Terence Kirk's book is an amazing tribute not only to his own courage under the most difficult conditions imaginable, but an honor to the men he served with. Captured on December 8, 1941, he was a prisoner of war for four years. Not only that, but after signing a gag order in 1945, he obeyed it for thity-eight years; not even his wife or children were aware he was a prisoner of war.
In the Woosung prison camp, he went from a young man in the prime of health to little more than a walking skeleton. The photographs he courageously took with a most ingeniously built camera, showed clearly the deprivation he and fellow prisoners endured. Added to this was the constant humiliation all endured from the Japanese. The Japanese were operating under a Bushido philosophy that surrender was the worst thing a warrior could do, the most dishonorable, despicable thing. The Geneva Convention never really took hold in their philosophy, and they saw no reason whatsoever to treat their prisoners as human beings.
Kirk's account is totally void of self-pity; he is straightforward in his account, pulling no punches. At the end of the book, he accounts for as many of his fellow soldiers as he can; a quiet, understated, dignified acknowledgement of all they gave for their country. In 2004, Kirk was awarded the Purple Heart - an honor long overdue him.
This is a five star book - anyone who reads it will be the better for it.