debilitating chronic illnesses shoved to the back burner and ignored by our own governmental medical agencies, the CDC and NIH. Your sensitivity and heart are felt in situations that could not be more dire. BRAVO Laura, BRAVO ~ Kate Grebitus

  719. for Laura:

    Have had Unbroken on my to-read for several years now…finally got it…and just finished it…OMG—it was fabulous!!!

    Thank you for bringing that story to light….how inspirational..
    just had to read it before I saw the movie…sure hope the movie does it justice…

    a fan,
    Beth Johnson


    My name is Mike Shurig, my dad’s name is the same. We both enjoyed Unbroken immensely. Dad is a WWII vet. He was the tail gunner in the B-24 before the plane that was shot down in the photo that is included in the book. He witnessed the whole thing. Above is an account of that tragedy through his eyes. Would be honored if Laura could read it and perhaps reply. If it does not come through, email me back and I will see that she gets it. Thanks

  721. Dear Sally,
    “Unbroken” said so much about an air crew, their personnal aircraft. Optimism played an integral part in survival and so. did prayer.When an air crew suspictioned something was wrong woth “Green Hornet” that LT. on the ground should never have asked them to fly before it was really checked out by a lead mechanic.

    I have some information concerning the B-24 model D. Their is one B-24 Libeerator on display that was never “cut apart” for use on another ship. “Strawberry Bitch” is on display at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base museum.The Director will allow people to walk through it and take pictures.I took my Mother and brother Ffank through it and we shot color film of the interior. I photographed the Bombadiers position with the Norden bombsight. Three .50 cal. machinguns are mounted in the nose. I also took a picture of the bombadier’s control panels.
    You can almost stand up in the nose. “Greenhose Nose” gave the bombadier and the navigator clear visability.The catwalk is just as Laura described it and bombs were located on each side of the walk and there is a significant draft when is flying and you see some of the ground!!
    I’ve taken pictures of the B-24 J that belongs to the Collings Museum. Aircraft was completely rebuilt in Florida. The Smithsonian couldn’t do all of the extensive restoration. The interior is not the same as the B-24 D. My interest in the Liberator is my father crewed aboard a D Flying from Bengasi, Libiya to bomb the oil refineriers the Germans used at Ploesti, Rumania; a 2400 mile run without a fighter escort on 8/1/43. 1/3 of the aircraft was lost; another 1/3 of ships had battle damage and 1/3 was able to fly!!!Dad’s aircraft was the last ship to bomb the northern most target 18 miles from the main refinery at Ploesti; Target was the Campina field. Five Medals of Honor were awarded for this mission and al others received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star etc. Dad’s aircraft was leaking fuel in Bengasi. Pilot Harold James and Navigator thouhgt they might reach Cyprus but not enough remaining. They didn’t want to crash in Rumania or, Yougaslavia.Dad’s aircraft approached another severly crippled ship; pilot dead and all of the gunner’s were wounded. They both elected to try and reach Turkey–a neutral countey. They landed at Ismir. Eight other Liberators landed at other Turkish locations.I would like to share my phoographs of “Strawberry Bitch” with Laura; aircraft’s journal from East Coast to Dayton in May 17, 1959, the 2 page description of tyhe Norden bomesight with all contols numbered and identified; a one page article about ditching a B-24 and where life rafts were located just behind the top turret and a wonderful article about Louis Z. which appeared in the Commerative Air Force monthly magazine back when book was firdt published.
    Sally, I am also a Member of the CAF and worked many years resurecting a Boeing B-17 G named “Sentimental Journey”. Betty Grable’s pin up graces the nose of our aircraft. Air Force retired her in 1959 and it was bought by forest Fighting unit.t flew in combating forest fires until 1978. One of our members acquired it and I participated in bring back all original equipment like it appeared in 1945. Aircraft went to the Pacific.I am not a mechanic but, I helped find rare parts, worked at numerous air shows, scheduled air crews and worked on their newsletter and other assignments. Every one who worked on aircraft took turns flying on it to airshows!!!I still have my CAF Air Crew Cap!!! I was surprised oto see a movie might be coming…Would Laura want me to appear as, an aerial gunner the position my father flew.After WW11 he went into banking and was a Ass’t. Vice Pres. of a chain of banks in Indiana. He was just promotede to full VP when he died aof a heart attack at age 46 in 1968. I hope this correspondence is not too long.

    Hugh R. Mc Laren
    4920 N. Shoreland Ave.
    Whitefish Bay, Wi 53217-5823 (

    I will forward information if, I am given a mailing address.

  722. Ms. Hillenbrand, what are your thoughts about the movie being made? I hope it is well done. rhm

  723. Hi Laura,

    One of my closest friends has been suffering for 9 years at the hands of CFS/ME/Fibromyalgia and hashimotos. I discovered your story and want to thank you for writing the article. I have sent it to my friends to help them try to understand the situation that Julie is in. She has not been able to have visitors or communicate via text/email/fb for 9 years. I communicate via the post and texts to her mother which get passed on. So hard for everyone.



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  725. My name is Jennifer A Pedro, My Ex-Husband dumped me two weeks ago after I accused him of seeing someone else and insulting him. I want him back in my life but he refuse to have any contact with me. I was so confuse and don’t know what to do, so I reach to the internet for help and I saw a testimony of how a spell caster help people to get their ex back so I contact the spell caster and explain my problem to him and he cast a spell for me and assure me of 48hours that my ex will return to me and to my greatest surprise the third day my ex came knocking on my door and beg for forgiveness. I am so happy that my love is back again and not only that, we are about to get married. Once again thank you Dr AYANI, You are truly talented and gifted. Email: ( or you can as well give him a call via: +2348112019701 is the only answer. He can be of great help and I will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man.
    Email: (

  726. Hello everyone, am here on this site to share my testimony,i want to share with you all about my relationship breakup which almost lead me to frustration and unhappy life experience,i was married to my ex divorced wife 4years ago and i and my wife have been living happily with our baby boy,but few months ago my wife started behaving strange to me, unknown to me that she have been engaging her self online with another man, who claims to love my wife,my wife still was keeping this as a secret to me, but few weeks ago i caught her on our computer messaging this man, and when i asked her who he was she told me that he is just a friend, the message conversation caught my attention and i decided to rea through it, to my surprise my wife have been dating this man on my behalf for a very long time , so immediately after i noticed that i began to quarrel with her and i gave her a slap,she told me that she never loved me and told me that we should go for a divorce, i thought she was saying it from anger due to what was happening in our room,after some time my wife told me that we should go for a divorce due to the love i had for her i never wanted to support it, although it happened i still did not give up on her to get her and my child back home, so i went in search on how i can get my wife on the internet, well on my search i saw a testimony of a woman on how Dr ADUWAWA was able to restore back to her, her ex husband, immediately i copied the email address and decided to give a try, after all the procedures and instructions given to me by Dr ADUWAWA within the space of 2days my wife gave me a call and started begging me that she was sorry for what has happened between us, due to the Love i had for her i quickly responded to her that i have forgiven her and told her to come back home, now me and my wife are living happy again, all respect and honour to Dr ADUWAWA for the Help you have render to me and my family sir i pray God Strenghten you….
    if you need his help you can email him on (aduwawaspiritualtemple @ yahoo . com)

  727. thanks for this awesome article! what are your thoughts on the greatest music store in town?

  728. I love this book! I was looking through this page though and I’m sad that it had been used to put out scams, etc. I loved Unbroken and I think Laura Hillenbrand deserves something better than, “I need to tell my story about a doctor who brought my ex back to me…” Who cares? no one. I just wanted to put that out there. Unbroken Is an extraordinary book and you all *cough cough scammers cough* should read it.

  729. I have just finished reading “Unbroken”. One of the better books I have read in some time. It has the most of what I expect in a good book; UB was a barn-burner. Whatever praise has been directed to you is well-grounded. I shall not soon forget what you have done to encapsulate The War in the Pacific and its horrors. Thank-you for researching and writing UB.

    Tony Agostinelli

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  731. There is no way, that I could go to bed last night after finishing “Unbroken” without writing you a comment.
    It is to thank you for a magnificent job. An unbelievable effort to portray the life of Mr Louis Zamperini. Indeed, there was a box of tissues near by…

    A friend recommended it as a must read, specifically telling me that there is a section in your book about 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Mr Zamperini participated there as a very successful runner. My future wife was also there, participating at the opening ceremonies. As one of the ten thousand young ladies, most of them ten years old, dressed in white, performing in gymnastics and ending the show in making a live Olympic icon of five circles.
    Even as a ten year old, she vividly remembers, that something terribly wrong had happened, when Adolf Hitler refused to shake hands with our gold medal winner, runner Jessy Owens.

    Letter in your book I couldn’t help but compare my own experiences in Europe during the World War II as a 12 years old boy, (born in Belgrade, then Yugoslavia).
    Not long ago I wrote a book about our memoirs basically of the European Theatre, under German occupation, fleeing from the Soviet Army, refugee camps and final trip to U.S. Oh yes, and having our 60st marriage anniversary with my – “1936′ Olympic girl” this July!

    Certainly,I can’t possibly visualize the life of
    Lt L. Zamperini, specifically in the POW camps that you so eloquently described. My family and I were fortunate to escape
    the Red Army. Dad was a former officer of the Russian Imperial Army and as such had been on the KGB list…
    If you are interested, it would be my pleasure to send you my book. You have my e-mail.

    My wife and I wish to pray for your speedy recovery and again, thanks so much for a superb book, by far the best one I have ever read.

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  733. my name is Kayla
    i want to tell you about my past and how blessed i am today. please i understand how it feels to be heartbroken.i have a 5years relationship with my boyfriend not until when he brought me an invitation letter that he was getting married to somebody else because i love him so much and we promise to live our lives together ever since my life have been filled with pains,heart break and i almost took my life because of him.A friend of mine told me how DR.LOVESPELL helped her to get her husband back together after 3year,before i contacted DR.LOVESPELL( number tel.+37067060228 is the spell caster who cast a spell in two days my boyfriend and i are back together.i am so happy for what DR.LOVESPELL had done for me and my family too it a miracle for me, life have changed for the best.i don’t need to explain it more than this but for you to contact him and your life will change for the best i promise you.

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  735. Ms. Hillenbrand, I have just recently finished reading your book Unbroken. I am an avid reader and I have to say this one of the BEST books I have ever read. I love reading non-fiction, especially historical books. What those men in WWII had to endure is still hard to believe. This is a book I will purchase and read over and over again. Thank you.

  736. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, your book was truly impossible to put down. Thanks for bringing Louis to life through your thorough research and moving writing. The movie will be a must-see.

  737. Dear Ms Hillenbrand, I am in the racehorse business in NM and other states. I believe the stories,cheating and corruption would make one heck of a book/movie! I would love to give you the info and stories for a new book, hope you think so too. Respectfully, Vanessa Bartoo 575-740-7181

  738. Best book I’ve listened to on CD in years. Thank you for sharing Louis’story of an American hero. A life well lived.

  739. Ms. Laura, I write not only to shout praises for your amazing writing,but to tell you that my husband and I have a story that needs to be told. With your incredible grasp of writing of events that you didn’t even experience for yourself, as in “Unbroken” but can research and investigate enough to write such believe able descriptions. It is remarkable to me.
    We need someone to tell our story, whether it be you with us, or whether you can recommend a suitable ghost writer for us.
    The story began almost twenty years ago, of an impossible journey across our great country, three summers in a row. Young teenage boys built an authentically correct 1930 Model A Speedster to enter The Great Race, something never before accomplished by boys! Under the guidance of their auto mechanics teacher, they built the car, obtained and remodeled an ordinary school bus to carry the boys, the speedster, and chaperones from Tacoma, WA to Ontario, Canada. And that was just the first year.
    Almost daily obstacles arose to try and prevent this from occurring. Obstacles tackled and overcome.
    Three years in a row, these kids did The Great Race, on different routes, like Sonoma, Ca to Jacksonville, FL and from Tacoma, WA to Haverill, MA culminating in winning college scholarships after winning first and second place ( they added a second vehicle ) in a category that had to be created for high school students.

    This Race is indeed a Rally, where a navigator instructs the driver how fast to go, where to turn, and all must be accomplished within certain time frames.
    Towns across America vied for the privilege to host the antique cars and drivers for their lunch and night stops across the country.
    Patriotic bands and music welcomed the cars each night as they crossed under a decorated arch, and crowds lined up along the barriers to cheer and welcome.
    So much to tell; so many stories. It would definitely make an exciting book. But we need help and direction..

    Please help us anyway you can. Lead us to the right people who may be interested enough to help us tell our stories.

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  741. Ms. Hillenbrand, thank you for this book. My grandfather was also a POW held by the Japanese; I’ve known that all my life, but in a very vague way. You really brought this element of the war story to life for me, and inspired me to learn more about my grandfather’s experiences. (As it happens, he was in the same camp as Russell Phillips at the end of the war, though his path was different.) Your writing helped me understand an element of the war that I hadn’t previously considered.

    This is not at all getting at what I really want to say, which is that this book really got to me. I know more than I did, but I can FEEL more about WWII than I could before, too. I am a librarian, and I’m recommending your book widely. I’m looking forward to your next book – whatever it may be.

    Again, thanks.

    Christie Burke

  742. I am not sure exactly where you might be getting your information, nevertheless terrific subject matter. I have to take some time understanding more or realizing extra. Many thanks for magnificent details I was searching for this info for my quest.

  743. Hi Laura,

    I read Unbroken shortly after it was released and loved it. I have often said the story of what really happened to the young men and women who gave up so much for the cause of freedom needs to be documented and remembered. We should never forget what they did so that their children (and grandchildren and great grandchildren) would have a better world to live in. The veterans coming back from the war were quiet about what they saw and went through. They did not want to relive the horrors of war and they wanted to protect their families from ever having to go through what they had to. Now finally their story is being told through Louis Zamperini and with the movie coming out, I hope it preserves the memory of what it took to save the world we all live in today. The stories of all the people who lived through World War II are very similar. The men, women and family’s that gave up so much for us should never be forgotten.

    My father in law David was one of those men who came back from the war in the Pacific and helped create the greatest free country in history. We honor his memory every day in my family not only because of what he lived through in the war but also the struggles he endured to make a normal life for his family when he got back. I try to post his picture and tell his story every chance I get on Facebook. I hope my grandchildren will read your book and see the movie. In a way, it tells their great grandfather’s story through Louis’ story.

    My best regards,

    Paul Harned

  744. Hi Laura,
    I don’t know if you get to put any input into the making of the movie “unbroken” but I have a friend named Jack Gladstone. He is a Native American singer,songwriter and storyteller. He wrote a song about his uncle who after great heroism in WWII came home like Louis and could not cope. He also turned to alcohol and regrettably it got the better of him contrary to Louis. I believe the song is called “sometimes eagles have trouble on the ground.” It is a very haunting song and would be fitting in the part of Louis life when he first came back from the war.
    I love your writing and have read both “sea biscuit” and “unbroken.” You are truly the best author I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
    Best always and God bless you.

    Rick Kratz

  745. Hi Laura,
    I just saw in our local paper that the movie version of “Unbroken” is coming out in December. How exciting! I remember you telling me years ago that it had been picked up after I wrote you telling you how much your book meant to me since I am the daughter of a World War II veteran. So happy that it happened!


    Jennifer Calvert

  746. Just wanted to say thank you for writing “Unbroken” I have told so many people to read this book. I mainly read autobiographies and biographies. I was spell bound the whole book and so excited that he became a Christian!! I was raised in Los Angeles and have a brother living in Torrance. Can’t say enough good about this book to make us see how important it is to forgive.

  747. Hi.
    On the deck to Chichi (Jima)
    By PFC Bud Nelson
    February 5, 1945
    “As we plummeted downward just before we were over the bank that marked our target area, Pilot Lt. Herb Robinson’s Liberator lifted suddenly and brushed the wing-tip of Pilot Lt. Bob Strongs ship. The wing put a dent in Bombaro Ernest Miles nose compartment, as he released his load. As the planes broke away, one of the bombs sailed into Strong’s ship-it landed inside the plane, between the waist and the tail. A gaping hole in the fuselage outlined the path of the projectile. “I thought we had been hit by the flack Strong said later. ” When Cpl Vincent Sutter called me on the intercome and and said we got a bomb in our laps back here. I told him this was no time to cracks and to get the hell off the intercom. But, it was no joke to Sutter. He remarked late, When the bomb burst through the waist I was busy strafing hell out of the Jap gun positions. I looked at it through the corner of my eye, half dozen. Then, Al (Cpl) Al Newell and I with the same thought at the same time. The damn thight might go off. “We couldn’t budge it by hand it weighted a thousand pounds. So we stripped the barrels out of our guns and used them for levers. We really didnt start to get scared until after we pushed it off the plane. ”
    This is in reference to Laura Hillenbrand’s UNBROKEN pg. 84.
    Per Public Relations Office
    Pacific Headquarters Army Air Force
    Mailed July 2, 1945
    A 7th AAf Heavy Bomber Base in the Marianas—Technical Sergeant Vincent F. Sutter( his middle initial is L.), Seattle, Wsh., radio operator on a 7th AAF Liberator Bomber with the famed 11th Bombardment Group, is presented the Distinguished Flying Cross by Major Gerneral Robert W. Douglas Jr.., cammanding general of the 7th Air Force, for extradordinary achievement on a mine laying mission in the Bonin Islands. Sergent Sutter parents are Mr. and Mrs. Frank sutter live at 5116 Swift Ave., Seattle. My father, Vincent Leo Sutter passed away the 3rd of May 2008. My cousin Frank Sutter gave me UNBROKEN for Christmas 2013.
    I miss my father. I love my father very much. He and my mother Helen Ruth Weber Sutter were my best friends. My father told his story of that 1,000 bomb to all of my male cousins. Only after my father, Vincent L. Sutter, passing at his Wake did I receive the news article: One the deck to Chichi by PFC Bud Nelson from Carlock a crew member on that Liberator with my father. When I was looking through my father’s papers I found a picture of him receiving his Distinguished Flying Cross. Those crew members on that Liberator were just as important as the pilot Lt. Robert Strong and they should have been given some recognition.
    Thank you for your time.
    Margaret Rose Sutter
    ps. My father and I had the joy of sharing the companionship of a wonderful German Short Hair/Spaniel mix, Daphne and her friend Kiki, our cat. Kiki died in February, 2011 and Daphne passed away 1/11/2014. Daphne would have been 8 in March, 2014, but, her time on earth was short and she now is in the loving arms of my father Vincent Leo Sutter

  748. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand,
    My son gave me your book for my birthday, I just finished, it is wonderful! The last paragraph in your acknowledgments brought me to tears! I was born in 1934 in a small village in Tuscany, emigrated to this wonderful country in 1956. I was 10 when the war reached my village, but the most beautiful day in my life was the day that first Allied armored car appeared in my village, after one year of German occupation.
    I have driven by the American Cemetery near Florence often, when I needed recharging my batteries as an administrator of federal TRIO programs. Once I had the privilege to enter it with some veterans of WWII and Korea. The sight of those graves with names from all over the United States, of the long list of names without graves (mostly aviators lost at sea in the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas) made me cry like a baby, those guys died for me! for my freedom, for the opportunity to live a long and free and decently prosperous life! Some of those guys I played snowball fights with, some gave me chocolates and cigarettes for my father!
    You can see why that last paragraph of yours, “I dedicated this book to …” has had such a strong effect on me, I love you for it! Thank you!!

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  750. I just finished reading “Unbroken”. It is such an amazing story told so well by Laura Hillenbrand that it is not surprising to learn that it will also be a Hollywood movie soon. Thank you Laura for the heroic effort that it took to document and retell this story. As an adult, as a runner, as a son of an Air Force pilot, I am somewhat ashamed that I had never heard of Louie Zamperini until a friend recommended this book to me. What a tragedy it would have been if this story had been lost when the last of that generation is gone. Finally, thank you Louie for teaching the greatest lesson that anyone could teach – forgiveness.

  751. I received the book as a Christmas present. I enjoyed it very much for a couple of reasons. I live in Torrance and all of the Torrance geographic references I could relate to. I drive past Zamperini Way and Zamperini airport every day. Ms Hillenbrand did an excellent job in building her characters (I realize they are actual people). Was there or is there a movie coming? Also, is Louis Zamperine still alive?

    Thank you

  752. Laura, I am another Laura with a story that will resonate with you. Your crash into the deer compels me to ask you a question. Might you have persistent lyme? Hidden dental infections and/or mercury toxicity caused by the impact of the crash?

    I recently recovered from 22 years of fibromyalgia, and two of escalating bizarre symptoms. I was finally diagnosed with dental amalgam mercury poisoning as the primary cause of the bizarre symptoms. It is especially damaging to people with certain gene types who do not methylate or detox well. Re the FMS, I also had some hidden dental and related infections that turned out to be persistent lyme that reemerged after generic Rx gave some relief. And mold toxicity from massive exposure in parents’ flooded condo.

    I assembled a gifted team of a biologic dentist and functional MD, and they helped me to systematically diagnose and address this. I have recovered the health, strength and vitality of my youth. I am happy to share info if that would be helpful.

    Hidden River Health Challenge: A Social Innovation Enterprise is the new organization I am building to help people learn about the impact of genes + toxins on health, share, and take action. Our first action is to call for a Surgeon General Report on Dental Amalgam and Mercury Health Risks. I invite you and your readers to join, share and spread this to help ourselves, and others too.

  753. Just finished Ünbroken”. An incredible read, bringing me to tears on more than one occasion. Thank you Laura.

  754. I love your writings. You really bring out the feelings.
    Thank you.

  755. This story will be with me for the rest of my life,, thank you so much

  756. We read this book in school and I find that I cant stop thinking about it. It is the most inspirational and amazing story I’ve ever read. The fact that it is a true story is simply beyond me. Both Louie and the author have my deepest admiration and respect. Thank you for letting us be apart of his story. I know we all cannot wait for the movie.
    With love,

  757. Best book I’ve ever read. It’s an amazing story. God had a plan. Only He could have changed someone’s life so drastically. Thanks to the author for such hard work. I understand the author is ill. I have chronically ill children so I understand how much effort this must have taken. Thank you. God bless. Lisa Russell

  758. My wife and I read UNBROKEN together over 2 weeks time and all we can say is “It is an incredible piece of writing, both from the human standpoint of Louie’s journey to the outstanding job you did in writing it for the world to enjoy”. We are about 20 years younger than Louie but even though I was just born in 1940, I remember so much of the war through newsreels in the theatre and the fact that my father and my aunt both worked at Lockheed Aircraft during the war. The story is incredible beyond words and for Louie’s journey to end at a Billy Graham Crusade is the best part of all. One of my son-in-laws has heard Louie speak at a Calvary Chapel Men’s Conference in Anaheim. I can’t wait for the movie but it will probably not be nearly as good as the book.

  759. I just finished reading your book, Unbroken. I enjoyed it very much and like all factual histories of war it had a little of everything. It was wonderful to be able to track one man’s life from birth to death. It was done in a very complete and competent manner.

    I am 64 years old now but in 1967 I graduated from high school and joined the Marine Corps. I was 18 at the time. For a rural West Virginia country boy I got to see some oriental way of life. I did a 13 month tour of duty in Vietnam with a rifle company. It was quite an eye opener for me. Like the Clint Eastwood movie, there was some Good, Bad and Ugly. It truly was a life experience. I think it was Ernest Hemingway who said “War is a wonderful life experience if you can survive it.

    Thank you for all your hard work and efforts to bring this story to light.

    Sincerely, Ronald Lilly
    Hinton, WV

  760. Dear Mrs. Hillenbrand,
    After 40+ years, I’m in the process of retiring from law enforcemeent. I love reading and over the years have passed many days with a good book in hand. I especially like and research WWII which aids me with my hobby – model aircraft building. Your book,”Unbroken” ranks in the top 10 best books I’ve ever read. Your writing style, attendtion to detial and a full knowledge of the subject matter makes for a book that’s hard to put down. I wished you were in better health and could enjoy the fruits of your labors by traveling the world, looking for inspiration for your next great book. To one of the best authors in the world, thank you and please get well. (ps.I tried emailing you direct, but this is as close as I got. I hope you get my message.)

  761. Hello i am Sandra ,I am out here to spread this good news to the entire world on how i got my husband back.I was going crazy mad and confuse when my husband left me for another girl last month,But when i meet a friend that introduce me to DR WISDOM the great messenger to the oracle that he serve,I narrated my problem to DR WISDOM about how my ex love left me and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i need to do,After it was been done,In the next 2 days,My love called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also in the next one week after my lovely husband called me to be pleading for forgiveness,I was called for interview in my desired company were i needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact DR WISDOM at the following email address and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct

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  767. Thank you for writing this book. I learned a lot and NOW appreciate why my mother ( a child of the depression ) seemed to hate Oriental people so much. I read this book because my daughter’s 8th grade class is supposed to read it and it seemed difficullt so I wanted to help her. To date they have not read it but it took me out of my comfort zone and made me appreciate what all WWII vets, including my dad, may have experienced. Good work! I think this should be mandatory HIGH SCHOOL reading. So, they would truly understand the hell of war.
    Keep writing. I hope you are feeling better soon.
    Colette Roseboro, RN

  768. Thank you for sharing this experience by Louie and other serviceman during this conflict. I am an avid reader, but your book kept me awake and I had tears in my eyes. Few books cause me to cry. I have to say that your wonderful, creative writing has made me a fan, plus I have to work through my feelings. I honestly have some really harsh feelings against the Japanese after reading your book, and this is not my normal nature. My Mom was a war bride from Birmingham, England so I have an emotional stake in WWII, but nothing before has made me feel the anguish that I feel due to the absolute inhumane experiences of many of our troops due to their POW experience. How Louie could find his way out is…no words can explain. I am a very hesitant believer in “miracles”,and that “Christianity” will answer all ills, but I do believe that if it helps, grasp it and hold on…whatever it may be. I wish I had a small group of avid readers around me right now to discuss this book with. I hope you know I have never written an author before. You have a wonderful gift, cherish it. Please continue to share your gift with us. Thanks again, Nicky Skoog

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  770. One of the best books I have ever read. thanks for putting this down on paper.

    best wishes

  771. Just finished Unbroken. My father and father-in-law were both WWII vets. After seeing Saving Private Ryan, my husband and I commented that it was amazing they both came home and amazing they came home sane. After your book I need to add, they came home and forgave. Forgiveness is hard on a good day, I have read many other books on how Japan treated POWs and all have a recurring theme, cruelty. Forgiveness is a mighty gift these men have given to their captors.

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  777. Just finished reading the book.

    Accolades! Well done Laura!

  778. I just returned from Europe and I could not put down Unbroken during the flight home. I felt so connected to this book for so many reasons, not to mention it’s brilliant writing and exhaustive research.
    First, I am very interested in the history of New York City, particularly the year 1936, when Louie ran in the Olympic Trials and subsequently left for Berlin from NYC that July. On the day the boat readied to leave, my grandfather, a NYC fireman stopped a man, who intended to leap off a building, from committing suicide. I’ve tried to learn everything about that day in NYC and I voraciously consumed the book’s material.
    Then, when I learned that Louie was in Okinawa in Sept 1946, I chuckled, knowing my father spent time in Okinawa. I pulled out my father’s Naval records and sure enough he arrived in Okinawa a few days after Louie. My father talked about the typhoon that hit but more than that he talked about the beer parties and how much fun he had there. Louie’s recollections confirm what my father had told me. It gave me such a great feeling of connectedness, both to that era, Louie and my father. Did their paths ever across? Who knows? But my imagination is having great fun with the possibilities. I anxiously await your next book, Laura. Brava, bravissima. Charles R. Hale

  779. Thank you for writing this book. I am amazed. I hope this book becomes required reading in High Schools. I learned more then any other history book I’ve read and enjoyed the journey. Shocking! Insightful. Amazing.
    You mention being unwell during the writing. I hope you have overcome or do overcome and are well.
    All the best. Wendy

  780. I just watched the British TV show Skins and was so impressed by Jack O’Connell i wanted to see what else he’s up to. I got chills when. i saw he was going to star in Unbroken. To quote my dear mother-in-law, i am a ‘peacenik’ and the last person who’d read a book about a war hero. But Unbroken got me from that first page, describing the soldiers in the raft.
    Louis Zamperini’s story is incredible, awe-inspiring and so full of life. I know Angelina will do his story justice,

    God bless.

  781. Dear Laura,

    Thank you for a wonderful moving story. My older daughter, an Army 1st LT, gave me the book for Christmas 2013 and I read it a few days ago. What a great book and I’m just amazed on how well documented everything was.

    This book should be required reading by all pilots, all sailors and especially those in the ROTC and the Military Academies.

    Thanks again!

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  785. I am a Vietnam vet. Until I read your novel, I thought the Japanese were a very peaceful people. I no longer believe that after reading your novel. When under duress, the Japanese people become savages and monsters. I will NEVER purchase a product made in Japan. The Japanese people are evil. Lee Kitchens, Gold Canyon, Arizona.

  786. I’m re-reading “Unbroken” right now. It is without question one book that makes me proud to be an American. Thank you, Laura, for writing this important story. And thank you, Louie, for your bravery and sacrifice.

  787. Just finished “Unbroken”. At 61,it is one of the best books I have ever read. I was able to pass it off to my oldest son who is a USMC pilot on his way to Afghanistan with his V-22 squadron. He was a history major at USNA and I know he is going to love that book. Great Job!

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  791. Your book stayed with me until now…long after I first read it. I am amazed at Zamp’s life and was moved to tears several times while reading but most assuredly by the end of book when he finds meaning and direction.
    I eagerly await word on your next project. Thank you for putting so much time and energy into your writing!

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  793. Laura: Your book, “Unbroken” made me laugh from my heart and cry from my whole soul. Thank you, Laura. You remind me what a great profession it can be to be an Author!

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  798. I am not 5. I am 54. Tried to correct my punctuation and lost a digit. Kim Berry, Smyrna.

  799. Dear Laura,
    I just finished “Unbroken”. I heard Louis Zamperini speak in person about a year ago here in Atlanta, but just now read your book. Oh wow!!! First thank you for sharing his incredible story and sacrifice. Although I am 5, it was the first book I have read on WWII, and I learned so much from your attention to details and fact checking. I read the epilogue with amazement for the amount of research it took to tell the story. By reading your interviews from when the book first came out, I learned that you have CFS, and it reminded me of another author Sarah Morgan, who left an extensive journal covering the Civil War period. She was in a carriage accident just as the war began that left her bedridden. Because she was so confined , her writing was her only outlet. She was a vivid and articulate writer, and well-educated. Her suffering was a part of the reason she had time to write. It is not an original idea to me, but it seems that somehow the restrictions your illness has imposed on you is the very crucible that has produced the gold that is in this book. You understand acutely hard things, and God has given you the ability and the opportunity to write. As you alluded to in one interview, you have not been hampered by other pursuits. It inspires me to see Providence at work through disappointments not just in spite of them. I survived cancer that spread to my liver over 13 years ago, so I know a little about life not turning out the way I expected/ hoped. Yet stories like this are a reminder that there is a bigger story being written than my own. I just downloaded Seabiscuit onto iBooks and look forward to reading it next. I hope you are already working on your next book, but NO pressure! You have given such a priceless gift to the next generation already in “Unbroken”. With great appreciation, Kim Berry, Smyrna, GA

  800. Just wanted to thank you for your wonderful writing , my husband and I love your books. I read you hadn’t been feeling well, I hope you are better now. We wish you a wonderful and joyous Xmas! Thanks, Darlene and Dave

  801. I read “Unbroken” last year (a Christmas present) and thought many times of writing a review. A few weeks ago I woke up clear headed and inspired. The review I wrote was for the local paper. However I’d like to send it to you if I may.

    By Laura Hillenbrand

    A Book Review
    Bismarck Tribune, December 1, 2013
    By Hal Hase

    “Unbroken” has been on best seller lists since it was published. It has received glowing accolades and deservedly so. Many thousands have already read it. I received it as a present last Christmas. With this Christmas near I unhesitatingly recommend it for anyone who enjoys reading– especially those who are World War II buffs.

    “Unbroken,” in my view, is one of the finest books ever written about the WWII soldier-experience. Hillenbrand is a superb writer who writes with a clarity and vividness that make scenes leap off the page. She has meticulously researched the story of Louis Zamperini and she brings it to life brilliantly. Her book is in itself a gift to all of us in the reading world.

    Louis Zamperini, a son of Italian immigrants, was growing up in southern California, on a path of delinquency. He was guided off this path and into long distance running by a caring older brother. Zamperini became driven to excel and he did. He travelled with the U.S. team to the Olympics in Hitler’s Berlin. He was not a medalist, but his goal became to win at the next Olympics scheduled for Tokyo. WWII intervened.

    The author takes us through his experience as a member of the Army Air Corps; his bomber crash at sea and his experience at the hands of Japanese captors. She describes his harrowing time in a life raft with almost poetic beauty. Because he was an international sports figure the Japanese tried to use him for propaganda purposes. When he refused to cooperate they continually brutalized him. Imperial Japan was harsh on its citizens and sometimes ruthless toward its own soldiers. They considered becoming a prisoner dishonorable. It was better to fight to the death.

    Prisoners of Japan were treated with unrestrained cruelty. The Geneva Convention was ignored and there were no “rules of engagement.” Zamperini’s abuse at the hands of the prison guards was so relentless that is seems almost impossible he survived. He faced certain death ahead as the Japanese always killed their prisoners when they were facing defeat. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki stunned the Japanese and saved Zamperini’s life.

    He came home to a hero’s welcome, but also came home (understandably) with what we now call PTSD. He had financial and emotional ups and downs, and serious bouts with alcohol. However, a loving wife managed to save him from self-destruction, and he turned his life into one of helping others.

    Zamperini’s story is inspiring and is told with love and care. It is a story of salvation. It is a story fitting for the season.

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  806. Great book. Truly a tragic yet beautiful story

    One question that I had at the end was, “what happened to Cynthia and why was she left out of the epilogue”?

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  808. Wonderful book! It taught me about perspective, attitude, and forgiveness, all of which I desperately need as a divorced mother of three. I was so blessed by the book, I wrote a review on my blog, and hope my readers get it for Christmas!
    I’m very sorry to hear about the CFS. Prayers for strength and peace.

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  817. Laura, I am in awe of your work – the dedication and fact-finding that sets it apart from so many others. As a newspaper reporter (Chicago Tribune) who has struggled with back pain for 40 years since a college football injury, I especially appreciate the seemingly insurmountable physical obstacles you have overcome in order to get your stories out. Seabiscuit and Unbroken remain two of my favorite non-fiction books of all time and I hold you in equally high esteem with the late William Manchester, whose work you are undoubtedly familiar with. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the gifts you have bestowed on millions of readers. It bears repeating: I stand in awe of your body of work.

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  820. Brilliant read! I did know anything about POWs in Japan during WW2 and through Loius I now know have horrible life must have been. Great narriative!

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  822. Amazing book! Amazing story! I don’t what else to say except thank you to all the veterans who keep and have kept us safe! And thank you Laura for bringing us this story.

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  824. My Name is Susan williams , From United States . I wish to share my testimonies with the general public about what this man called Dr ukpoyan has just done for me , this man has just brought back my lost Ex husband to me with his great spell, I was married to this man called williams we were together for a long time and we loved our self’s but when I was unable to give him a child for 2 years he left me and told me he can’t continue any more then I was now looking for ways to get him back until a friend of mine told me about this man and gave his contact email, then you won’t believe this when I contacted this man on my problems he prepared this spell cast and bring my lost husband back, and after a month I miss my month and go for a test and the result stated am pregnant am happy today am a mother of a baby girl, thank you once again the great Dr ukpoyan for what you have done for me, if you are out there passing through any of this problems listed below: (1) If you want your ex back. (2) if you always have bad dreams. (3) You want to be promoted in your office. (4) You want women/men to run after you. (5) If you want a child. (6) You want to be rich. (7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever. (8) If you need financial assistance. (9) How you been scammed and you want to recover you lost money (10) Cure for HIV – you can contact him via: email

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  826. Laura. I loved your book and the unbelievable story of courage, faith, survival, strength, guts, determination and sheer stubbornness of Louie. His story and your ability to portray both the glory and trauma of this truly amazing man brought tears to my eyes, laughter, gasps of horror, moans of consternation and ultimately a joyful resolution. I couldn’t put this down and several times had to recharge my Kindle to continue! You are an amazing storyteller and I hope your health is good and you have another wonderful book in you.

    All the best

    Larry Gunsberg
    West Bloomfield, MI
    November 21, 2013

  827. This is an amazing story and is magnificently told. Laura should be extremely proud of this book as we all should be proud of the amazing men, alive and dead, that this story is about. I would recommend this book to anyone old enough to read and young enough to remember.

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  829. During my search on GOOGLE for help to get my ex lover whom will got divorced back, i came across this wonderful man called ASHRA who did a nice job by helping me to get my divorced husband back within 4days.. I never believe that such things like this can be possible but now i am a living testimony to it because ASHRA actually brought my lover back, If you are still doubting why not contact ASHRA on email : or call ashra on +2348058176311, Then i promise you that after 4days you will have reasons to celebrate like me.

  830. As a retired Lt Col from the USAF, a B-52 Navigator with over 3000 hours and a Viet Nam vet., this was one of the most “moving” books I have ever read. I actually had to put the book down on numerous occasions during the POW chapters because I was so moved.
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    Well done-Keith Offel

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  832. I have both the book and audio book “Unbroken” and have read the book and listened to the CD’s several times. What an amazing story. I have let friens and neighbors borrow both versions and our neighborhood ladies book club even featured this book. I am an amateur WW2 junky. I justy meet Dutch Van Kirk, the navigator on the Enola Gay B-29. This is another interesting story. I found Unbroken a facinating story of indurance, faith, patriotism, etc. Do you have a current status of Louis Zamperini? Is he still living in NY? Many Thanks and keep up the good work.

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  842. Dear Laura,

    I am writing on behalf of my 91 year old mother. I just bought her a second copy of Unbroken because she couldn’t remember who she lent her first copy to. She has some dementia, and every time I call my parents (my dad was a flyer in the European theater, shot down in 1944, and taken prisoner by the Germans), she is ecstatic with gratitude that I bought her the book, which she’s been reading again. She believes you are the best writer who ever lived (I think you are quite wonderful, too, of course), and I just emailed them the heart wrenching New Yorker memoir about your CFS. I was wondering if you might be able to send my mother a note. Or anything signable. My sisters and I are lucky to have had our parents for so long, and none of ever knows, as I always say, when the piano may drop. Email me, or have someone do it and I can send you all her information. If you want me to buy another book for you to sign, I’d be happy to. Thank you for all the wonderful reading.

    Blessings to you and Borden, Patricia Hunt

  843. If I sent you some book plates and a s.a.s.e. would you sign and return them?

    Thank You
    Noel Painter

  844. I have read this story atleast 4 times and I never have read a book more than once. Laura has a way of writing that I enjoy. Louis is an amazing man and I cannot wait to read the story again and see the movie when it comes out.

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  847. I was so impressed by the historical detail and accuracy of this book combined with the ability to weave a moving, personal tale into the “facts”. Thank you for capturing these precious memories and moments in such a manner that people across the world can access – and understand the damaging nature of war and the power of the human spirit to forgive.

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  855. Two images remain with me – both are of the stars in the night sky. The first, Louie’s and Phil’s strangely peaceful gazing upwards as they lay in a raft from which they had no idea they would ever escape; second, Louie’s personal encounter with his Creator – outside an unlikely Billy Graham revival tent years later – grasping, as he looked up at the California night sky, that his post-war thirst for vengeance, his alcohol-soaked and ruinous fury, were forgivable; and upon that epiphany, the nightly dreams of murdering his torturer stopped for good. Told elegantly, without guile, this description of conversion rings true.

  856. Great Book. I concentrate all of my reading on books describing War in the Pacific. Yours describes in great detail the Heroes and the Horrors. I could never have forgiven Watanabe!

    Question: Why did Phillips wear his Left Pant Leg Shorter than the right? I don’t believe you ever answered this in the book; Am I mistaken? Page Number please?

    Thanks again for great Book. Seabiscuit too!

  857. I want to to thank you for this good read!! I certainly enjoyed every little bit of it.
    I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post…

  858. Great book!!!!!!t. I thank god for men like Louie who fought for this country . Thank You!!!!!!!!!

  859. Please, is it possible to know when this beautiful book will be published in the italian language?
    Many thanks and regards.

  860. I read the book Seabiscuit by Laura. I loved it and passed it on to my uncle who loved it and he loaned it to someone who loved it. I was at Savers store, where good used books can be found. I picked up Unbroken and was hesitant to buy it as I didn’t think I would like a book about World War II. However, I bought it because I loved how Laura wrote Seabiscuit. I was so interested in Unbroken, I told pieces of it on Facebook and named the book and Laura. I love to read. It is hard to find good true stories. I liked Across Many Mountains and Stolen Lives. Laura has moved up to the top of my list as my fav. author. I am wondering if she has plans for another book and can I be notified of it? She told the Story of what happened in a way that was interesting. I experienced a wide range of emotions while reading it. Please thank Laura for writing these two books-telling the two stories so well. I am sure there must be others she can educate us about.. Linda

  861. Hi Laura,

    I’m the executive producer of a radio station in Brisbane where Angelina is shooting parts of the movie about your book.

    We would love to interview you about the book, about Angelina bringing your story to life and about Louis and his incredible story.
    Please contact me on

    We love that this is happening in our backyard!!

    Claire Murphy

  862. Great book…but I am curious how you came about writing the
    story of Louie Zamperini????

    Denny Nolte

  863. My congratulations on a marvelous book. UNBROKEN will be a large part of my Christmas list. Thank you for a massive contribution to American history and literature.

    Lee Caryer
    Columbus, OH

  864. I just finished Unbroken… very emotional for me. My Father, who passed away in 1986 was in the European Theatre, part of the 113th Cavalry aka Red Horse division. We were fortunate to visit Normandy last year which peeked my interest in knowing more about my Father’s service. Having since found out that the National Archive’s personnel records were destroyed in a fire in 1973, I have been searching in other areas. I was so impressed by Ms. Hillenbrand’s painstaking research and the clarity with which she described Louie’s experiences I had to write. Thank her please for an outstanding piece of work. Regards,
    Jim Lyness

  865. I was fascinated with this book. I am a 62 year old preschool teacher. I wish this book was required reading for our nation’s High School students. I feel many in our nation have no clue as to what our nation’s military members have sacrificed for our everyday freedom’s that are taken for granted. Thank you for sharing this story.

  866. I have read each and every book written by you and have marveled in its authenticity! I first wrote you on your book Seabiscuit which you kind enough to sign. While this may not be possible with Unbroken I want to be the first to congratulate you on this book being made into a movie with Ms Jole! I read this book when it was first issued and I had a hard time putting it down! The reality of this mans situation is captured very vividly by you and I am sure the movie as hard as it may be to recapture some of the scenes will hold everyone’s attention!
    Outstanding work! Congratulations again, Peter S.

  867. I’ve enjoyed Laura’s books a great deal. A book on the original seven astronauts would sure be interesting…..

  868. After a long wait, I finally read Unbroken. My draw to the book and story was many things…Vietnam vet, runner, father lost at sea in late 1944 (officer on Seawolf, submarine). My year in Vietnam seems like a vacation now. I was totally blown away by the book and the miraculous POWs. It should be required reading.

    Paul Eaton

  869. Hi Laura,I just finished reading Unbroken. What an incredible book! While the subject matter was difficult to read (especially through tears), it was so well-written that I was able to read it, appreciate it and actually was able to say I loved it, even though it was about such an awful time in our history. I definitely loved Louie! Not sure if I will be able to see the movie. Reading things like this is one thing, seeing them, quite another. Well done!

  870. Laura, this was one of the best written books I’ve read in a long long time. I pulled the book off the shelf in my office and am reading it for the second time. Absolutely excellent job putting book together.

    Joe from Ct.

  871. ps…this also reminds me of my father and his era and stories he had told us of these days gone by…he has passed from this earth 5 years this year…but reading this brought me even closer to how things were in his prime..thanks for that as well

  872. to laura and louie….i just finished reading this amazing story and what a life you have lived so well…i am the father of four and high school special educator and former coach..i only wish i could have one or both of you in to speak at my school because stories of inspiration like this one are too few and far between in this world of negativity and so many kids lack hope or understand what it is like to work hard through struggles and overcome…for both of you to overcome and thrive and succeed at such a high level is just amazing…thank you for sharing this story with me and laura thank you for writing this…you are a beautiful woman as well…i too have known chronic fatigue and fibro and battle it every day…as a former athlete and coach it has made me weary at times but i fight through it because of those who need me and the thousands of students and athletes i have mentored over the years who give my life, along with my four children, great meaning and worth…i look forward to your next book…its a shame that in this world we remain at arms distance from each other because it would be an honor to know you both and meet you in this life…stay positive…god bless you both..and thank you for allowing me to experience a part of your lives through literature…my life is better thanks to knowing that strength and hope abounds…and who knows..maybe our path can cross someday…peace and have a great day!


  873. My father will turn 89 on November 18th. Graduating from high school in 1942 his youth was short lived.
    He loves sports. As a child small towns would have celebrations. The men would organize kid races then place bets. Dad was fast…he won a lot of money for those who knew him. He only got to play Football and run track his senior year. They lived 10-12 miles from town so he had to hitch a ride home or walk after practice…then do his chores. Running in the Drake Relays is every Iowa High School track athlete’s dream.
    Their 4×100 relay team…dropped the Paton before it got to their anchor…my father.
    He went to the Air Force to be a pilot…they needed more crew members then pilots for the B-17…they walked in, said those on this side will go to gunnery school…Dad’s side of the room. B-17 crew’s odds of survival…you know the odds.
    War ending in Europe Dad came back to the states but not to go home…they were being staged to go to the Pacific.
    Bad as it was in Europe…they had heard stories about the Pacific…nobody wanted to go.
    If you ask my father who’s the greatest President? “Harry Truman he saved my life”.
    My father had no chance to “find himself” “do your thing” he did want needed to be done.
    What Washington DC is doing to this nation is a crime…and we let them steal this great country away from great Americans like Louie and my Father.
    Limited Government works not big Government!
    Thank you for writing these great books!
    God Bless You…

  874. Hi Laura,

    I was wondering if you’d like to be a guest on my radio show sometime to talk about your books and your experience with CFS? I work with a huge community who copes with it, and could benefit from your wisdom, insight, etc.

    thanks so much,

    Edie Summers

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  878. To Laura:
    Thank you for your research, interest and talent in illuminating the life and contributions of Louis Zamperini. His life and ordeals show his human foibles and the triumph of Spirit in the most heinous and unimaginable circumstances. His unique and yet common experiences as a Pacific POW underscore the incredible contributions these men made to the freedoms we in the US enjoy with typically unrepentant ignorance. Louis’ life demonstrates the power of evil and hatred as well as joy and forgiveness along with the power that forgiveness brings to life. This is a story of true redemption. Thank you for contributing to my life through the life of Mr. Zamperini.

    To Louis:
    I pray that you are still present, Louis. I want to thank you for your service to our country from the bottom of my heart. I am so sorry for the inhumanity to which you were subject and the pain you endured during and after your imprisonment. Your subsequent love released through your relationship to God and His Spirit manifested in your transformational relationship with your wife, your children, family, friends and ultimately the world. You, like Him were burdened with unimaginable pain and, through Him and like Him experienced a resurrection of sorts that will continue to positively influence our world for years to come. Thank you for your sacrifice; thank you for your ongoing contribution to the lives of everyone your story touches. From my heart with loving gratitude. Larry

  879. Am hayes

    With so much in my heart i am here to express myself on how Dr.kuvuki saved my marriage from breaking up. Myself and my husband were having some misunderstanding and it was tearing our marriage apart to the extend my husband was seeking for a divorce. So i have no option than to go to the internet to seek for solution to my problem it was there i came across Dr.kuvuki details and about how he has helped a lot of people by restoring there relationship. I contact Dr.kuvuki and in less than 48 hours my husband cancelled the divorce papers. Now myself and my husband live together in peace and harmony all thanks to Dr.kuvuki for saving my marriage from breaking up. Dr.kuvuki contact information are via email on

    Thank you Dr.kuvuki

  880. Excellent blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring
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  881. see i understand you ok and i want to tell you that am not what they
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  882. ok see i know you dont have much ok and i just want you to tell me how
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  884. There are a vast tell off of shopping sites that tender traditionary Indian wear for men, women and even pl of child of all ages. Take your time to tender twigs of shrubs and trees through options and pitch upon the best suited one only.

  885. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you
    wrote the book in it or something.I think that you could do with
    some pics tto drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is wonderful blog.
    A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back.

  886. I just want to thank Laura for doing so much research to get this story right. I listened to the audiobook twice, while driving my truck. The second time, I was listening for all the clues that indicated how thoroughly she had researched this story- for instance, the submarine crewman’s account of an aerial fight. That took some digging! And there are many, many more examples.
    I heard that a movie is in the making, and I hope they don’t water down the atrocities committed by the Japanese to be “polite” or “politically correct”. Please, tell it like it really was; only by telling the truth will the world learn from history.

  887. Dear Miss Hillenbrand,

    “Unbroken” broke my Italian heart.

    Fair winds and following seas,


  888. Dear Ms. Hiilbbrand, God bless you for putting forth Unbroken. Heartwrenching, uplifting and a memoir that one with beautiful prose brings a history of a time and place that I cannot imagine. Please if you have contact with Mr. Zamperini, please give him my heartfelt gratitude for alllowing his story to be told. I am going to Facebook your page and encourage the studetns I know who are entering the military and well and veterans to read this history. Mr. Zamperirni I thought of the sacrifice our Saviour made for us as I read your story. There are no words…
    God bless you Sir. Love to you in Christ Jesus, Lidia

  889. Am Britney Jones from USA.I was married with two kids, and

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    two kids all alone with pains, i was on Internet when i

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  890. An Essay on Louis Zamperini

    Pure Spiritual Milk

    “…To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs
    of the water of life.”
    Revelation 21:6

    In 1943 Louis Zamperini, an American airman stationed in the World War II Pacific theater of operations, spent forty-seven days adrift in a life raft after surviving a combat crash landing in the ocean. The significance of his ordeal, unlike that of so many others who have faced open-water survival conditions, was it’s record duration and extreme nature. Forty-seven days of an essentially waterless existence were made all the more cruel because of his immediate circumstances – being engulfed and constantly tormented by the ever-present and deadly salt water ocean, as well as enemy forces who still sought to kill him. His survival and the heroic story behind it are a testament to one man’s will to live, ingenuity, determination and ultimately, his faith. It would be impossible to justly articulate the awful, desperate, insane struggles he must have faced even in his sleep each and every day as abject thirst burrowed itself relentlessly into his parched lips, swollen tongue, burning eyes, and cracked hands and feet. An insatiable thirst that finally grew into an incessant, gnawing, pleading voice deep in his psyche which begged all day and night for relief, any kind of relief – even death.
    Human endurance, both physical as well as psychological, is consistent with and reflective of nature’s law of survival of the fittest. The physical world and it’s demands shape us through our daily lives gradually and surely. While much of this modeling is unremarkable and mundane it is the severe extremes that ultimately make us who we are, or survive to be. And it is these most severe experiences, those which collide with the essential requirements of life such as food, water, and the air we breath that force us to confront the most basic fundamentals of life. Unfortunately for many of us, it is at these extreme times in life when we first address these questions, but that doesn’t have to be. While we are physical beings in a physical world it is only natural that our physical needs, especially those which sustain life, receive the respect and attention they demand. But in modern times the daily routine of meeting those needs is so predictable, and in many cases so effortless, that we can easily find ourselves taking for granted the critical value that these requirements represent. This casual relationship with the essentials of life is a recipe for disaster, especially as it carries over into our spiritual lives.
    The fundamental role of the dependency of the physical man on his physical world is present, and is even more crucial, in the relationship between the spiritual man and his spiritual world. As mortal human beings we are all too aware of the ultimate course our physical lives will take and any emphasis on comfort, longevity or luxury is, in the final analysis, an illusory gain at best. But this physical world has an uncanny way of keeping our attention focused on it and diverted from the comparatively muted voice of our souls. Many of our physical problems, which seem so insistent and insurmountable at first, prove in the end to be more distraction than true peril. And it is this casual sense of security, learned through repeated false calls in the physical world, which can foster complacence to our spiritual world. Why face a faceless problem such as faith right now when there is always tomorrow – it can’t be that big a deal, right? So often we fall for the trap of expediency in the moment at the cost of preparation for the future, forgetting that a survival strategy must incorporate both today and tomorrow. God’s awesome gift is that the preparation one makes for tomorrow, once made and committed to, will in turn serve to release us from the urgency of today. Once we have established our future, today becomes an unsurprising and fearlessly embraced step along that way. Scripture is specific in how we do just that.
    Just as true physical thirst creates the sensation of something missing or something needed, spiritual thirst manifests itself as a powerful and palpable void. For most of us this void is not so easy to describe because, unlike the thirst experienced during extreme physical conditions, it is not detectable through our bodies but instead through our souls, and unfortunately for many the soul is not given the care and attention it deserves. A void in the soul reflects more than the deficiency of a single component, such as water, but of the full grace and glory that God offers. This void is huge, it sits deep down inside – right in the middle of who we are, and can never be satisfied through physical acts or possessions. Scripture tells us that God’s answer to spiritual thirst, unlike that of its physical counterpart, is infinite in magnitude, free to all those who seek it, everlasting, brings eternal life for those who believe, it cleanses us, fills us with a “new” life through the Holy Spirit and will enable us to grow into a full experience of salvation. The “living water” longed for by the psalmist, prophesied by Isaiah, described and relied upon by John, affirmed by Christ and begged for by the rich man does all these things and more. As a “bubbling spring” within us, the Holy Spirit grants a new life, an eternal life for all those who believe, and it delivers it right here in the physical world. Living water is at once the fulfillment of one’s spiritual void as well as the only reliable, everlasting, totally trustworthy “thing” that can quench any and all physical needs which arise in our lives. Just as the Samaritan woman at the well discovered, physical thirst is with us only for a lifetime, while spiritual thirst will last forever and the living water that Christ made available is the only water which can satisfy that thirst, or the other.
    Louis Zamperini survived his forty-seven days of physical thirst and two further years of physical and psychological torture at the hands of his Japanese captors. Then, on a warm, clear California night in 1949 Louis accepted the invitation of a young evangelist from North Carolina, the Rev. Billy Graham, and received God into his heart. It was on that night that he would later say the unquenchable thirst which had burned into his life those terrible years before was finally, completely, and lovingly abated by God’s living water.

    “But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty
    again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving
    them eternal life.”
    John 4:14


  891. Laura –
    I just read your essay on the 1930′s in Vanity Fair. Your livid descriptions of those times cast a spell on me. The final paragraph gives me chills – and I’ve read it quite a few times in the last week – and shared it with numerous friends. I would give anything to write like that!
    Lastly, how sad that people have littered this site for their obviously malevolent purposes.
    Very best regards,
    Dan Witt

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  893. Hello Laura – I just finished Unbroken. It was an amazing book. You told the story with such compassion. It was vivid. I could not put it down. Additionally, I was astounded by the amount of research you did. My grandfather was killed by the Japanese in Western China in 1943. I felt just a little closer to him after reading Unbroken. You gave me a picture of people, of the time period. Thank you.

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  897. I loved your book Unbroken so moving. Questions you mentioned your late friend Debie Gingsburg is this the Debie from Fresno, Ca. . If so she was my cousin by marriage. Please let me know

  898. Fantastic book Laura’s gift of writing has brought the world an understanding of the sacrifice so many have made to allow us to have the freedoms we have today. The hero’s and honor will be remembered.

    Thanks for allowing us to understand

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    within four days,Begging me for forgiveness. I was so amazed and happy to

    see that my lover is fully back to my life again. Due to the help of this

    great man Dr Akuzo who has brought back happiness into my life and most of

    my friends which i also used this same Dr Akuzo to help in solving their

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  900. Am Britney Jones from USA.I was married with two kids, and we

    were living in peace and harmony until one day, something

    came up, at first, he started with his strange behavior by

    going to club without my consent and of which he wasn’t like

    this before, and before you know it, different calls everyday

    that passes by from different girls that i don’t even know

    of, and as a wife i complained to him to stop this new

    attitude of his because i never knew him to be like this and

    he was never like this when i met him for the past six years

    that we’ve been married together. But what pains me most is

    that one faithful day he went to work and he didn’t return

    home, only for me to find out that he has changed everything

    about himself, his contact and his place of work, and there

    was know way i could reach him and even his friends tried all

    that they could to help me, but there was know way. One day,

    after a year and six months that he has left me with our two

    kids all alone with pains, i was on Internet when i came

    across a post concerning a woman called Whitney who

    testified on how she got her lover back through a real spell

    caster called Dr Ebhoma. Immediately i contacted her through

    Facebook and she accepted my friend request and explained to

    me on how this Dr Ebhoma really helped her out with her

    predicament and she gave me his email address and i

    contacted him with immediate effect because i really love my

    husband despite the fact that i complained doesn’t mean i

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    family.So i have know choice than to email Dr Ebhoma which he

    did responded to me and he told what to do and i did

    likewise, funniest to me hahaha… i was very amazed to see

    my husband back home without any call from me or from a

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    now that my husband is back to me. Please help me thank Dr

    Ebhoma for his help over my family. You can contact him on

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  901. I would like to write to Laura Hildebrand regarding a subject about which she might find fascinating. She is my favorite storyteller and she could do a masterful job telling the story of the collapse of a major company. There is a wonderful long history, great intrigue and possible unknown criminal activity.
    I would be honored to explain in detail more to pique her interest.
    Kind regards
    Annie Montgomery

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  915. Hello. I am a 90 year-old retired physician, a WW II USMC veteran, survivor of Iwo Jima. I have just delivered a book review of UNBROKEN at our public library in Corvallis, Oregon. I want to thank Ms. Hillenbrand for her superb book, and Email her a copy of my book review of UNBROKEN. Can you supply an Email address for this. Thank you, Craig B. Leman

  916. What a marvelous and moving story. As a trained historian, I am humbled by Laura’s exhaustive research and narrative power, and grateful to her for reminding me how much we owe that heroic and self-sacrificing generation of Americans. After reading Unbroken, I read a biographical article on Laura and learned that she has for many years suffered from a debilitating physical illness, which finds no echo in her hopeful and optimistic stories, and which makes her magnificent literary achievement all the more astonishing. I will keep her in my prayers.

  917. Extraordinary book, man, and author! I could not put it down once I started reading it. After finishing it, I needed to find out more information about Louis. After searching, I was surprised to learn that he is still alive as of this date. Then I came across the following link with Louis on the Jay Leno Show last year:

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  920. I for one can’t wait to read Not Everybody Wore Wings Louie’s Path. It must be an incredible story of faith and healing.

  921. Dear Laura Hillenbrand,
    First of all, I would like to thank you for writing a book as intriguing and interesting as Unbroken. This is the first text I’ve read about a war that kept me awake and asking for more. I cherished every part of the book. I loved how you explained everything in so much detail while writing about the honorable hero Louis Zamperini. Every single page I read felt memorable. I will always remember chanting in my head Run, Louie! Run! while reading about his astounding running abilities and appearance in the 1936 Olympics. It was quite ironic to me when Zamperini, the guy who popped a teacher’s car tire with toothpicks, made the decision to join the Army Air Corps. I felt as if I were right there next to him during the crash of the plane Green Hornet, going down and landing into the clear, blue ocean.
    My favorite part of this well-written book would have to be the time period when Louie, Phil, and Mac were stranded in the Pacific Ocean. Your use of imagery really helped me envision everything that occurred. Starting from the snapping of birds’ necks to the sharp teeth of the sharks that yearned for flesh, I was captivated. I was able to visualize all of it in my head. It amazed me that although Mac died, Louie and Phil were able to stay alive in a tiny raft for 47 days.
    I learned various life morals as well. With that said, hope and forgiveness have got to be the greatest lessons I acquired. I was amazed that even though Zamperini was tortured, abused, and ridiculed by the Japanese as a POW, he found it in his heart to forgive and shake hands with each and every wartime criminal that pained him years after World War II ended. I treasure this quote from your remarkable book, “At that moment, something shifted sweetly inside of him. It was forgiveness, beautiful and effortless and complete. For Louis Zamperini, the war was over.” I absolutely agree with you when you state that forgiveness is beautiful and effortless and complete. For example, I was devastated when a close friend of mine betrayed me and I wouldn’t speak to her for months. However, when I finished reading your book, I felt inspired and did something that even surprised me. I forgave that friend and I was so relieved; it was as if a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders.
    In conclusion, I was fascinated by this story. It is definitely one of my favorite books of all time. Words aren’t enough to convey how much I appreciated and enjoyed reading it.

    Asya Grigoryan

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  923. Will you help us build our bookstore?

    The San Juan Capistrano Friends of the Library Bookstore is presently cramped and in the back corner of the parking lot. Few patrons even know it is there. Our library is an award-winning design by the world renowned architect, Michael Graves, who won a contest to design it a generation ago. Little has been done since and our little bookstore is our main source of funds to help support both our library programs and infrastructure and cosmetic upgrades. We are just getting ready to break ground on the new bookstore in the hopes of a ribbon-cutting at our 30th anniversary in December. The San Juan Capistrano Friend of the Library have raised about $300,000 over eight years. After going through a formal bidding process with the city of San Juan we find we must borrow an additional $40,000 in order to meet the lowest construction bid and start building.

    An Author’s Signature Quilt will be a fundraising project to help us pay off our loan.

    If you agree to participate, we will send you a six-inch paper backed fabric swatch along with a fabric pen, ask you to give us your autograph and put anything else on the swatch you would like, and mail the swatch back to us in an enclosed, stamped, addressed envelop. We would then with quilters from our community arrange the signature swatches into a quilt which we would raffle. We are a non-profit 501 (C)(3)Corporation, (IRS No. 95-3704662).

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  924. My name is Mrs. Caroline Smith,From USA ,and I’m happily married with a lovely husband and three children.I had a very big problem with my husband few months ago,to the extent that he even packed his things away from our house. He left I and and my kids for almost 5 months,and i tried all my possible best and effort to bring him back.I discussed it with a very good friend of mine,and he gave me an advice concerning a spell caster, that he is the only one that can handle my situations and problem,that he’s always ready and able to do anything related to spell casting and helping of the needy, Pls every every one i would like you all to contact him with his email address,which is as follows.””. I never believed in spell casting,but My friend convinced me and i had no choice than to follow my friend advice,because i never dreamed of loosing my lovely Husband. And i contacted him with his email address,and i discussed with him all my problems and worries and so surprisingly,he told me that I’ll get my husband back a day after. I didn’t believed Him, until when i got home,the next day,my husband called me to inform me that he is coming back home…..So Amazing!! That’s how i got my back through spell casting and our relationship was stronger than ever. One of the price i was asked to pay was to tell it to the people around me that problems like this,can always be solved by Dr. awani. So! my advice to you out there is to visit this same E-mail address,and tell him your problems too,if you are in any condition related to love issue or getting your ex back or and problem at all, pls Contact him and have a happy life. you can contact him via email ( )

  925. Wow-this story is incredible and so inspirational. It confirms the truth in Jesus’ words, ‘with men it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’
    Thank you for a wonderfully written account. Looking forward your next book!

  926. When I read “Seabiscuit” I raved to my friends that Laura was on par with Mark Twain as a storyteller. “Unbroken” further cements her in the realm of Americana. Many thanks for bringing the iconic life of Louis Zamperini to a whole new generation. Looking forward with great anticipation to not only the movie but her next book which, I hope, is in the works. Here’s to a very bright future for Laura Hillenbrand!

  927. Laura,

    Thank you for the best book I have ever read, Unbroken.
    I am sure that whoever reads this tells you the same thing-
    that it is so hard to believe that any man could endure so much hardship in one lifetime as did Louie. He is more than an inspiration- he is definitely a saint!

    Thank you,
    Laura Osborne
    Dedham, MA

  928. I just finished reading the book “Unbroken” and wanted Laura to know what a wonderful thing she did by writing this book and bringing to life Mr. Zamoirini’s astonishing story. I’m glad he survived so that she could give us a glimpse of the incredible things he endured – what an inspiration – both of you!
    Thank you Laura.
    Betsy, 52
    Hobe Sound, FL

  929. My father was severely injured in WW II, and it changed his life. Reading “Unbroken” has given me a new perspective on what he suffered. All I can say is thank you.

  930. Unbroken is beautifully written and the story of Mr. Zamporini is one for all time. I appreciate your ability to report the story and not interject your interpretation of it. That had to be difficult. You honored the people in your book by keeping yourself out of it and letting them come through your words. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated a non-fiction book as much as this one -not just for the story but for how you crafted it. I hope you are well and able to write another one.

  931. I just finished reading your book Unbroken. I wanted you to know it was very meaningful and one of the best books I have read in ages. I was born in 1938 and served as Captain in the Marines. I never served in combat but am very patriotic and having read all this…I was fascinated with the book and I hope this note finds him at 96 years old still living and in good health. My father was in the Army Air Corps and was drafted when he was 36 years old in 1942. Great book. I would have loved to drop him an Email if I had a way to contact him and thank him for his service.

    Captain M. Larry Kemper

  932. I’ve read Seabiscuit and Unbroken. Amazing people (and animals) in each. I was a history major in college, so I’ve read a lot of history, but I’ve never come across an author like Hillenbrand who makes history read and move like a is a simply amazing and outstanding talent. There would be more history majors if there were more writers like Hillenbrand!

  933. Dear Laura, I hope you get to read this. I am reading Unbroken and I cheated an went to the end. Your description of Louie’s Christian conversion, the details and excerpts from Billy G’s sermons, the mental agony of letting go of his “darkness,” and his dramatic change from alcoholic, the peace and forgiveness he gained concerning “Bird” and his captors (nightmares stopping), and finally his trip to Japan, was astounding. I am very curious how this personally impacted you. Have you experienced such a conversion, and if not, how did you get such insight into the transforming effect of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ?

  934. Have a friend who was a Carmelite (teaching order) Priest who left the Order but went on teaching where he met a woman, got married and had a daughter. After raising her and assuring that she got the best educational opportunities available, the mother passed away. Lost and somewhat confused, the priest applied to Rome and was granted permission to become a diocesan priest. He has a very unique, interesting life story with many colorful experiences. The reading world would probably find the story of his life very intriguing, particularly if it was told by Laura Hillenbrand. Both her books were extremely well done and she would do an exemplary job of telling a story about a “recycled priest”.

    Could/would you see if she has any interest in telling such a story?

    One of his students

  935. Thank you for having no regard for my sleep! Having just finished Unbroken and before that Seabiscuit I can finally get back to my regular schedule. I rarely read so thanks for making these stories come alive I really appreciate the incredibly thorough research you do.

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  937. My late father was a US Navy crewman aboard a TBF Avenger stationed aboard various aircraft carriers in the Pacific during WWII. I knew of the atrocities inflicted upon POWs by their Japanese camp guards and commanders, but until I read “Unbroken”, I was unaware of just how severe it really was! My Dad survived his time flying during the war and came home relatively unscathed. As a Veteran myself, I want to thank those men and the families of those who returned from those camps and those who did not. Your sacrifice and that of all the men and women of the Greatest Generation made the lifestyle and freedoms I enjoy today possible. May God bless you all!

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  939. Hi Laura,
    My name is Susan B. Katz. I am the Strategic Partner Manager for Authors & Publishers at Facebook. We would love to have you host a Facebook Q&A sometime soon. Can we set up a time to chat briefly about this feature and how it will increase your reach to readers?
    My cell is 650-739-6917 and my email is above. I look forward to speaking with you. By the way, I am also a Random House author– so I understand first hand the importance of using social media to engage your fans. Best, Susan

  940. Unbroken is a wonderful book, both shattering and exhilarating. I thought it might be impossible top Seabiscuit, but Unbroken at least matches it. Kudos!!
    From a fellow DC writer/historian (ret.).

    Bob Beisner

  941. Laura,
    We talked during your research for Seabiscuit. I worked for Jockeys’ Guild as marketing director. You called me for some contact info on retired jockeys. Please reach out to me again via email.

  942. Hi – I’m hoping you can pass this question along to to Laura Hillenbrand, unless you already know the answer: The very first japanese soldier they met (Kawamura) that declared himself a Christian – is there any knowledge about what became of him?
    Many Thanks, RH

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  945. I would just like to express my profound thanks and admiration for writing a story that had to be told. I was very moved as well as informed about WWII in which my father participated and about which he never talked.

    Not only your meticulous research, but your ability to paint a picture with words, capture emotions and thoughts, and keep a pace that had me staying up at all hours was a wonderful and moving experience.

    I had the pleasure of attending a forum in Seattle this past summer which featured some of the few remaining “Rosie the Riveters”, now in their 90′s. These gals were pioneers in an age where there was great discrimination against women and minority workers (especially in the airplane manufacturing business). One woman in particular, Georgie Kunkel struck a chord with me because of her name. I realized that I had heard it before and found out later that she had been in education in a later career, and served as a leader in counseling children (a field that I worked in) Indeed it was the same woman that I remembered during the early part of my career and someone who was very inspirational.

    To my astonishment, I saw her name referenced in your book: Georgie Bright Kunkel, who wrote to you about her brother, the athlete Norman Bright. It has to be the same woman. She is a story in herself: not only did she put planes together when women just didn’t do this work, later becoming a leader in education, but she currently writes a column in a local newspaper, has written a book, I think, and performs as a stand-up comic in small venues. A lovely woman. I think she and Louie would get along famously :)

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  947. My whole family loves your books. You seem to be able to reach into the hearts of your subjects and stories and portray them in wonderfully descriptive detail and love! I hope you will consider writing the story about Staff Sargeant Reckless – not only a Marine in the Korean War but she is a horse of heart; she was sold to the Marines by a young Korean boy who needed the money to get an artificial limb for his sister who had stepped on a land mine – a heart tugging beginning! I won’t spoil it for you. Please check out her story on line – I can’t imagine anyone else better suited to tell this tale!

  948. Thank you for writing this. I haven’t read a book that touched me as much as this one did for a long time. My father was a highly decorated WWII veteran. He hardly ever talked of the war even though my brother and I would sometimes bug him until he relented. We never knew why he had won the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and all the other medals. During his mid eighties, he decided that he and my mom should buy a computer so he could write him memoirs about what it was like to be a Christian during WWII. He finished it shortly before he passed away. It answered a lot of questions about the war. My family will cherish that little 100 page book for a long as we are alive. I agree with one of your other posts that this should be required reading for every high school youth. It would bring the idea to the forefront that war is a horrible thing and the results even worse. Thank you again. I will pass this book on to many of my friends for them to read.

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  952. I believe this needs to be required reading for every secondary school student in America!

    Laura you certainly did an excellent job. I could not put the book down until I read it from cover to cover! There needs to be more books written telling everyone about their great heirtage in this great country of our’s.

    Sincere Thanks!


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    Anex Vladimir

  954. Thank you for such a great stoy.You put put me right next to Louie through out the story.Exhilarating-Yes Spirtual-Yes.I am veteran of the United States Navy Seabees,this stoy was passed around at are veterians lunchen but not in too much detail,we want people to read the book.I am passing arond my copy and having readers write thier comments on the back pages.I believe this story could help alot of people deal with the Demons they personly have due to war and if anyone has a more traget experience TELL IT WRITE IT.GO IN PEACE AND BE WITH GOD

  955. I just finished your story of Louis Zamperini. It is the most amazing story I have ever read. Thank you for telling such an amazing and powerful story. I am a disabled Viet Nam Veteran. Reading about Louis Zamperini gave me a different view of life, war and survival.

  956. Laura Hillenbrand, Mrs.Borden, Laura,
    I have never written to an author, most of the ones I have loved have died, after the fact, the fact that I loved their stories.
    I too am a Seabiscuit fan. As a kid of four years I would listen on his radio the Santa Anita races. I always be the jockies as a kid, and won many. I fell in love with the horses. My grandfather was a guy by the name of Joe Murray. First engineer to take the chief into the Union Depot in 1938. Santa Fe Railroad. He had Seabiscuit bookends in his living room which I would talk to as a child. I hope I not sounding like a nut case.
    So, I am very much thankful you are still here with us. Especially after reading, “A Sudden Illness. It shook me up!
    I am a chaplain in a hospital and have done hospice, my wife still sees clients for hospice. So my dear, it takes a bit to shake me up. I have gone into many rooms with patients with
    Let me say, you are one tough Seabiscuit! I admire you on many levels even though I don’t know you. But, I do know Cronic Fitgue Syndrome. My prayers are with you Laura.
    My wife just finished your book Broken in her book club group. She said it was an extremely powerful book.
    I will mention here a person I knew in college, and my brother was on the same track team, he was one of the most courageous black men you will find. 1968 Olympic: Tommy Smith. Check him out.
    Again, I thank you for Seabiscuit and the insight you possess in the sport of racing, the compassion you expressed through your writing came to the surface as a healing scab. There is still much to be done in cleaning up racing. Perhaps you will write about this subject some day?
    Until then, you are in my heart and prayers,
    Craig Kelso
    I don’t think I was the Craig in the deli, about twenty years to late, darn it!
    My best to Borden.

  957. I have read many of the comments posted on this website regarding Louis and continue to be moved by the depth of their sincerity in extolling Louie’s heroism. The man is beyond question one of the Greatest of the Greatest Generation.

    I posted a comment on this website about Louis Zamperini on May 24, 2013 and would urge all of you to scroll down and read it.
    In it I explained what I have done in trying to honor this great American.

    What I did was to sit down and write emails to the President, Vice President, my home state U.S. Senators, Senator John McCain, my Congressional representative and 2 other members of Congress, urging them to honor Louis with a national medal for his heroism and also on behalf of all the great men and women of the Greatest Generation.

    These medals are the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

    The more people that make this effort, the better are the chances that our elected officials in Washington will get the message that Louis Zamperini is truly deserving of one or both of these medals.

    Fred Thomisser

  958. Help please! I am a retired teacher from California who taught U.S. History 36 years. World War Two vets are a passion of mine. I have met Tom Brokow and had him sign my copy of The Greatest Generation. More than three-hundred have done so. I have tried numerous ways to get Louis Zamperini to sign. What an honor! However all my efforts have failed. I have mailed to other notable vets such as “candy bomber” Gail Halvorsen who signed and returned the book with the prepaid postage. Is there anything you could do to help me? I now live in Southern Utah and have been retired for the past seven years. I would do whatever it takes to have him sign the book. Thank you so much. I do not know what else to do but to now contact you. By the way loved Seabiscuit and of course Unbroken. Awesome! Hope to hear something soon.

  959. I am almost through my second reading and will probably do a third in a few months. The second reading brought my emotions to the surface much more so than the first time around. I am at the point they are in the river and the Torpedo Plane flies over to tell them the war is over and I am sobbing uncontrollably – the emotions of the prior pages coming to a head. I cannot get this story out of my mind and have become obsessed with knowing more. My dad flew in the Liberator, which enticed my interest in this story – now wishing I had talked to him about his time in the AAF. I was inspired to put his memorabilia, including a photo of his crew in front of the B24, into a scrapbook to leave to my son and or grandson. I have my dad’s wings, made into a bracelet for me as a child. This story was so well written – I winced as they were brutalized and wept for them. I hope the movie does it justice. God Bless Laura for writing Louie’s story and sharing it with us. I am now on a mission to find a Liberator to see for myself.
    Would give anything to meet Louie and give him a hug.

  960. Marvelous book, thank you for the insights into WWII and the brave men and women who were part of that history. I am looking forward to Seabiscuit as my next venture. Regards,

  961. There is a book review of The War Below in the Style section of the Washington Post which mentions your magnificent book Unbroken. Hank Cox also mentions the Navy’s “inexcusable reluctance to rectify torpedo defects…” and this is a story which I wish you would consider researching. The story of The Grunion, sunk by its own torpedo circling back, and then found 60 years later in a sea off Alaska by the Commander’s sons, is a fascinating story. The Navy’s unwillingness to admit how a few Admirals allowed young men to go to sea aboard subs with torpedo defects they knew existed should be exposed, and the finding of the sub is as worthy as finding the Titanic. My mother Jean Wallace Douglas, her father vice-president at the time, was engaged to be married to one of the young men, and his letters to her are brilliant, funny, and heart-breakingly wise. It’s an extraordinary story, and I wish you would consider researching it as a future project because I don’t know any other author as capable as you who could capture such history.

  962. I’ve had MS since I was 20 (I’m now 64) and still hanging in there. In the past six months I’ve had more walls jump in front of me and evil demons live under my stairs. I, too, write, but you’ve been published and I’m so happy to have someone I can point to when the time comes for me to explain my MS to an agent. My fingers work; most of the time my legs do; Sometimes I’m so good at this disease-thing that I can see Lots and Lots of things -at the same time. Thank you, Laura for being so positive and successful and someone who has paved the way for those of us with a couple of parts that don’t always work. Sincerely, Lucy Stimmel

  963. Lauren,

    This book is extremely personal. My grandfather, Henry Dreyer, competed in track and field with Louis Zamperini in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Like Louis, my grandfather missed his prime years to medal in what would have been the 1940 Olympics. He did however, manage to break the world record in the hammer throw 3 times, the last time being at 42 years of age! You are truly an amazing story teller (Seabiscuit is also one of my favorites). Thank you for writing such an incredible and inspirational book.


    Geoff Dreyer

  964. Dearest Ms. Hillenbrand — the almost last sentence of “Unbroken” — “I come away from this book with the deepest appreciation for what these men endured, and what they sacrificed, for the good of humanity.” — says everything, and says all. Of course I agree wholeheartedly. Those words also state my appreciation for your books and your writing. With this and with “Seabiscuit”, I FELT what you were so beautifully presenting to me. I “rode” Seabiscuit in every race. I cried for Louis and the others. When “Little Boy” was dropped, I gratefully clasped the book to my chest with a tremendously happy sigh. Your writing is God given, and I, and all your fans I am sure, totally, completely appreciate that gift. God has blessed you with your abilities. And God has blessed us to let you share and us to read. Thank you, Ms. Hillenbrand, from the bottom, center and all of my heart. Thank you.
    Barbara Herring, Lancaster, Texas
    Thank you. One more thing — I was born in 1941, and I heard tales of Seabiscuit all my young life. To read about him was just truly magnificent. I just do not have the words to thank you for this experience — both of these books. Thanks be to God that you have the words.

  965. Laura,
    I have just finished Unbroken and read Seabiscuit a few years ago. Your books have to do with perseverance and struggle. As a fellow CFIDS person ( since 1987), I have found both of your books very inspiring!

    We all are on a journey, and yours is making such a difference in people’s lives. I hope you are able to write another book and that your health allows you to do this. I will be reading it!

    Mary Sutton

  966. I read “Unbroken” a couple of years ago, after seeing a TV interview with Louie Zamperini and Lautra Hillenbrand. I just finished “Seabiscuit.” Ms. Hillenbrand, I think you are an incredible writer. Your non-fiction works possess all of the excitement and energy of the very best novels. Twice durig the reading of “Seabiscuit” I cried – once when you described the epic race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral. Even though I knew well the actual outcome, I was caught up in the drama. Then at the end, as you provided closure for all of those incredible characters (Mr. Howard, Red, the Iceman, and the rest – especially Seabiscuit)I was again moved to tears. I so look forward to your next work. Thank you!

  967. I loved both of your books, then found out about your CFS. I too have suffered for 30 years from the same symptoms and have been diagnosed with lupus, CFS, Fibromyalgia and such. Never being taken seriously, because “you look so good”, I too have struggled with the stigma of “it’s all in your head”. I am curious to know how you are today and if you have found anything that has helped alleviate your symptoms, even in the least. It’s a difficult road and I get exhausted just from trying to explain it to people. The worst symptoms are the vertigo and inability to enjoy a restful, restorative sleep. Have you found anything to help you in that regard? Thank you for your transparency in this journey and I would love to hear from you and any advice you may have. You are an inspiration!

    Diana Bersani

  968. July 16,2013

    Dear Mrs. Hillenbrand,

    How I wish I had your book in 1952 when I married my husband. It would certainly have helped me to understand the mental scarring that he came home with from World War II. He was a radar man in a B-24 all thru the South Pacific and China Sea. He was 31 and I was 25. He would wake up with nightmares and sweats and never would tell me what or why of the things that had brought this about. He would get black moods and take his rifle and climb a Mountain behind our home and I would pray he would come back alive. During his 20 some years of being an alcoholic he tried to shoot himself twice, but flinched in the final moment.It wasn’t until 1986 and we had attended a squadron reunion, that I finally heard things while the men talked between themselves and we wives listened, many times saying “I never heard that before.” He finally went for rehab and was sober for the remaining years of our marriage as I said enough, get help or I am leaving after 35 years. He was saved from that monkey on his back and we made it to 57 years before cancer took him. I made him write about his WWII experiences and learned so much more. I saw in our Oregonian That the Library of Congress wanted stories so I sent them a copy and received a nice thank you. Unfortunately my husband never got over his dislike of Japanese and his feeling that they were sadistic barbarians.
    Thank you for the thoroughness of your research in writing this book and it certainly explained reasons for my husbands moods and deep seated dislike of the Japanese military people.
    Jule’ Donnelly

    July 16, 2013

    Dear Mrs.Hildebrand,

    How I wish I had your book way back when I married my husband in 1952. He was a Navy radar man in a B-24 all over the Pacific to China Sea etc.,and came home also mentally scared. He would have black spells and go climb our Butler Mountain behind our home and I prayed he would come back and not take his life. He woke up with many nightmares,shaking and sweating and never would tell me why. It wasn’t until we went to a squadron reunion in 1986 when the men would talk that I finally heard things and began to under stand better. I also made him write up his WWII experciences and his hate for the Japanese. He became an alochlic during our marriage and tried twice to shoot himself but flinched in the final moment. After thrity five years I said get help or else I’m ready to call it quits. WE made it to our 57th year of marriage befor cancer took him. I had a MS in Guidance and Psychology and he a MS in Range management. I was 25 and he 31 when I married him. I sent a copy of his story to the Library of Congress as i had seen in The Oregionian Paper a request for Vets to do this and had a nice thank you.

    You did a wonderful job with your knowledge and I want to thank you.

    Sincerely Yours,

    Jule’ Donnelly

  969. My 12 year old is interested in reading Unbroken. I haven’t read it yet but to plan to read simultaneously. Is it age appropriate? Thanks.

  970. My name is Joe Steinberg. I am 92 years old. I remember listening to my short wave radio in 1936 to the Olympic games in Berlin. I just finished reading your book and could not put it down for a moment.
    One of my dearest friends was shot down on his 6th mission over Germany. Two other friends were POW’s in Germany.
    Now why am I writing! I refer to page 279 and the name MARTY GLICKMAN. He was on the Olympic team. He was Jewish.Avril Brundage, who was the team manager, did not want Marty to run because, as a Jew, it would antagonize Hitler. After the war Marty became a well known sports announcer. I believe there was another Olympic track star, and he too was not allowed to run, because he was Jewish.
    Some people reading your outstanding book, I am sure, have no idea about the story of ‘Marty Glickman, Jewish Track Star’.
    Respectfully, Joseph Z. Steinberg

  971. This is a wonderful book. The amount of work you invested in it is admirable. The actual writing makes it hard to put down. I am glad that you did not give any foreshadowing (that I noticed, anyway) of Japanese imprisonment. That came to me as a shock and heartbreak.
    I intend to give this book to my mother for Christmas on Kindle.
    It’s an amazing thing to be so gifted as you are, to be able to find two wonderful subject (I loved “Seabiscuit”) and then to tell the story so well. Rather than your book seeming like a scholarly biography (although certainly this is carefully researched) or seeming like a historical novel, I felt as if I became a part of Louis’ life, as if I were a family member hearing what happened from his own lips.

  972. Hello!

    I wanted to write and give my very “honest and personal” opinion of the book “Unbroken.” It is, by far, one of the best books I have ever read. When I finished the book, I was in tears. The young people of today have no idea of what went on in life back in those years. I come from a family of servicemen: My grandfather was in 3 branches of the service. He was in the Spanish/American War, World War I and II. My father was in the Navy and served on a ship in World War II and my (deceased) brother served in Viet Nam (Army). Thank you so much for the time and effort you spent in reseaching and writing this publication. I am going to recommend it to all of my “avid” reader friends.

    Susan Proctor
    Annapolis, MD

  973. Dear Laura,

    I greatly enjoyed reading Unbroken and would be honored if you would sign my personal copy of your book.

    If you would be willing to do so, I will send the book to you via FedEx and include a postage pre-paid, self-addressed FedEx mailing label that you can use to return the signed book to me.

    Please let me know if that would be OK.

    Thank you for the enjoyable reading!

    Best regards,
    Richard Castiglia
    San Diego, CA

  974. Hello Laura. Your books are an inspiration and a part of America which all should be inspired by. As a veterinarian, I found the story of Seabiscuit fascinating. Reading about Louie Zamperini was amazing. Part of his story was somewhere in the recesses of my mind from my high school track days, but your bio of him made his life, WWII and his inspiring story come alive. All who ever despair should read his story.

    If possible, I would like to ask you a favor: My 20′ish year old daughter is beset by debilitating stroke-like migraines which have derailled all of her young life’s plans. How can she contact you for your insight into an “Unbroken” life?

    Thank you

  975. I just finished Unbroken and learned so much. I loved learning about this aspect of WWII.

    After reading your books I can tell you want to uncover histories forgotten stories.. I have an idea for you it is about an Indian massacre survivor. After being orphaned and saved, she persevered and forgave her captors. There are many author intriguing events. Her name was Abbie Gardener Sharp. I have no gain in her story but would love to see in told well.

  976. I am reading Seabiscuit for the second time and it comes through as one of the very best books I have read in a long life of reading. The story, of course, is some kind of American classic, with the horse and main characters brought to life with the brush strokes of a master. But, I have come to especially appreciate the style and vividness of the writing. My copy is paper backed but I am searching for a good hardbound copy for my collection.
    And so, I send to the author my great admiration and gratitude for a wonderful book -about the America I have loved and perhaps our country’s finest athlete. Although young, I lived through the depression and the book really resonates for me. I send her my very best wishes for continued success and a wonderful life.
    Charles C. Jensch

  977. Dear Ms Hillenbrand,
    I just finished Unbroken; my wife Sandi borrowed it for her book club, and I was reading it aloud to her, but it became too much for her. Not for me; I was by turns profoundly moved, inspired, horrified, sent into deep chuckles, then horrified again. I have come to have an even deeper respect for American servicemen in WWII, and since. Your account was riveting, sensitive, with wonderful descriptions of even the most horrible of scenes. In spite of what must have been strong temptation, I never felt you overwrote, or sentimentalized… you certainly didn’t sugarcoat. I am not a Christian, and have never felt moved by Billy Graham, but from your account, I have a stronger appreciation of his sincerity and his power to inspire. I can only describe Louie’s transformation as a miracle.

    Now I really must read Seabiscuit, having heard so much about the movie. I hope you continue to bring history to life and to personalize it as you have done with Unbroken. All the best to you and yours.
    Ken Bretz,
    also a Calfornian

  978. I just finished reading this wonderful book, June, 2013. It is the most inspiring book I have read all year. I have recommended it to everyone I know. My husband read it first, after borrowing it from a neighbor. Even my pastor began her Sunday sermon 2 weeks ago talking about this UNBROKEN. Thank you for such a great story. I have a brand new appreciation of our wonderful service men. You are a wonderful writer. Thank you.

  979. The website is packed with information that is useful when utilizing the book for a freshman reader….BUT….do remember that more and more individuals are purchasing Macs and IPads.. Either several of your weblinks are not working or not at all designed for reviewing from Apple products. I do hope you can update the web to work for multiple platforms.

    Professor Susan Fecho

  980. My father was at Rocoroshi camp at the end of the war. He wrote a book on his WWII experience including the Bataan Death March and 41 months of captivity. Is there any way I could contact Louis to see if he remembers my father?

  981. A friend of mine(Vietnam veteran)handed me your book one week ago today. I finished it today and was especially moved as I made my way through Chapter 38. I likewise know the power of forgiveness and how bitterness entrapped me for many years. Louie had every right humanly speaking to seek revenge and harbor hatred for the inhumane atrocities committed against him. “If you save me, I will serve you forever.” Saint Augustine said, “Our hearts are never at rest until they rest in thee O God.” The tears fell freely as I read the last few pages of your incredibly moving book. My father and 8 of my uncles(all deceased now)served in both theaters of WWII. Awaiting orders to invade Japan from Manila, the atomic bombs changed the course of the war. Although exuberant the war had ended, the nearly 4 years had changed a young man for life. Thank you for dedicating your book to the millions of men and women who so unselfishly gave of themselves. Thank God for Louie and Phil. Words are inadequate to convey the debt I feel.

  982. Ms. Hillenbrand,

    I am just entering a career in the Air Force and a friend of my father suggested Unbroken to me. I have always loved to read, but I have never been so taken by a book. Not even Harry Potter, which I have read innumerable times, in multiple languages, nor even Gone With The Wind, which I virtually lived in for months on end. Unbroken offered to me reassurance and conviction in a time in which my parents were questioning my life choices and a good friend in the Navy had passed away. You have told the stories of Louie and Phil and Bill and so many great men that gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. And I thank you for that. I love that you so aptly tied in the motto of “Ubuntu”, meaning “I am because you are”, which to m encompasses the idea that everything happens for a reason, somewhere, someplace, sometime in this world. And the omnipotent presence of The Lord. For this book, I thank you thank you thank you (almost as Phil closed his letters to cecy).

    Becca B.

  983. This book changed my life. It is without a doubt the best book I have ever read. Louie’s and Laura’s stories are both amazing and brave. Never before have I been moved to tears so many times by a book, and never ever at its conclusion. I’m not quite sure what to do with my life now that I’ve finished it — except make sure that everyone I know reads Unbroken.

    Thank you!

  984. I have never read a more bautifully written and powerful book. Added to its wonders was finding my 1951 Navy bootcamp company commander, CPO Ernest Anthony (Tony) Duva on four separate pages as a Ofuna kitchen worker and sneaker of scarce food to Louie and his other fellow inmaes. If there’s a way of reaching him or members of his family, I’d appreciate knowing about it. Thank you for a wonderfully told story. JFM

  985. Hello,
    Have you ever been tested for Lyme’s Disease? I just finished Seabiscuit and read the interview with you and your symptoms sound like Lyme’s Disease. Although you have probably already been tested?

    Thanks for Seabiscuit, I am looking forward to reading Unbroken!

    Mary Clark

  986. Dear Ms. Hillenbrand,

    This query for your blurb comes with humble yet strong heart. I am a huge fan of your work, and have taken much strength from Unbroken, even alluded to your title and Louis Zamperini in my own novel. I hope my letter finds you comfortable and well. I can’t thank you enough for inspiring me as a writer and helping to ignite courage to face my own battle. I believe you will easily connect with my protagonist and hope to offer you inspiration as well.

    My literary novel, Surrender Flash, begins a multifaceted tale of extraordinary survival whereby Sadie Blumberg, the young fun-loving mother, must first conceive three wild marital scenarios. She’ll wholly inhabit her varying personas being ensnared by former train wreck suitors before awakening in a cloud of anesthesia to her chosen beloved. Enduring nearly a decade more of life with post-surgical symptoms from elusive medical advice, she’ll be arrested with an advanced, endometrial cancer diagnosis from a rare genetic disorder. Sharing the ultimate playlist as the hospital world dances through her life, Sadie encapsulates what it means to live honorably especially when so much is working to dissolve her. It is all for her loyal family that she never gives up the fight, and with the fortune of top rate medical staff, family and friends, she will not fail. Through her journey, several major epiphanic moments will present through the most unlikely objects: a nasogastric tube accompanied by a nature television channel, an apple offering chaplain on Rosh Hashanah while NPO, an enormous stuffed toy hung from a construction crane, a nurse administering conscious sedation, a harpist playing Stairway to Heaven next to an up escalator, and a spectacular barred owl inciting a staring contest. In the end, it is Sadie spiraling swiftly upward with a bird’s eye view poised over the horizon.

    I am an English teacher having self-published two other novels but seek a more traditional route for my latest work. The first part of Surrender Flash was written before being diagnosed with cancer and parts 2-4 as a result of subsequent treatment. Now stronger than ever, I am ready to entertain and offer privileged insights and humor through my engaging, fictional characters.

    Thank you so much if you’ve made the time and had compassion enough to read thus far. It would be a great privilege to have you craft a blurb for my book. Actually, I think I might fall out of my seat or off my feet to receive a positive reply- any reply at all really. (I do swear not to read text while driving or even walking.) If you should be so inclined, please let me know if you’d prefer an electronic version, attached or as the body of an e-mail, or hardcopy galley and where to send. I hope it is okay to impose a deadline of the first of August.

    Gratefully Yours,
    Janet Goodfriend

  987. Everyone should read this book. I have read other books on POW’s of Japan, Raid at Cabanatuan,