Don't Give Up, Don't Give In: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life

Don't Give Up, Don't Give In: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life

4.5 6
by Louis Zamperini, David Rensin
     
 

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New York Times bestseller

More than 100,000 copies in print

Completed just two days before Louis Zamperini’s death at age ninety-seven, Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In shares a lifetime of wisdom, insight, and humor from “one of the most incredible American lives of the past century” (People).

Overview

New York Times bestseller

More than 100,000 copies in print

Completed just two days before Louis Zamperini’s death at age ninety-seven, Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In shares a lifetime of wisdom, insight, and humor from “one of the most incredible American lives of the past century” (People). Zamperini’s story has touched millions through Laura Hillenbrand’s biography Unbroken and its blockbuster movie adaptation directed by Angelina Jolie. Now, in his own words, Zamperini reveals with warmth and great charm the essential values and lessons that sustained him throughout his remarkable journey.

He was a youthful troublemaker from California who turned his life around to become a 1936 Olympian. Putting aside his track career, he volunteered for the army before Pearl Harbor and was thrust into World War II as a B-24 bombardier. While on a rescue mission, his plane went down in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where he survived against all odds, drifting two thousand miles in a small raft for forty-seven days. His struggle was only beginning: Zamperini was captured by the Japanese, and for more than two years he courageously endured torture and psychological abuse in a series of prisoner-of-war camps. He returned home to face more dark hours, but in 1949 Zamperini’s life was transformed by a spiritual rebirth that would guide him through the next sixty-five years of his long and happy life. Louis Zamperini’s Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In is an extraordinary last testament that captures the wisdom of a life lived to the fullest.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/29/2014
Though the life of 1936 Olympic athlete and WWII POW Zamperini was indeed extraordinary, the “life lessons” collected in this posthumously published work (Zamperini died in 2014) prove disappointingly commonplace. The insights he shared with coauthor Rensin tend toward the broadly general, such as, at the start of a chapter on survival, “Life on earth is dangerous: you should be prepared for anything.” A section entitled “Anyone Can Turn Their Life Around,” meanwhile, strikes a surprisingly Pollyannaish note. Zamperini, with his extensive experience of peril, shares his counsel for dealing with dangerous situations, such as the eccentric earthquake-readiness tip to always keep a hard hat and pair of heavy shoes by one’s bedside. He seems less charming than reckless when he cheerfully describes playing “pranks,” including one that could have led to a fatal air accident. Zamperini’s willingness to forgive the sadistic Japanese officer who tormented him in captivity is moving, but his statement that “true forgiveness goes hand in hand with no longer condemning” may strike readers as an overly lenient attitude toward evil. Admirers of this extraordinary hero may prefer to stick with Laura Hillenbrand’s biography, Unbroken, and Zamperini’s own autobiography, Devil at My Heels. (Nov.)
Angelina Jolie
“He was my friend, my mentor, my hero. We are all so grateful for how enriched our lives are for having known him.”
People
“One of the most incredible American lives of the past century.”
Kirkus Reviews
2014-10-05
A celebrated war veteran and Olympic contender shares his life's lessons. Not simply another rehashing of Zamperini's (Devil at My Heels: A WWII Hero's Epic Saga of Torment, Survival, and Forgiveness, 2003) incredible history, this second memoir, dictated to co-writer Rensin during the last year of the author's life, brims with sage wisdom, learned advice and fond observations from his adventurous 97 years. Zamperini answers the most recurring questions asked of him during book signings and lectures, mostly pertaining to his adventures after his service in World War II, his secret to living honorably and what role his faith in God played. The author weaves practical advice into anecdotes on his parents, his troubled adolescence, his post-military spiritual connection with Billy Graham, and how his affinity for distance running on an Olympic level honed enough mental discipline to endure and survive the sadistic torture of a Japanese POW camp and the PTSD that followed. The author also provides robust wilderness survival tips, which saved his life while adrift on a life raft in the Pacific Ocean and during his service as a U.S. Army Air Force bombardier. Certainly, his counsel is often platitudinous (exercise forgiveness, challenge yourself, be positive, and give back), but it's also inspirational, and his words will offer a reflective refresher course for those receptive to it. Never boastful yet full of prideful personality, Zamperini's tireless zest manifested in his later years with speaking engagements and collaboration with the Angelina Jolie-produced film adaptation of Lauren Hillenbrand's best-selling book Unbroken (2010), based on his astonishing, fruitful life. Stuffed with bolstering, life-affirmative reinforcement, Zamperini's legacy lives on through words and film, embodied best by a photograph of the nonagenarian skillfully riding a skateboard. The inspirational odyssey of an American hero.
on Louis Zamperini People
“One of the most incredible American lives of the past century.”
USA Today
“A fitting capstone to the Zamperini legend. ... This valedictory book reflects the charm and colorful authority he brought to the world.”
John McCain
“Louis Zamperini’s life is a story that befits the greatness of the country he served.”
Billy Graham
“Louis Zamperini is a modern miracle. His life reads like something out of a storybook.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062368331
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/18/2014
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
348,841
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

A son of Italian immigrants, Louis Zamperini (1917-2014) was a U.S. Olympic runner, World War II bombardier, and POW survivor. After the war, he returned to the United States to found the Victory Boys Camp for at-risk youth and became an inspirational speaker. Zamperini's story was told in his 2003 autobiography Devil at My Heels, as well as in Laura Hillenbrand's 2010 biography Unbroken.

David Rensin worked closely with Louis Zamperini for many years and cowrote Devil at My Heels, as well as fifteen other books, including five New York Times bestsellers.

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Don't Give Up, Don't Give In: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sooner in my life.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Outstanding!! What an incredible human being! Shows us what the human spirit can endure. Rest in peace sir, you have more than earned it
Gina5 More than 1 year ago
Interesting war story. "Devil at My Heels" showed more of the personal story and insights of this incredible man!
JDMO64 More than 1 year ago
Awesome human being!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow vote for me ok
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the review