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Deep survival : who lives, who dies, and why : true stories of miraculous endurance and sudden death
2003
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Summary
"Unique among survival books...stunning...enthralling. Deep Survival makes compelling, and chilling, reading."--Penelope Purdy, Denver Post

After her plane crashes, a seventeen-year-old girl spends eleven days walking through the Peruvian jungle. Against all odds, with no food, shelter, or equipment, she gets out. A better-equipped group of adult survivors of the same crash sits down and dies. What makes the difference?

Examining such stories of miraculous endurance and tragic death--how people get into trouble and how they get out again (or not)-- Deep Survival takes us from the tops of snowy mountains and the depths of oceans to the workings of the brain that control our behavior. Through close analysis of case studies, Laurence Gonzales describes the "stages of survival" and reveals the essence of a survivor--truths that apply not only to surviving in the wild but also to surviving life-threatening illness, relationships, the death of a loved one, running a business during uncertain times, even war.

Fascinating for any reader, and absolutely essential for anyone who takes a hike in the woods, this book will change the way we understand ourselves and the great outdoors.
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Booklist Review
What impels people to risk their lives by climbing mountains or deep-sea diving? What confluence of forces leads to drastic accidents? Why do some people survive disasters while others perish? A renowned journalist intrigued with risk, Gonzales conducts an in-depth and engrossing inquiry into the dynamics of survival. Relating one hair-raising true story after another about wilderness adventures gone catastrophically wrong and other calamities, Gonzales draws on sources as diverse and compelling as the Stoic philosophers and neuroscience to elucidate the psychological, physiological, and spiritual strengths that enable certain individuals to avoid fatal panic and make that crucial transition from victim to survivor. People who survive being lost or adrift at sea, for instance, pay close attention to their surroundings and respect the wild. Gonzales also notes that survivors think of others, either helping a fellow sufferer or rallying to outsmart death in order to spare loved ones anguish. The study of survival offers an illuminating portal into the human psyche, and Gonzales, knowledgeable and passionate, is a compelling and trustworthy guide. --Donna Seaman Copyright 2003 Booklist
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