Surviving Hell: An Introduction

Next Tuesday is the official publication date of the paperback edition of Surviving Hell: A POW’s Journey by Leo Thorsness. It was originally scheduled for publication on March 15, but glitches at the printer delayed publication. The book is now available at Amazon. I received my shipment of copies from Amazon last week and Amazon shows it is available for delivery now. It should be in the stores next Tuesday.
I read the book when it was published in hardcover and loved it. The book has continued to echo in my mind since I read it. My admiration for the book prompted Encounter Books to invite me to write a new introduction for the paperback edition, and I have done so. The best thing I can say about it is that Leo likes it a lot, as he has told me now each time I’ve spoken to him this year. I wasn’t paid anything for it and have no financial interest in the success of the book, but I very much want to help spread word of the story the book has to tell.
In the introduction I tried to place the book in the context of courage and character that shines through the text, but which the author himself was too modest to do. Col. Thorsness was awarded the Medal of Honor for his almost unbelievable heroics on the F-105 Wild Weasel mission he flew over North Vietnam on April 19, 1967. His Medal of Honor citation is here. But the courage he displayed during his subsequent six-year captivity in North Vietnam approximates the courage he displayed on his Medal of Honor mission. He is a remarkable man.
I sought out Col. Thorsness to speak with him last month so that I might come up with a few items I could use to draw attention to the publication of the paperback edition. I’ll be posting short items about the book over the next week with the goal of encouraging readers to buy the book, which you can do by clicking on the image above or the link here.
When I prematurely started writing about the book here last month, it jumped to number one in Amazon’s rankings in books about Vietnam and the Vietnam War. I’m grateful for the interest of our readers in the book and ask your indulgence in my bringing it to your attention again over the next week now that it is actually available.


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