The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life

The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life

by Ben Sherwood

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Overview

Which is the safest seat on an airplane? Where is the best place to have a heart attack? Why does religious observance add years to your life? How can birthdays be hazardous to your health?


THE SURVIVORS CLUB


Each second of the day, someone in America faces a crisis, whether it's a car accident, violent crime, serious illness, or financial trouble. Given the inevitability of adversity, we all wonder: Who beats the odds and who surrenders? Why do some people bound back and others give up? How can I become the kind of person who survives and thrives?


The fascinating, hopeful answers to these questions are found in THE SURVIVORS CLUB. In the tradition of Freakonomics and The Tipping Point, this book reveals the hidden side of survival by combining astonishing true stories, gripping scientific research, and the author's adventures inside the U.S. military's elite survival schools and the government's airplane crash evacuation course.


With THE SURVIVORS CLUB, you can also discover your own Survivor IQ through a powerful Internet-based test called the Survivor Profiler. Developed exclusively for this book, the test analyzes your personality and generates a customized report on your top survivor strengths.


There is no escaping life's inevitable struggles. But THE SURVIVORS CLUB can give you an edge when adversity strikes.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446543910
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 01/26/2009
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 719,131
File size: 824 KB

About the Author

Ben Sherwood is a bestselling author, an award-winning journalist, and the president of ABC News. His novel The Man Who Ate the 747 has been published in 13 languages, and his other novel, The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud, was made into a feature film starring Zac Efron. A former broadcast producer for NBC Nightly News, he joined Good Morning America in April 2004 as executive producer and stayed in that position until Fall 06. He lives with his wife and sons in New York City.

Read an Excerpt


The Survivors Club

The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life



By Ben Sherwood
Grand Central Publishing
Copyright © 2009

Ben Sherwood
All right reserved.



ISBN: 978-0-446-58024-3



Introduction The Survivors Club

The field is known as "human factors in survival." Translation: Why do some people live and others die? How do certain people make it through the most difficult trials while others don't? Why do a few stay calm and collected under extreme pressure when others panic and unravel? How do some bounce back from adversity while others collapse and surrender?

This book answers those questions. It shares the true stories of regular people who have been profoundly tested by life-men and women who have been beaten down, sometimes literally flattened. It explores how ordinary folks somehow manage to pick themselves up, again and again, in the face of overwhelming odds. It investigates whether survivors are different from you and me. And it dissects the mind-set and habits that are shared by the most effective survivors. In short, it unlocks the secrets of who lives and who dies and shows how you can improve your chances in virtually any crisis. At the outset, I'd like to put a few things on the table. Almost everyone I know has faced-or is coping with-some kind of serious challenge or adversity. I wrote this book for them and for myself. While I certainly haven't been tested like the survivors in these pages, I've hit some bumps and experienced my share of loss and grief. My father was in excellent health when he died suddenly at age sixty-four from a massive and inexplicable brain bleed. Defying the probabilities, my mother has beaten back ovarian cancer for nine years, always deflecting credit to the aggressive treatment orchestrated by her superb oncologist. As a journalist, I've had a few close scrapes and witnessed plenty of tragedy. In August 1992, while covering the bloody siege of Sarajevo for ABC News, I was sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with a veteran producer and friend named David Kaplan when he was fatally wounded by a sniper. A nine-millimeter bullet ripped through the back door of our Volks-wagen van, pierced David's back, and severed his pulmonary artery. French combat surgeons fought to save him, but his injuries were too grave. It was pure chance that he-not I-ended up in that fatal middle seat, which had seemed the safest spot, away from the windows. I've always been something of a control freak, so each of these events called everything into question. Why do healthy people drop dead without reason? How can cancer strike those who aren't at risk? Why do bullets find one victim and not another? Perhaps in an attempt to regain some command, I began to ask: Are there any hidden ways to improve the odds? If "no one here gets out alive," as Jim Morrison sings, what are the tricks of sticking around as long as possible? My search produced this book, and the answers are both humbling and comforting. When it comes to survival, as you'll see, there's a whole lot that you can't control, and a surprising amount that you can. A few other disclaimers: I'm not a survivalist or an outdoors-man. I don't stockpile canned goods and I'm not preparing for Armageddon, although I did buy emergency kits for my car and home while researching this book. I'm a city guy, a journalist, and an occasional novelist. I've spent most of my life asking questions and I've always been drawn to stories of people under pressure. I remember the summer at age ten when I began to read Alive, the astonishing saga of a plane crash in the Andes Mountains and the passengers who endured seventy-two freezing days on a glacier. It's human nature to speculate: What would I have done? Would I have pushed myself to the same extremes? In March 2000, while working for NBC Nightly News, I marveled at images of Sofia Xerindza, a woman in Mozambique who escaped the deadly floodwaters of the Limpopo River by climbing into a tree, where she gave birth to a baby girl. At ABC's Good Morning America, where I worked as executive producer for two and a half years, I watched a veritable parade of survivors on the screen and always wondered: How did these people endure their trials? Were they always so strong and resilient, or did these abilities suddenly materialize when they most needed them? Television interviews last only a few minutes, so what would these survivors say if the clock wasn't ticking? How did they really get through it? In quieter moments, what wisdom might they share about their experiences? I also wanted to know about all the people who face life's everyday challenges without any attention or fanfare, the unheralded folks fighting illnesses like cancer, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's. In the face of life's inevitable crises, how do they get through their days? Where do they find the fortitude, sometimes literally, to climb out of bed? And selfishly, how could I get some of their strength? In this book you'll meet survivors of every imaginable ordeal, young and old, rich and poor, the guy down the street and people in the news. I've gathered tales on every continent; if you can conceive of a crisis, I've probably interviewed someone who has gone through it and come out on the other side. A woman doused with gasoline and set on fire by her husband; a bicyclist on a morning ride crushed by a twenty-one-ton truck; veterans who lived through the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and survived the great battles of World War II; a young ballerina forced to dance for her life by Dr. Josef Mengele in Auschwitz.

The Survivors Club will explain how they did it. You'll learn some of the secrets of survival-like the safest seat on an airplane, the best place to suffer a heart attack, and how the number 3 could keep you alive in a crunch. You'll discover how some people are born with a Resilience Gene that actually protects them from the worst knocks in life. You'll find out how a few easy changes in your food and vitamins can boost your ability to bounce back from hardship. In Manitoba, Canada, you'll meet the human Popsicle: a professor who has dunked himself in ice thirty-nine times in order to understand freezing to death. In Boston, Massachusetts, you'll sit down with the Harvard Medical School expert who specializes in cases of people who are literally scared to death. And in England, a magician-turned-psychology-professor will welcome you to Luck School and show you how to increase your good fortune by 40 percent. Perhaps most surprising of all, in Charlotte, North Carolina, you'll discover the emerging field of posttraumatic growth and the remarkable theory that more people benefit from life's worst events than are shattered by them. The two questions at the heart of this book are these: (1) What does it really take to survive? And (2) What kind of survivor are you? The answers will unfold in two sections. In part 1, I'll investigate the keys to survival in everyday crises ranging from car wrecks to violent crimes. I'll take you inside one of the country's top hospitals to explore who lives and dies in emergency rooms and why, for instance, the ideal age for a brain injury is around sixteen. I'll delve into the psychology of survival and what specific personality traits give you the greatest advantage in beating the odds. I'll explore whether the will to live makes a difference in defeating diseases like breast cancer. And I'll take you on a pilgrimage to a little chapel in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico where they believe that miracle cures really happen. At every step, you'll encounter the wisdom of men and women who have fallen into the abyss and somehow climbed out. These survivors want to share the tactics and strategies they wish they had known before their ordeals. In the race to survive, their insights may give you a critical head start. At the end of each chapter, I'll also try to unlock some of the mysteries of survival. For instance, how can a 145-pound grandmother lift a 3,450-pound Chevy Impala off her son? How did a French woman who smoked cigarettes and ate chocolate every day manage to survive to the age of 122? Why do right-handers live longer than lefties? Why are birthdays and holidays especially dangerous to your survival? And what can we learn from a five-thousand-year-old pine tree named Methuselah, perhaps the oldest living thing on earth? Part 2 of this book shifts the focus to you. Are you as resilient as Trisha Meili, the Central Park Jogger raped, beaten, and left in a pool of blood? Are you as tenacious and tough as John McCain, tortured as a POW for five and a half years in Vietnam? Are you even remotely as competitive as cycling champ and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong? Are you as optimistic as Michael J. Fox, afflicted with Parkinson's disease since 1991? Working with a group of top psychologists and experts, I've developed a powerful new Internet tool to help you figure out your survivor personality. Analyzing the traits of more than one million people, my team has identified the five main types of survivors and the twelve most critical survival tools. With our exclusive test, you'll be able to find out your Survivor IQ. It will only take a few minutes, and when you're done, you'll get a customized report spelling out your unique survivor strengths. At any point, you can skip ahead to part 2 on page 293 and learn how to take the test. The Profiler will also produce your Survivor Match, which compares your personality with the men and women you're reading about in these pages. The readiness is all, Hamlet says, and I sincerely believe the Profiler can give you an edge when adversity strikes. The blast of water up my nose scrambles everything. I'm strapped upside down and can't see a thing at the bottom of the fuzzy chlorinated pool. That's nothing compared with the gurgling in my nostrils and the burning in the back of my throat. My concentration is shot. In my frazzled head, some kind of hazard light switches on. I try to focus on my escape plan and jam my gloved fingers into the snaps on the harness holding me in the Dunker. I shake them furiously and push away from the seat but don't get very far. The straps bite into my shoulders. I'm stuck. I can feel the first tug in my lungs. I'm very conscious of the ensuing alarm and monologue in my brain. Oxygen, please! You're underwater. You don't have all day. What are you going to do now? I pry my fingers into the release latches again and shake them around. Then I yank hard on the harnesses and kick against the floor. I'm still trapped. I look down at my chest to see if I can figure out the problem. No chance. There are too many bands and clasps on my gear. There are also too many bubbles. Now, as my lungs start to clench, the warning sirens start clanging in my head. My brain is no longer asking politely. It's shouting: Oxygen, now! In the classroom a few hours earlier, the instructors insisted that virtually anyone can be taught to get out of the Dunker. Their mantras were succinct. First, maintain your reference point. In the most chaotic situations, that means identifying and holding on to something that will help you stay oriented no matter how many times you flip over or get banged in the head. If you keep your point of reference, you will never get lost or confused and will always find a way out. I chose the handle on a door as my reference point. They didn't warn me the shot of water up my nose would distract me and make me let go. Still: That's the whole point. They're trying to disorient you. They want you to fail before you succeed. Their second mantra is to wait for all sudden and violent motion to stop. In the Dunker, that means surrendering to the whirling sensation of what it must feel like in a blender. Eventually, the chaos subsides, the tumult ceases, and it's a lot easier to handle the situation. Underwater, it can feel like an eternity, but it's typically only ten or fifteen seconds. That means you have plenty of air and time to unbuckle and get out. It all sounded great in theory. Another pang in my lungs. I'm really starting to worry. I try one more time with the buckles, poking, jiggling, and finally thrashing with my fingers. No luck. Now, slamming hard into the floor with my legs, I throw myself against the harness with all my weight. This is my version of brute force. It's my last gasp. If this doesn't work, I'll resort to the prayer sign. I strain and flail and then-incredibly-I'm free, floating in the cockpit. I'm so surprised and elated that I actually marvel for a moment at my weightlessness. I drift around, unfettered, but quickly realize that I'm lost and don't know the way to the designated exit hatch. Even more confusing, I'm not sure which way is up. I swish in every direction trying to identify the right door. Then I find it, fumble with the latch, and force my way out. I follow the bubbles up toward the light. With my lungs straining, I break the surface and take a huge gulp of air.

The sun is setting over the palm trees at Miramar. F-18s thunder into the orange dusk. After thirteen hours of survival training, class is over, and our soaking flight suits are lined up on racks. Our boots, leaking great puddles, are set out to dry. As I get ready to go, the divers who watched from the bottom of the pool tell me that I looked a little "frenzied" trying to get out of the Dunker. Easy for them to say. Turns out my harness had actually released the first time I unbuckled it, but my survival vest had gotten snagged on the pilot's seat. In my turmoil, I hadn't been able to diagnose the problem. The frogmen say I had plenty of air and time and should have stayed calmer under pressure. Panic is the enemy. All those mental hazard lights, alarms, and sirens short-circuit our problem solving. We forget our training. We don't maintain our points of reference. We don't wait for the violent action to stop. We lose our minds and our way.

No matter the adversity, the navy says, survival is a mentality, a way of thinking. Survival is also a lens, a way of perceiving the world around you. The best survivors in the military share a constant outlook and approach, which they believe can also be applied to the struggles of everyday life. They understand that crisis is inevitable and they anticipate adversity. When they face a challenge, they observe and analyze the situation, devise a plan, and move decisively. If things go wrong, they adapt and improvise. If they get overwhelmed, they recover quickly. They also know how to wait for the worst to end. Understanding that even misfortune gets tired and needs a break, they're able to hold back, identify the right moment, and then do what they need to do. Psychologists have a clunky term for this: active passiveness. It means recognizing when to stop and when to go. In a critical sense, doing nothing can mean doing something. Inaction can be action, and embracing this paradox can save your life.

Lieutenant Commander Bates meets me at the front doors of her training center and hands over my exit papers or "qual sheets." She tells me I've earned a Q, the coveted grade for "qualified." Two other members of my class also receive their Qs. "Congratulations," she says with a farewell handshake. "You survived."

(Continues...)




Excerpted from The Survivors Club by Ben Sherwood Copyright © 2009 by Ben Sherwood. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Survivors Club 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 165 reviews.
Smilingsally More than 1 year ago
In America, life expectancy is 78.14 years. If you would like to live longer, read this compelling self-help book. It's loaded with detailed research material and anecdotal tips on surviving--what to do when: being impaled with a foreign object, finding yourself lost in the woods, experiencing an airplane crash, having a heart attack, or making a trip to the ER.

Many topics are covered with proof that they help people live: the power of prayer, managing fear, the will to live, and having good genes. Adversity can work to make people appreciate life and have a better perspective. Daily joy can be experienced after a traumatic episode.

Offered are such informative chapters as: The Survivor Profile, Your Survivor IQ, and Your Survivor Tool Kit. I suggest using this volume as a resource tool. Though it is interesting enough to be read straight through, I want to keep it around to refer to often.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I for one love to read survival stories and often wonder what I would do or how would I handle a given situation. Often I think, if that was me, I might die because I would panic so much that I would render myself incapable of actually helping myself. However, after reading through this book I believe that I would think differently now, setting goals and focusing on the task on hand ...to survive! The author, Ben Sherwood, an award winning journalist who has written other books, explores the aspects of "why" do some people survive and others don't. This question prompted him to research and write this book. He shares fascinating true stories that look into our fears and strengths which can help us to survive in everyday life to extremely terrifying situations through personal interviews with survivors and also our military institutions who train you to survive. It also puts into perspective how many people could have survived certain situations just by "doing" something instead of becoming a victim. Often it is the case where many go into a sort of shock mode and just freeze up....and perish. The book reveals a website you can go to as well to take a test to see what kind of survivor you are. Very thought provoking to say the least. For those you like myself who have never had any kind of formal survival training technique of any kind (military, self defense, etc.) it brings an awareness that we all can benefit from. Because you don't have to be professionally trained to survive!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ATTENTION: If you purchase this book, there is a One-time-use-offer in it!" There is a code that is needed to log in and take the test. If you buy this book USED and somebody else uses that code - YOU ARE OUT OF LUCK!! I emailed the websites POC only to be informed that they cannot issue a new code to take the test. Good Luck and happy reading . . .
1silverfox More than 1 year ago
The author has compiled amazing survival stories from which he extracts what might be called "the elements of survival". He analyzes the attributes of individual survivors that may have enabled them to cheat death, as well as the dynamics of groups caught up in disasters and the factors that may have facilitated their survival or resulted in their demise. Particularly unforgettable was the story of a would-be suicide who changed his mind as he plunged off the Golden Gate Bridge -- and managed to live through it --with the miraculous assistance of a sea lion that arrived at precisely the right time. The author examines the assemblage of deeds, happenstance, coincidence and, yea, divine intervention that seem to conspire to bring about the unbelievable survival of certain individuals who triumph in the face of terrifying events, overwhelming injuries, unbearable pain and seemingly unbeatable odds. If you ever wonder how people overcome the tragedies that happen every day somewhere, this book might provide a bit of insight and inspiration.
Hazelnutmegan More than 1 year ago
This book was not only interesting, but it did have practical advice that could be applied immediately. (I don't think I will ever enter a plane without counting rows again.) The actual accounts of survivors were well-written and enthralling -- I found myself reading passages aloud to family members. And I especially enjoyed the online test which allows you to discover exactly what survivor skills you possess. If anything, the stories were too frequent and the hard-core research was left behind, but I think the purpose was to affect the way the reader encounters life, and after reading that book I view the world and myself within the world differently. Great Read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had more than I had expected. The author went into a good deal of depth about the different kinds of folks who do well under many different kinds of stress. While not necessarily prescriptive, the book left me with a number of useful ideas that are applicable to daily life. I'd recommend this to anyone interested in psychology and self-improvement.
M_L_Gooch_SPHR More than 1 year ago
The Survivor's Club can be read as a relevant management survival tome. Particularly in today's downsized economy. As a worker in the world of human resources, I am constantly looking for non-business related books that will give me valuable insight. I have learned through the years that our best 'business lessons' come from outside the managerial world. This book is a stark example of this. The book really begin to hit home for me when I read chapter two: The Statues in the Storm. This is a no-brainer relationship to the business arena. The lessons learned in this one chapter is worth the price of the book. In addition, I will now be encouraging others to take the online survivor test. I believe it can provide a actionable and true look into the areas of careers that we need to work on in order to survive. Yes, luck plays a large part. But then again, keeping abreast of current methodologies, an updated resume and maintaining a wide network of associates can be the difference between an expanding career (life) or shoveling fries at a fast-food joint (death). I hope you find this review helpful. Michael L. Gooch, SPHR
TomTex More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best I've read in 2009. It provides hope and help, before during and after a challenging event. I was especially encouraged to learn the importance of prayer and networks of people. The more people I have in the ER waiting room increases my chances of survival!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With numerous easy to relate to examples of each concept and theory, the book was compelling and facilitates introspection. I will use the lessons learned in business, relationships, finance, and everyday life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was an interesting read. Some of the book was fascinating while other parts just OK. I'm not sure that one would be better prepared for survival after reading or not, but the first hand accounts of those that survived near death experiences is worth the price of the book.
Lisa Seitzinger More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much im going to read it again! I took the test online and discoverd im a realist. Im much aware of surroundings now. When im driving, walking to my car in a shopping mall, anywhere im i am aware and alert to everything.
Teresa Rush More than 1 year ago
Some+great+common+sense+stuff+%26+lots+more+info+everyone+should+know%21
Erin_N More than 1 year ago
Biking in Foothill Ranch, California, Anne Hjelle is attacked by a mountain lion. She survives the attack. JAT Flight 364 explodes in the air over Czechoslovakia. The only survivor is Vesna Vulovic, a flight attendant, who plummets 6 miles to the ground and lives. Brian Udell is forced to eject from his plane going faster than Mach 1 at sea level. The impact breaks both his legs and severely dislocates one shoulder, rendering that arm useless. Despite having only one working limb, Udell manages to inflate a raft, climb aboard, and wait to be rescued. In the Gulf of Mexico, Tim Sears falls off of the cruise ship Celebration wearing nothing more than his boxer shorts, a t-shirt, and a sweatshirt. Without any floatation devices and without anyone coming to his rescue (the ship's crew never knew he was missing), Sears literally swims for his life over a course of 17 hours where he is finally rescued by a Maltese ship. What all these people have in common is that they are all survivors of situations that would normally be fatal to the average person. Ben Sherwood, journalist and author, sets out to discover why some people live where others would perish in his book The Survivors Club. Sherwood takes the reader on a tour of the remarkable and the astounding while all along collecting research into the sciences of extreme first aid, faith and prayer, fear, will power, adversity, and luck. He includes countless tales of survival and death defying feats as well as advice from rescue workers and scientists who investigate the various forms of death. The Survivors Club is more than just a study in the art of survival; it is also a reference manual. Sherwood invites the reader to take a quiz that will provide him/her with a "survivor profile." This individual profile identifies the test taker's "survivor type" (fighter, believer, connector, thinker, or realist) and details the top three survivor tools in the test taker's arsenal. The reader is then invited to join an online community of survivors where members can share their stories and "build a private support group of friends and family." Ben Sherwood's The Survivors Club is a must read for those who desire a long life and wish to be prepared for all eventualities in life.
grumpyoldman More than 1 year ago
I'm an old guy, and I'm looking for a way to live a lot longer. I thought this book would give me some answers. I've gotten most of the way through, and it still hasn't delivered. Scanning the rest of the book, it seems to be more of the same; stories of people who have way different problems than my own, some of the same old same old advice. Sorry, I ran out of interest before I ran out of book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While any book that deals with this subject would have theory, examples, and explanations based on the author's perspective, this book brings them together into one place. People can argue with the assumptions, look for the things that they disagree with, or believe in the conclusions fully. But, this book is more about giving you information that you then have to ponder, indvidualize, and incorporate into your being, if you wish. A good book to help you with the journey of self understanding or continued self denial, depends on your ability to be open and critical. Well worth the time to read and do the assessment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
excellent read
TiffanyAK on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first half or so of this book is especially brilliant, with an almost perfect blend of real-life survival experiences and scientific data. It is engrossing, fascinating, and very educational, while also being rather inspiring. Unfortunately, the book loses a lot of steam in the last section of the book. It doesn't grip you so much, the information isn't all quite so fascinating or useful, and then the final part is about the online survivor profile, so it doesn't exactly end on a high note. Basically, it goes from extremely interesting to just moderately so. Thus, I split the difference. Five stars for the first half, and three for the last half. A four star book in total. Still, even if you decide to stop reading halfway into it, I'd definitely say you should at least give this one a shot.
casanders2015 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great book on how to survivor a variety of life's bad moments..from plane crashes to cancer diagnosis. Mixes science with testimonials and personality analysis to create intriguing read.
justmelissa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Why do some people survive extraordinary circumstances while others fail? Why are some people luckier than others? How do some people bounce back after adversity when others never recover? The Survivors Club attempts to answer these questions and more.Though Ben Sherwood shares the scientific evidence behind survival, this book is far from clinical. By telling stories, the author paints vivid portraits of the profiled survivors and the accidents, atrocities, and adversities they faced. Though the stories are remarkable, most of the folks who survived are careful to stress that they themselves are not; they are normal people who did what needed to be done and came out on top. Sherwood suggests that you can too - by understanding the basic qualities that make people resistant and by paying careful attention to the world around you, you too can improve your chances of surviving. I enjoyed the book and loved reading the personal stories. However, if you are a Pollyanna, this book is not for you. Terrible things happen to good people. They suffer. They hurt. And ultimately, they survive. Would you?
GlennBell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The author has researched many topics within the area of survivorship. He has interviewed a number of experts and survivors. He provides some useful information and a frank analysis of the what he learned. I would advise reading the book to help understand how you can better cope with the trials of life and be better prepared for the unexpected. The value of the computer questionnaire is questionable at best.
agirlandherbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ben Sherwood has written a superb guide to and for survivors: what defines and separates them from the fate befalling so many people in disasters like plane crashes, auto accidents, and even the Holocaust; and how each of us can become more like them. From a mathematical formula to "dumb luck" and "intangibles," Sherwood covers the many and varied reasons why some people survive while others perish. Included is access to an Internet-based test called the Survivor Profile, the inclusion of which vaults this book past Amanda Ripley's "The Unthinkable" (although it should be considered a companion volume to Sherwood's superior work).
anndar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book - it is real life stories but reads like an action novel with great tips and information that could save your life one day.
tomgirl571 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was excited to read this book because I'm really into tv shows like Survivorman. And I really liked this book! It was very interesting and kept me enthralled to the end. I loved reading stories of real-life survivors who've lived through near-impossible situations. It has great tips for readers on how to survive certain situations, and after reading about how many people die each year from cement truck accidents, I'll be watching the roads more carefully! I also really loved the "Survivor Profile" test we can take at the end. It adds a bit of a personal element to the book. I've already started recommending it to friends!
LibrarysCat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thank you to Library Thing and Hachette Book Group for the opportunity to read and review this fantastically informative book. I feel much better about my potential for survival. My husband and I both took the associated online Survivors quiz - I am a Thinker, he is a Believer. Surely between the two of us, we can survive!Sherwood has put together a phenomenally interesting and fact-filled book about who survives. And the why certain people survive. Through interviews with survivors world wide in every imaginable situation, this book presents a wide ranging profile of how we too can survive. As I completed the section on flight, I wanted to give the book immediately to my son who will be flying to Chicago next Thursday. Instead I told him about the Plus 3, Minus 8 rule which refers to the first three minutes of a flight and the last eight minutes before landing - these are the most likely times planes crash - and that in the event of a crash, you have about 90 seconds to get out of the plane, so sit within five rows of an exit and make note of where it is.The book is not meant to frighten people or make for OCD watchfulness in every situation. Rather it is meant to make us all more aware of our surroundings and to know how to begin to act, not react, if danger should arise. I am better for having read this book.
allenkl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think the most valuable information in this both frightening and empowering book is Ben Sherwood's rules of air travel. I will never again fly without taking his advice and I expect to feel much safer because of it. The book is full of inspiring stories of survival as well as real information that would increase the chances of survival of individuals in many situations. My favorite fact is that the survival rate for heart attacks is greater in Las Vegas than in a hospital because everyone is under constant surveillance and someone well trained in using a defibrillator will be at the side of anyone who goes down within 2 minutes. That would make a better advertising slogan than What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas!