In his years as a professional ice-skater, Olympic Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton learned to embrace the mind-set of working hard to “beat” the competition. But it seems competition has gotten a bad rap these days. We’ve bought into the belief that it is unfair to participants to rank performance. Yet competition is in fact a good thing because it’s about working toward excellence.
Finish First is a wake-up call for business leaders, entrepreneurs, spouses, parents, and even students to stop settling for mediocre and begin to revitalize their intrinsic will to achieve excellence and go for the win. Most of us feel we were made for something more, but we’re often afraid to allow ourselves to be competitive because we think our finishing first might somehow rob others of their chance to shine. This book encourages the hidden potential, the champion within all of us, to come out—which eventually brings our family, marriage, career, business, and the world around us the greatest possible good.
For the first four months of 1942, U.S., Filipino, and Japanese soldiers fought what was America's first major land battle of World War II, the battle for the tiny Philippine peninsula of Bataan. It ended with the surrender of 76,000 Filipinos and Americans, the single largest defeat in American military history.
The defeat, though, was only the beginning, as Michael and Elizabeth M. Norman make dramatically clear in this powerfully original book. From then until the Japanese surrendered in August 1945, the prisoners of war suffered an ordeal of unparalleled cruelty and savagery: forty-one months of captivity, starvation rations, dehydration, hard labor, deadly disease, and torture—far from the machinations of General Douglas MacArthur.
The Normans bring to the story remarkable feats of reportage and literary empathy. Their protagonist, Ben Steele, is a figure out of Hemingway: a young cowboy turned sketch artist from Montana who joined the army to see the world. Juxtaposed against Steele's story and the sobering tale of the Death March and its aftermath is the story of a number of Japanese soldiers.