Tag Archives: Zuckoff

Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff (review by Akshay B. ’16)

Lost in Shangri-la: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War IILost in Shangri-la: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lost in Shangri-La is the incredible true story of the “Gremlin Special,” which crashed on May 13, 1945, in the uncharted New Guinea region referred to as Shangri-La. Of the original twenty-four officers, only three survived and struggled with their grief and injuries, all while fighting to survive in a harsh and unforgiving jungle surrounded by tribes rumored to be cannibals and Japanese soldiers infamous for their brutality. The narrative’s greatest strength comes from the honest fortitude of the trio, but at the same time Zukoff critiques the Americans for completely altering the way-of-life of the New Guineans. Ultimately, the interaction with the natives mirrors the destructive conflicts between American settlers and Native Americans, in which the latter were at the outset the saviors of colonists but eventually were ruined by them. Thus, though the exterior reality of the rescue tale resounds within the reader, the deeper undertone condemns the methods in which the rescue was achieved. – Akshay B. ’16

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