Monday, March 25, 2013

Great Stories of Survival--Motivational Reading for Startup Entrepreneurs

Posted By: George Deeb - 3/25/2013


& Comment

One of my hobbies is collecting antique books about adventure and exploration, with stories of survival among my favorites.  Startup entrepreneurs can often be compared to these survivors, helping to get their businesses through whatever hazards that get in their way.  I pulled the below list of survival stories from my collection for your reading enjoyment, for any of you startups that may be staring over the edge of the abyss and need some additional inspiration to help weather the storm.


"Endurance-Shackleton's Incredible Voyage" by Alfred Lansing.   After their ship is crushed in the ice in 1915, Ernest Shackleton and his crew survive over a year stranded in Antarctica, on ice and sea.
"The Worst Journey in the World" by Apsley Cherry Garrard.  A scientific expedition to Antarctica in 1910 goes distastrously wrong.
"Mawson's Will" by Lennard Bickel.  One of the most incredible solo journeys ever, as Douglas Mawson survives brutal conditions in mapping Antarctica's coastline in 1912.
"Four Against the Arctic" by David Roberts.  Russian sailors shipwrecked for six years at the top of the world in 1743.
"Two Years Amongst the Ice" by Otto Nordenskjold.  The first-hand account of survival of a Swedish expedition shipwrecked in the Antarctic Peninsula in 1901.
"Trial by Ice" by Richard Parry.  The true story of murder and survival on the 1871 Polaris expedition, in one of America's attempts to get to the North Pole.


"Conquest of Everest" by Sir John Hunt.  First-hand account of the successful first summit of Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953, by the expedition head.
"K2-The Savage Mountain" by Charles Houston.  A riveting read that chronicles the 1953 American attempt to summit K2, trapped in the death zone during a storm.
"Annapurna" by Maurice Herzog.  The first conquest of an 8,000 meter peak, Annapurna, and the survival story thereon in 1950.
"Alive" by Piers Paul Rand.  The survival story of the Uruguayan rugby team stranded for 10 weeks in the Andes high peaks after their plane crashes in 1972.
"Touching the Void" by Joe Simpson.  The true-story of one man's miraculous survival with a broken leg, after being left for dead in a cravasse when his partner "cuts the rope" after a fall in the Andes.
"Left for Dead" by Beck Weathers.  First-hand account of surviving the most deadly storm on Mount Everest in 1996, after being left for dead.


"Journal--1st Voyage to America" by Christopher Columbus.  The first-hand account of blindly leaving Europe in hopes of finding India in 1492.
"Adrift" by Steven Callahan.  First-hand account of being lost at sea for 76 days in an inflatable raft after his small ship capsizes.
"Five Against the Sea" by Ron Arias.  Stranded for 142 days at sea after a 29 foot raft runs into an unexpected storm off the coast of Costa Rica in 1988.
"Wreck of the Whaleship Essex" by Owen Chase.  The inspiration for Moby Dick, the first-hand account of surviving 90 days at sea after a whale attack on their ship in 1820.
"The White Headhunter" by Nigel Randell.  The story of a teenage Scots sailor who survived 2,000 miles adrift at sea, only to land on an island with headhunters in 1868.


"We Die Alone" by David Howarth.  A World War II epic of escape and endurance, detailing Jan Baalsrud's escape from Nazi-occupied arctic Norway.
"The Long Walk" by  Slavomir Rawicz.  A Polish army officer escapes from a German labor camp in Yakutsk in 1940, and travels across thousands of miles on foot to freedom in British India.
"No Picnic on Mount Keyna" by Felice Benuzzi.  Three Italian compratiots escape a British POW camp in East Africa in 1943, with the simple goal of summiting Mount Kenya.


"Sufferings in Africa" by James Riley.  The amazing true story of an Irish-American sailor enslaved in the deserts of North Africa, after being shipwrecked in 1815 off the coast of Morocco.
"The Man-Eaters of Tsavo" by John Henry Patterson.  Desert heat, fever-ridden jungles and man-eating lions cannot stop the British from laying 580 miles of train rails across East Africa.


"Undaunted Courage" by Stephen Ambrose.  The story of Lewis & Clark and their search for a waterway to the Pacific Ocean.
"Spirit of St. Louis" by Charles Lindbergh.  The first-hand story of the perilous first trans-Atlantic flight in a single engine plane by Charles Lindbergh in 1927.
"Lost Moon" by Jim Lovell.  The first-hand account of the perilous survival story of the crew of Apollo 13 which had to abort their mission to the moon.


"Survivors" by John Letterman.  Extraordinary collection of stories about human endurance, resourcefulness, courage and luck--in perilous circumstances and against greatest odds.

All of the above titles are linked to their matching page at for your convenience.  If you think I am missing any good stories, add them in the comments field below.  Happy reading!

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