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To End All Wars by Ernest Gordon
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To End All Wars

by Ernest Gordon

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762158,327 (4.25)17
(1) 22 (1) 28 (1) A Must Read! (2) biographies (1) biography (11) Christianity (4) Discipleship (3) faith (3) forced labor (1) forgiveness (4) history (13) Japan (3) Kwai (3) learning (1) love (2) memoir (2) mooched away (1) non-fiction (5) paperback (1) peace (1) POW (5) prisoners of war (1) read (2) suffering (2) survival (4) to-read (3) torture (1) war (6) WWII (15)
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## Review
Starved and abused to the point of death by his Japanese captors, Captain Ernest Gordon recounts in "To End All Wars" how he and his fellow prisoners of war found not only a reason to live but a new way to live in the midst of hell on earth.
In gruesome detail, the author brings us with him into the jungles of Thailand and shows how, in a hopeless situation, the soldiers were able to "find a way of life that proved to be vital, meaningful, and beautifully sane."

The book was originally published in 1963 as "Through the Valley of the River Kwai" and was one of the sources for the movie "Bridge Over the River Kwai" as well as the more recent movie "To End All Wars" for which this book was renamed.
It was the movie that made me want to read the book and must say that the although the movie took a lot of license, they both tell the same story.
Having read the book, I now want to go back and watch the movie again.

This book will shock your sensibilities. It should make you sick. But it will keep you reading. Can we really be so cruel? Would you survive in the same situation? How would you respond? The book tells us how the Allied prisoners found faith and dignity in in a veritable hell.

## First Sentence
- I was dreaming, and I was happy with my dreams.

## Quotes
- The whole atmosphere of the Death House was anti-life; over it all was the miasma of decay, the promise of nothingness. pg 87
- Whether we like it or not, we are the ones who create the enemy and lose the neighbour. Mine enemy is my neighbor. pg 198
- The liberators were so infuriated by what they saw that they wanted to shoot the Japanese on the spot. Only the intervention of the victims prevented them. Captors were spared by their captives. pg 205
- We had been sent as boys to do men's work on the battlefield. Now that we returned as men we were offered boys' work. pg 221

## Final Sentence
- He comes into our Death House to lead us through it. ( )
  GaryPaulson | Jan 9, 2010 |
Very moving and intense. An inspirational account of the true-life events that occurred at a Japanese forced labor camp in South-east Asia durin WWII. You read of cruelty and illnesses that could completely crush the spirits of men, and many times do, but through a community pulling together of the prisoners, many find when you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on, your friends will be there to pull you up.

This book is about the strength of human resolve and the ultimate questions of life-meaning and purpose. Friendships are struck, including between guard and prisoner, and the sacrifice of one prisoner for the life of another inspires forgiveness.

How far can you push a man before he becomes more animal than man? ( )
  thekoolaidmom | Feb 19, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0007118481, Paperback)

Now A Major Motion Picture Starring Robert Carlyle and Kiefer Sutherland 'Waking from a dream, I suddenly realized where I was: in the Death House--in a prison camp by the River Kwai. I was a prisoner of war, lying among the dead, waiting for the bodies to be carried away so that I might have more room.' When Ernest Gordon was twenty-four he was captured by the Japanese and forced, with other British prisoners, to build the notorious 'Railroad of Death', where nearly 16,000 Prisoners of War gave their life. Faced with the appalling conditions of the prisoners' camp and the brutality of the captors, he survived to become an inspiring example of the triumph of the human spirit against all odds. To End All Wars is Ernest Gordon's gripping true story behind both the Academy Award-winning film The Bridge on the River Kwai starring Alec Guinness and the new film To End All Wars directed by David Cunningham.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:52 -0400)

When Ernest Gordon was twenty-four he was captured by the Japanese and forced, with other British prisoners, to build the notorious 'Railroad of Death'. Faced with the appalling conditions of the prisoners' camp and the brutality of the captors, he survived to become an inspiring example of the triumph of the human spirit against all odds.… (more)

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