The Will to Survive: Three and a Half Years as a Prisoner of the Japanese

The Will to Survive: Three and a Half Years as a Prisoner of the Japanese


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Taken prisoner after the fall of Singapore in 1942, Arthur Godman spent the next three and a half years on the Burma-Siam railway, living in camps along the River Kwai. Like other POWs, he experienced disease and malnutrition and witnessed the painful deaths of many of his comrades. Yet somehow he retained his sense of humor and perspective, recalling, among the casual cruelties inflicted by the Japanese, small acts of kindness between guards and prisoners which enabled him to retain his faith in humanity. In order to survive he attempted to achieve a relationship with his captors based on their common experience of adversity; learning Thai, teaching bridge, and stealing food. This glimpse of the terrifying world of the POW includes pictures by two other famous artists who were captives. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780752449807
Publisher: The History Press
Publication date: 09/01/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Arthur Godman wrote more than 40 books on science and mathematics. Ronald Searle is an artist and cartoonist whose work has appeared in Life and The New Yorker. Philip Meninsky was an artist. Searle and Meninsky were also POWs.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6

Interlude 15

Chapter I We say welcome to sunny Singapore 17

Chapter II We'll never get off the island 23

Chapter III The Orient Express to Ban Pong 34

Chapter IV The long march 41

Chapter V Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, and off to work we go 49

Chapter VI The river of no return 61

Chapter VII I'm dreaming of a white Christmas 73

Chapter VIII Pennies from heaven 81

Chapter IX A slow boat to Burma 87

Chapter X The golden nail 92

Chapter XI On the road to Kanburi 98

Chapter XII Mac the knife 106

Chapter XIII Teahouse of the Third Moon 114

Chapter XIV Strangers in paradise 122

Chapter XV The Changi Ritz 127

Chapter XVI Confucius - he say 135

Chapter XVII Oh Joseph, Joseph, won't you make your mind up 140

Chapter XVIII It's been a long, long time 145

Chapter XIX Epilogue 150

Appendix Death Under the Rising Sun 153

Glossary 155

Acknowledgements 158

About the Artists 159

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