Book Review | Unbroken: Biography tells remarkable, little-known story of athlete and WWII pilot | The Columbus Dispatch During the Depression, a sorely tried nation turned to athletic heroes for relief and hope. Laura Hillenbrand is the Homer of the topic. A decade after Seabiscuit, her best-seller about the legendary racehorse, Hillenbrand tells the riveting tale of track star Louis Zamperini in Unbroken, to be released Tuesday. Zamperini was a champion middle-distance runner who accomplished his greatest victories on the field of battle and beyond. When his Army Air Force B-24 crashed in the Pacific in 1943, he and a crew mate survived without food and water for 47 days on a raft attacked by sharks and tossed by a typhoon. He was eventually captured and spent two horrific years in Japanese prison camps.