Survival Stories

Wed, 01 Sep 2010 16:42:06 +0000

The story of the miners trapped underground in Chile is fascinating.  Even with the 4-inch boreholes that have been drilled to supply them with food, water, and electricity, the men are in for quite a challenge for the next several months while a new shaft is drilled for their rescue.  Abetted by a gift of a Kindle reader, I have been doing some reading this summer about World War II and other parts of American history.  Here are some of the books that have been inspiring stories of survival, with some links in case you want to read more:

Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath, by Michael and Elizabeth M. Norman.  You may know something about the march, but you may not realize just how brutal the subsequent years were as prisoners of war.

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Man's Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl.  A Holocaust memoir by a survivor of multiple death camps.  He returns frequently to the popular Nietsche quotation, "He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."  The second part of the book is an explanation of logotherapy, the therapeutic approach the author subsequently took as a psychiatrist.

Remembering: Voices of the Holocaust: A New History in the Words of the Men and Women Who Survived, by Lyn Smith.  An impressive collection of first person accounts of the run-up to the war and the systematic annihilation of Jews and their communities in Europe.

Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History, by S. C. Gwynne .  A great book about another era in American history that I knew virtually nothing about.  Disease, starvation, overwhelming opposition.

Here's hoping that all of the miners are eventually brought out safely.