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Memoir Historical Investigation of Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand By: Lia Basri

Primary Source:

I chose this picture because it shows the connection between Louie and his crew when waiting to fly off. It contains an image of the entire crew including Louie and an image of the actual plane all together.

Secondary Source: For my secondary source I used an article from a website called Wikipedia. I chose this because it clearly writes about the historical events in the book and the biography on Louie Zamporini. "Louis Zamperini." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Nov. 2012. Web. 21 Nov.

To quickly summarize this book it is about a man named Louie Zamporini who starts off as a troubled child, who stole and cheated and was feared. Yet he takes a turn in life and becomes a star long distance runner who gets into the Olympics, thanks to his older brother and the support of others. Later he becomes a lieutenant for the army. When war broke out Louie had begun his duty, yet on May 1943 his Army Air bomber crashed into the Pacific disappearing, leaving nothing but Louie Zamporini and some debris, including a life raft. This book is about his struggle to survival, it is an amazing novel worth reading. I think one reason someone would enjoy this book is because it is a true story and it is a not only a war book, it also includes all elements of the main characters life. The book includes all detail of Louie Zamporinis running career and childhood.

A second reason I think someone would enjoy this book is because it contains many pictures and descriptive words and phrases that create captivating images in your mind. “The sky had disappeared. An object that he could see only in silhouette, reaching across the massive arc of space, was suspended low in the air over the house.�

Citations: Hillenbrand, Laura. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption." Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2012. <>. Hillenbrand, Laura. "Книга: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption." Книга: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2012.

An Italian Miracle (A memoir of Louie Zamporini, a boy whom from grave disappointment gains superb success. This memoir does not include all details of his further adventures and what he went through during the war.) Germany. I have reached my goal, at least the goal I have made for now. I guess it should not matter who came first or second, yet I feel cheated nonetheless. Thoughts shift in my mind as words from the closest to my heart dance in my mind. “Come on Iron Man!” Someone had shouted after I had shattered the record time on my mile race. Yet once I had been defeated I had heard these words “Sadly dishearted and disillusioned.” (unknown) Two phrases both describing who I am and both hold some truth in them. Lately I have noticed how some reporters have showed animosity towards me during the race. Aswell as I have noticed how some of the racers tried to browbeat me before, and during the qualifying race. Yet in the end I am pleased with my outcome because after all, I know I came first, and that’s what matters, not what somebody else thought they saw. I have made the Olympic team, and now Berlin here I come. During my races with college and highschool I remember saying to myself; “I was never running from or to something, or in spite of anyone, I run because it is what my body wishes to do.” And I found that thinking in this way would push my body across that finish line. To think that is 1936, and I have turned out the way I am, when not long ago I was a thirteen year old boy about to be sent behind bars. Punishments were fierce and I knew inside that by continuing my mischievous ways that I was bringing the punishments upon myself.

My fans adore me, pretty girls obsess over me. Yet in 1930 those same fans and those same pretty girls were told to stay away from me, they were told to fear me, “the dangerous young man,” a truly incompetent, pretentious boy (for all the wrong reasons), who stole and cheated the people of Torrance. Today those people sit at home listening to their radio stations, cheering me on, making myself push harder across that finish line. I believed the world was cruel, and hostile towards different people. As a younger boy I did not believe that people were amiable, we were not considered equivalent. I was forced to hide my Italian background and make sure anyone who accused me of being Italian, was thought to be wrong, even though I was the one lying. My parents Louise and Anthony tried their best to keep a sustainable lifestyle for themselves and their children, my father’s weekly pay as little as it was would be given to their children’s school fee. My mother constantly trying to make sure everything was in order at home and in the neighbourhood. Yet with everything my parents tried I was continuously stealing from others, mostly food and necessary supplies, so as I filled myself up with goods, the people who were robbed remained ravenous and irate. My older brother Pete was the perfect boy. Perfect at school and at home, everyone looked up to him. He did his chores plus extra. He was even perfect with the girls. A true gentleman, my mother tried her best to make me more like him. She begged me to change, to be more like Pete. But what was I supposed to do? I was who I was. A thief, a liar, a cheater. But with all the wrong I have caused in Torrance and all the trouble I have caused the community, there had to be something good inside me right? I hadn’t understood what I was doing so wrong, I was being insolent, and when my father had taught me how to fight I became so much more belligerent. Not even I knew if there was good inside me. But

for some reason my brother did. After a while I remember trying to change, to avoid the punishments I was bringing upon myself. Not many believed it was me pursuing the good deeds, they all thought it was Pete, including my parents. But Pete fought for me, he tried persuading people that if they began to extol me that I would become even more responsible and I would become altruistic. So the school decided to let me participate in sports. Pete began training me in track, long distance running to be exact, as painful as it was I had no choice. Pete said I had to, I am not quite sure why. Everyday Pete would push me to the absolute limit; even after I had collapsed or fallen from fatigue he would ride his bike behind me and hit me and bang me repeatedly with a stick, the pain would be excruciating, yet Pete had accomplished his goal by pushing forward. Pushing me “across the finish line” and further. After winning an astounding record amount of races as a high school athlete, not only had my attitude and personality change, I began to participate in races with the big time racers, the most famous ones, my own heroes. To think I was racing with my heroes was a true dream come true. I did not have any heroes till I heard about Glenn Cunningham. Apparently as a small child he was in a school bus explosion which killed his brother and severely burned his legs. He could not even walk. Yet within a few years he had begun racing, with an astonishing recovery Glenn was the fastest mile racer in American history. I had found my hero. I guess you would think Pete would have been my hero, but believe it or not, Pete was by my side whenever I had stolen or done a prank or gotten into a fight, the only difference was, as my younger sister Victoria said “Pete doesn’t get caught, you get caught.” And she was right, for Pete was not who he seemed either.

Yet he helped me with my running, he trained me, and I admit I had changed, I had become a young man, without the dangerous part. People were opening up to me, and the girls thought I was “smooth”. I was ecstatic with whom I had become, and after a while the crowds cheering “Louie”, became a pleasant tune that danced in my ears. I had reached my goal; I had gotten onto the Olympic American Team. I am ready, I know I am. And soon I will be in the stadium with crowds cheering me on, alongside some of the greatest competitors of all, I will know I belong, what will or will not happen is up to fate. Fate is something I have; it is something I will hold onto. Yet a feeling of uncertainty messes with my stomach, creating a whirl of thoughts.


This novel is about war and survival and resiliance.


This novel is about war and survival and resiliance.