The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life
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Which is the safest seat on an airplane? Where is the best place to have a heart attack? Why does religious observance add years to your life? How can birthdays be hazardous to your health?
THE SURVIVORS CLUB
Each second of the day, someone in America faces a crisis, whether it's a car accident, violent crime, serious illness, or financial trouble. Given the inevitability of adversity, we all wonder: Who beats the odds and who surrenders? Why do some people bound back and others give up? How can I become the kind of person who survives and thrives?
The fascinating, hopeful answers to these questions are found in THE SURVIVORS CLUB. In the tradition of Freakonomics and The Tipping Point, this book reveals the hidden side of survival by combining astonishing true stories, gripping scientific research, and the author's adventures inside the U.S. military's elite survival schools and the government's airplane crash evacuation course.
With THE SURVIVORS CLUB, you can alsodiscover your own Survivor IQ through a powerful Internet-based test called the Survivor Profiler. Developed exclusively for this book, the test analyzes your personality and generates a customized report on your top survivor strengths.
There is no escaping life's inevitable struggles. But THE SURVIVORS CLUB can give you an edge when adversity strikes.
Interesting spin I found this book written in an interesting manner. The stories were real, rare, and honest. I think he did a good job taking all the different thoughts and theories on surviving explaining them and condensing them into this book. ...more info
Can't Stop Talking About This Book People become statues in an emergency and don't think it can happen to them. This book proves bad things can happen to good people and the interviews with survivors are spectacular.
I have learned how to fly safely and what to do if I get lost in the woods.
I was amazed at how wearing the right pair of shoes can change outcomes.
You will learn 10 ways to be resilient.
Fascinating topics are the smell of fear, mind triumphing over body and will to live studies.
I've always thought what you named your child was the most important decision in your life. He cites a fascinating study on monograms and whether they are a source of pride or self esteem or suicide and accidents.
This book is an absolute must; you won't be able to stop talking to others about it.
Not for the faint of heart This is a great book! If you know someone who is always finding the "worst case scenario", this is the perfect gift! However, it is not for the faint of heart - some of the events described are amazingly horrific! But the conclusions he draws from studying how people respond to crises and the unexpected events they faced could be life-changing. The one that sticks with me personally, having lived in NYC, is how many people in London continued to walk down the stairs to the subway even though smoke was pouring up out of the opening! They walked straight to their deaths because they were desensitized by their routines. Amazing! A must read....more info
I loved this book! This book gives an interesting look in different survivor situations. It is not all statistics. I kept a notebook nearby just to write down some of the useful information. From now on I count my rows to the exit on the airplane. ...more info
Run--do not walk--to your wallet or library card and get this book! I read this book in less than 24 hours because I couldn't put it down! It spoke to me on so many levels; fascinating stories, esoteric information which may save your life (or make you a hit at the next cocktail party) and vivid examples of everyday people faced with horrendous circumstances who, not only survive, but thrive, afterwards. Not your usual "little guy wins over incredible odds" stories. You will never look at your surroundings the same way after reading The Survivors Club. Cool website, too--you can take a free profile test to see what kind of survivor you are. I will be talking about this book for a very long time....more info
The Survivors Club review The book is much more than an account of how to survive trials. I found it extremely spiritual and insightful in explaining "why" some survive and others don't. The book makes one think about being deliberate in our struggle for survival. This includes being a caretaker of a loved one or a disaster of insurmountable odds. ...more info
Life lessons Here's a club everyone wants to be a member of. It's probably human nature to wonder if you have what it takes to survive in a crisis. This thought-provoking book not only profiles dozens and dozens of people who have done just that, it also gives you a way to grade yourself on your likely survivorship, and tips on how to raise your score. You even learn which seats on an airplane are the safest (be near an exit, and forget about that window seat).
The three rules of the Survivors Club, according to author Ben Sherwood, are that everyone is a survivor, one person's crisis can't be compared to another's, and people are stronger than they know. Attitude has a lot to do with it. If you see yourself as a survivor, you'll likely be one.
You learn many of the reasons why people do not survive. One is called the Incredulity Response -- people simply don't believe what they are seeing. Two gripping stories bring this idea to life. In the first, a car-ferry sinking in the Baltic Sea, many victims didn't move or try to get out of the sinking ship, but were rather "frozen to the spot" looking like "marble statues, pale and immoveable." 852 passengers died. In the second story, a fire in London's Underground train station killed 31 people, with many commuters marching "right into the disaster, almost oblivious to the crush of people -- some actually in flames -- who were trying to escape."
"Brainlock" is another reason some people in crisis die. They respond to the shock of the situation by forgetting to think. "Under stress... people often display memory problems. They seem to forget what they're supposed to do." This isn't good if you're skydiving. As Sherwood puts it, "panic is the archenemy of survival."
The final section of the book is devoted to helping you understand your own survivor potential, with quizzes to take and a website to visit.
Reading this book will make you think about how you live your life, and ways to ensure you can keep on living. It's fascinating.
Here's the chapter list:
Prologue: Brace for Impact
Introduction: The Survivors Club
Part 1: What It Takes to Survive
1. A Knitting Needle Through the Heart: The Three Rules of the Survivors Club
2. The Statues in the Storm: Why So Many People Die When They Shouldn't
3. Ninety Seconds to Save Your Life: The Wrong (and Right) Things to Do in a Plane Crash
4. The Organ Recital: Who Lives and Dies in the ER
5. The Supersonic Man: How Much of Life (and Death) Do You Really Control?
6. Rescued from the Lion's Jaws: Prayer, Miracles, and the Power of Faith
7. The Dancer and the Angel of Death: How Did Anyone Survive the Holocaust?
8. The Science of Luck: Why Good Things Always Happen to the Same People
9. Hug the Monster: How Fear Can Save Your Life
10. Too Mean to Die: Does the Will to Live Make Any Difference
11. The Resilience Gene: Who Bounces Back and Who Doesn't
12. What Does Not Kill Me: Why Adversity is Good for You
Part 2: Are You a Survivor?
13. The Survivor Profiler: Discovering Your Survivor Personality
14. Your Survivor IQ: What Type of Survivor Are You?
15. Your Survivor Tool Kit: What Are Your Top Three Strengths
Afterword / How to Eat an Elephant: The Lessons of the Survivors Club
Appendix A / The Science of Falling Cats (and Babies)
Appendix B / The Arithmetic of Dying Too Soon...more info
A GREAT READ A book worth turning the pages. Not only is this a great read, but the stories are about real survivors. Everyday people like you and me, which shows us that being a survivor goes beyound just sheer luck,
Well worth your money and the time to read....more info
Misleading Subtitle This book is little more than a string of feel-good anecdotes that are occasionally, but rarely, stitched together with a little science. More often than not, faith in god and miracles is given precedence over information gleaned from scientific research.
Sherwood candidly admits his own belief that many survivors' tales are the result of godly intervention, and he offers up page after page of anecdotal evidence for this assertion. But when it comes time to deal with the science of survival, Sherwood is quite dismissive of facts that undermine his beliefs. He will admit, for instance, that peer-reviewed, double-blind studies have found no evidence that prayer affects the recovery of hospital patients, but he does so in a single sentence at the end of a half a dozen anecdotal tales attesting to effectiveness of prayer. And even then he downplays the significance of the studies by saying only that they "seem" to show that prayer has no effect.
Sherwood also demonstrates that he doesn't understand statistics. On p.134 he tries to prove that faith in god is a key factor in survival by stating that as many as 75 or 80% of catastrophe survivors cite a higher power as a reason for their survival. He seems naively unaware that at least 75 or 80% of all human beings believe in a god that takes a hand in their daily lives. His statistic, therefore, proves the opposite of what he intends. Survivors are, in fact, no more likely than any other randomly selected group of people to cite god as a reason for their survival.
My advice to Mr. Sherwood is that he remove the word "science" from the subtitle of his book. My advice to readers seeking reliable information on survival is to skip The Survivor's Club and read either Deep Survival by Lawrence Gonzalez or The Unthinkable by Amanda Ripley. Both are excellent....more info
A little deceptive Well written, but too much religious emphasis. Supposed to be an analysis of the reasons that survivors make it thru an ordeal and what the reader can do to improve his/her odds of doing the same. Amazing survival stories are sometimes attibuted to "the Lord" or to prayer. Come on....more info
Awesome book The Survivor's Club is fun and exciting read, with a message. Keeping your eyes peeled and being ready is half the battle. I even used some of the principles of this book to be smart and to keep safe after an accident--right in line with my survivor profile. This book, and the website and the quiz are really great, and truly fascinating. Thanks for doing this, Ben!!!...more info
Interesting & accurate The majority of The Survivors Club features case studies of survivors, statistics and scientific data, and practical advice. It had the potential to feel very dry, but the case studies helped to keep the book moving along. The ones I found particularly fascinating were the woman who ended up with a knitting needle in her heart, the woman who lost most of her skin when someone threw acid from a freeway overpass, the ballerina who danced for her life during the Holocaust, and the Central Park Jogger. The second portion of the book is about your specific survivor type. The book will give you a code & url to take the long Survivor Type quiz. I took it, and I am a Connector. The last portion of the book features information and specific cases for each of the five types (Connector, Realist, Thinker, Fighter, Believer). The Survivors Club was an interesting and informative read....more info
Live Longer! In America, life expectancy is 78.14 years. If you would like to live longer, read this compelling self-help book. It's loaded with detailed research material and anecdotal tips on surviving--what to do when: being impaled with a foreign object, finding yourself lost in the woods, experiencing an airplane crash, having a heart attack, or making a trip to the ER.
Many topics are covered with proof that they help people live: the power of prayer, managing fear, the will to live, and having good genes. Adversity can work to make people appreciate life and have a better perspective. Daily joy can be experienced after a traumatic episode.
Offered are such informative chapters as: The Survivor Profile, Your Survivor IQ, and Your Survivor Tool Kit. I suggest using this volume as a resource tool. Though it is interesting enough to be read straight through, I want to keep it around to refer to often....more info
Nothing new here. This book is pretty much what you would expect from a journalist who thought up an interesting topic, did a quick cursory review of a few studies, and wrote it up as if his resulting speculations had any significance. To take just one example, consider his analysis of whether prayer has any effect. He cites one tiny, poorly designed study that says it does, then cites a huge, well-designed study that says it does not, and throws up his hands and says the studies disagree, so who knows? I suppose one could attribute his total lack of understanding regarding how to evaluate research to the fact that he is simply a writer with no background or training in statistics, research, or science. After his cursory, brief, and totally inadequate look at the facts, he spends pages describing the beliefs of people who "don't need science, because they just know prayer works" (p. 150). He says the faithful don't require empirical evidence. In other words, don't confuse me with the facts. If prayer really worked, why would anyone need medical attention? If these supposed "believers" really believe in the power of prayer, why do they also do all they can to get medical attention? And yet the author of this book decides to join the know-nothings and pray more. So his advice if you are in a plane crash, etc. is that you should pray. If that's the best advice the author can come up with, god help us all....more info
The Survivors Club book review Fascinating book. Heard the author on a National Public Radio program and was intrigued to get/read his book. I am a career military veteran (fighter pilot) with significant survival training and found this book: (1) an easy read; (2) compelling in its practical lessons to be learned; (3) a primer for anyone about to take an airplane flight, an extended drive, or finds oneself in the Emergency Room (victim or family member). Though many anecdotes of the author's research deal with severe physical tragedies many experienced and survived, the mental aspects of survival are not to be overlooked. When this book is read from that perspective, the chapters are instructive to develop mental plans for potential future shocks which inevitably will come in life, professionally and personally. This is a quality book and well worth the read--highly recommended....more info
Few rewards Contains some interesting anecdotes, but no revelations and very little science. What it boils down to is faith in god, blind luck, and it helps (in some cases) to be a male. Getting to know the survivors and what they went through is the only real reward here....more info
Chapter Six Almost Ruins This Book Sherwood has written a decent book but the chapter on prayer and faith left me cold. As another reviewer has pointed out, the author gives lip service to studies that show that faith and prayer have no effect whatsoever on survival situations but then goes on to quote believers right and left. And then includes two examples of rank superstition...sacred dirt from New Mexico and a snowmobile God helmet with magnets inside(Don't ask). I was ready to throw the book out the window after Chapter Six.
The book has nothing about faith and prayer on the cover...and the subtitle reads "The Secrets and Science that could save your life." Sherwood leaves "Science" behind in all of Chapter Six and most of Chapter Seven.
But overall "The Survivors Club" is a thought provoking book with some handy tips. (I would give it two and a half stars)...more info
The Survivor's Club Excellant book -- really helps in understanding the mindset of some of the victims we've run across in Search and Rescue...more info
Interesting book. Some good information. Overall this is a pretty good book. While I enjoyed it, there is not as much "science" as you would think. I also think the author could have presented a greater variety of life threatening survival scenarios. This will be a good book to reference occasionally to refresh the memory of all of the "tips". ...more info
A Good Read I found myself reading this book as my son and I flew to California last month. The section on flying was extremely pertinent and also comical as my son and I bent into pretzel-like positions to try and locate his life vest under his seat. We had chosen to sit in the exit row (safest) and we eyed our fellow passengers in the row to determine if they really would be capable of helping others out in an emergency. The book covers many other scenarios and is a compelling and possibly life-saving read. You'll like it....more info
The Survivor's Club There's something for everyone. Info and ways of thinking that could come in handy....more info
Life Saver When I heard about this book I immediately ordered it. I wa not dissapointed in its contents. The Survivors Club gave insight on what can happen in the blink of an eye. I do alot of travelling, though I do pay attention to the tv screen on the safety features of the plane, I never read the card, somethiing I will difinetely do now. I will also be more aware of what's around me. The Surviors Club is a must read book....more info
THE BEST CLUB TO BE IN Most of us have often read a news story and thought , "How in the world did he do it?" How did someone survive an almost fatal accident? How could someone pick herself back up after a devastating emotional blow and not only go on living but do so happily, creatively? The best name for those who overcome apparently unsurmountable obstacles is survivors, and this book is full of their stories as well as advice on how we can overcome if , or better said when the need arises.
A former executive producer of ABC's Good Morning America and the author of two novels, Ben Sherwood explains that there are two questions at the heart of his book, "(1) What does it really take to survive? And (2) What kind of survivor are you?" Few amongst us do not want to know the answers to those questions.
Try to imagine the worst possible scenario - would it be "a woman doused with gasoline and set on fire by her husband"? How about being run over by a 21 ton truck or living through the attack on Pearl Harbor? " Sherwood has interviewed hundreds who not only endured crises but triumphed over them. There is much to learn from survivors who tell us what they wish they had known before they looked in the face of death.
The author shares some very simple things that we can do to increase our years, such as choosing the safest seat in an airplane, the best place to have a heart attack, and realizing why birthdays and holidays are as beneficial as we'd like to think. Personally, I wanted to learn the secrets of the French woman who smoked cigarettes and ate chocolate every day yet lived to the estimable age of 122.
Also included in the book is an access code to an Internet based Survivor Profile Test. It takes about 15 minutes, and you may be surprised at what you learn about yourself.
While many of us don't consider ourselves joiners there is one group we'd all like to be in and that's The Survivors Club.
A fascinating book that kept me interested throughout This book is just amazing to read. From the opening pages I was hooked. It's well-written and offers great insight into the topic of why some people are survivors in a myriad of situations while others are not.
We humans often think that fate determines the outcome, but as this book illustrates, it is quite possible our own situational awareness of a scenario can provide the crucial difference as to whether we survive or not. In other words, you can learn to be a survivor and this is a great revelation.
I loved reading this book and also enjoyed taking the online quiz that indicates your survivor rating....more info
Read This Book if You Want to Live If you plan to live forever, like I do, you must read The Survivors Club. While the book does not impart the secret to immortality, it does tell you who survives and who doesn't in life-threatening situations, and what you can do to make it more likely you are one of the "lucky" ones. In fact, this book also demystifies luck and explores the element of faith in survival as well. If you're looking for a fun, interesting read with tips on how to get out of some of life's major jams, you have to check out this book. Read it now, BEFORE you need it!...more info
Very Helpful content Learning about survival techniques is even more important in these trying times. History doesn't repeat but it rhymes; I've been busy rhyming lately.
We must dumpster dive at McDonald's or to glean our own produce in the Central Valley. Can we find meat that doesn't cause us to bloat from the additives that the U.S. government allows to be injected to help producers make more money.
Moving back to the farm is not too practical these days. Thanks for the Club and the book. It came quickly and in good shape. Regards...more info
Very good book, informative
I read the book in a very short period of time. It is very well-written and very informative. It gives a thorough insight in the psychology of any human being, be it a survivor or not. It will help anyone understand his strenght and weakness and thereby try to improve his/her life.
The test at the end of the book is very helpful. Every one should take it. For me, it turned out that I am a believer. I am and was a believer all my life but this test came to assure me about my style and approach in life....more info
OUTSTANDING BOOK Outstanding Book. Extremely well researched and very indepth. Captivating and very hard to put down once you start. If Ben has other books I would buy them in a heart beat. Worth every penny. Bought the Audio version and even his naration is fantastic. You will not be disappointed in this book....more info
The Survivor's Club Fascinating book on why some live and some die in extreme situations. Author provides in-depth research, interesting anecdotes. Back of book has a survivor's profile quiz, kind of a New Age annoyance found in books everywhere nowadays but rest of book is endlessly interesting....more info
Life Lessons Wonderful book! Choc full of valuable information and amazing true stories of survival. A fun (if not, at time, scary) read. I'm recommending it to everyone I meet....more info
RICK "SHAQ" GOLDSTEIN SAYS: "I AM A MEMBER OF THE SURVIVOR'S CLUB... AND THIS BOOK HITS HOME!" I almost died during brain tumor surgery on February 13, 2003... and as of the writing of this review... I am not only eleven days from the six-year-anniversary of my blessed... yet near tragic event... but I am also two days away from my now yearly (originally it was twice a year) brain MRI... to make sure the tumor isn't coming back. So it is not from a balcony seat... that I review the subject matter of this book... I am absolutely in the front row! When I started to read this book... I approached it from two different viewpoints... one was with great enthusiasm... since no one on this earth that knows me... would not agree that I am a member of the Survivors Club... because as I say every day of my blessed life... I "AM" a brain tumor SURVIVOR... and EVERY DAY IS A GIFT...there are even some people who have called me the miracle man... so the first viewpoint is... did the author get it right? Since my surgery...I've tried to help anyone facing what I did... with my personal experience... in retrospect... I would have given anything... to have had someone share their experience with me... before my surgery. So I did not want this author to tell readers something that was not accurate. The second viewpoint I approached this book with... was... curiosity... was it just my unique makeup as a lifetime "fighter"... that made me attack the "hand" that life dealt me... or did other people react similarly?
The author details all different types of personalities and character traits... ranging from "fighters" to "believers" to "connectors" to "thinkers" to "realists"... and combinations of multiple types. There are people who won't face reality... people who give up to booze... drugs... suicide. This book covers a gamut that's hard to fathom... from a mother who falls on a knitting needle and pierces her heart... a man who falls off a pleasure cruise ship into the dark ocean... prisoners of war... a woman attacked at random with acid... a jet pilot crashing... a suicide jumper off the Golden Gate Bridge... passenger plane crashes... and more.
One thing the author himself learned was... how important prayer... faith... and belief is... and he said: "WHAT I LEARNED DEFINITELY INFLUENCED MY LIFE: I'M MORE FOCUSED ON SEEING THE WORLD THROUGH A SACRED LENS; I'M MORE ENGAGED IN MY RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY; AND I FIND MYSELF PRAYING MORE OFTEN. WHILE I STILL HAVE PLENTY OF DOUBTS, I AM ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN OF THIS: FAITH IS THE MOST UNIVERSAL SURVIVAL TOOL, IF NOT THE MOST POWERFUL." He also summarized about the survivor's he met by saying: "THEY DON'T REQUIRE EMPIRICAL PROOF FOR THE POWER OF G-D. THEY JUST *BELIEVE*. AND THAT ALONE GIVES THEM STRENGTH TO OVERCOME AND TRANSCEND ANY ADVERSITY."
Let me share with you my belief. I always had faith that there was a G-d... but I don't believe you sell religion door to door. If someone comes to me about my faith... I share it. My family doctor... who found my tumor had been my family doctor for eighteen years... and religion was never mentioned. When he called me in to tell me I had a large tumor and needed surgery very quickly... he asked me if I believed in prayer... I said yes... he said do you mind if I pray for you? I said I don't mind... he held my hand and prayed to the Lord for my recovery. I was sent to a neurosurgeon... and he said he couldn't operate on me. He said he couldn't tell if the tumor was "leaning" against my brain... or growing out of my brain. He said there's only one Doctor that he knew of that could possibly do the surgery... and he had no idea if he would take me... since he was the head of UCSF neurosurgery... and gave speeches all over the country... he would simply call and leave him a message. I waited an excruciating two weeks... before I got an appointment to see the Doctor... he said I needed the surgery quickly... and he would do it. Weeks later I was told by my son... that my four hour surgery... took over eight hours... the Doctor told him that when they removed the tumor... there was a "stump" under it... that wasn't visible in any of the MRI's... and when they removed that... there was massive bleeding in the brain. I knew none of this until three weeks later. I then went to my family doctor to thank him for his prayers... and when I told him what I had just learned... he said... I know... I'm friends with one of the doctors who assisted... and he said if you would have had any other doctor... but the one you had... you would have died!
This is a captivating book... it only loses traction a few times... such as when it goes into "positive" and "negative" initials... having an effect on your longevity. As an example if you have initials such as: PIG FAT RAT BUM... you'll have a shorter life... than if you have initials like ACE WIN WOW VIP. But putting that aside... this is an informative... and inspirational book.
P.S. Perhaps the most heartfelt... emotional... part of the book to me... is when the author describes that person that we survivor's have to have in our life... to lean on... to count on... to cry with... or we never could have made it... that person in my life... was my then twenty-two-year-old son Justin. The author gives them the title of **CO-SURVIVOR**... and that is the most earned... disserved... hallowed... title... imaginable! I don't think I'd be in the Survivor's Club... if it wasn't for my son!
Food for thought! Interesting and thought provoking... I enjoyed this and so did my 14-year old-son. May we all live long and prosper, thanks to Sherwood's research and motivational observations....more info