Thursday, June 7, 2012

Book Tour Review LOST IN SHANGRI-LA by Mitchell Zuckoff



" The war in the Pacific remained a moment-by-moment struggle.  Between sunrise and sunset on May 13, 1945, more than 130 US fighters and bombers would attack troops, trains, bridges, and other Japanese "targets of opportunity" in southern and eastern China.  Ten B-24 Liberators would bomb an underground hangar on a dot of land called Moen Island. Nine other B-24s would bomb an airfield on a lonely speck in the northern Pacific called Marcus Island.  On Borneo, B-24s would bomb two airfields.  To the east, B-25 Mitchell bombers and P-38 Lightning fighters would support ground forces on Tarakan Island.  The U.S 7th Marine Regiment would burst through Japanese defenses on Okinawa to capture Dakeshi Ridge.  In the Phillipines, the 40th Infantry Division would capture Del Monte Airfield, and bombers and fighters would pound targets on Luzon Island.

Those were the major events of the day, to be cataloged, analyzed, and recounted in countless books and films about the Big War.  Another incident on May 13, 1945, would escape the notice of historians and Hollywood: a C-47 transport plane carrying two dozen officers, soldiers, and WACs would disappear during a flight over the mountainous jungles of New Guinea."

Zuckoff decided to write on an event in history most 'VIPs' decided to overlook or even choose not to bring notice to.  Writing first and foremost, I have always believed, has to be about bring something that lives in the dark back up to light and bring awareness to people about it.  For this, and this alone, Zuckoff has won honorary points with me.  Above and beyond that, Zuckoff has created a work of art which embodies the human spirit.  We do not leave others behind, we keep them in our minds and history, and we pay tribute to them, as simply as a book like this.  And I say 'work of art' because it is truly that.  Zuckoff managed to write an exquisite piece of nonfiction that is not only captivating but it is also a 'vividly reconstructed' vision of a specific event in history pieced together by evidence and information that might not have otherwise been brought together were not for the ambition and dedication of an individual such as Michell Zuckoff.  

It is in fact "a true story of survival, adventure, and the most incredible rescue mission of World War II."  It's possible that you may not be a fan of nonfiction, let alone historical nonfiction, as I am.  In fact, my worst subjects in school were history and geography.  Regardless, this story is about much more than historical accounts.  It's about the human spirit, the human memory, and ultimately the human responsibility to record, piece together, and create a passageway of knowledge and information.  You HAVE to READ this book.  It is a masterpiece.  



This is a book review part of a book tour, and if you'd like to read more reviews and know more .....

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