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He contacted her via e-mail, and correspondence soon became collaboration. This launched a seven-year journey for Fretwell and Kiland, crisscrossing the country interviewing former Hanoi Hilton POWs, psychologists, Navy SEALs, and even a Vietnam-era military intelligence analyst, all to answer the question: Why are so many of those that were imprisoned, abused, and tortured in the North Vietnamese prison camp so resilient and successful in subsequent years?
All evidence seemed to point to Stockdale, a Navy pilot who was shot down and imprisoned at the Hanoi Hilton in — and would later rise to the rank of Vice Admiral as one of the most highly decorated officers in Naval history, and would be chosen as a vice presidential candidate by Ross Perot in As the ranking officer at the Hanoi Hilton, Stockdale assumed a leadership role among the prisoners. Unlike the military tradition where "name, rank, and service number" was drilled into the minds of members of the armed forces as the only information they could give if captured, Stockdale promoted a culture, rooted in the teachings of Stoic philosophers, where every POW took personal responsibility for their own behavior and choices and that even in failure, there was a path back if one is willing to learn from the experience and make it useful to the group as a whole.
As the title of the book suggests, Fretwell and Kiland identified six distinctive characteristics within the culture of Hanoi Hilton POWs that strengthened them as a group, and enabled them to survive, and later thrive. Washington in the '60s Step back in time to this dramatic decade, when political and social forces transformed a sleepy southern town into a world-renowned city.
Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton: Six Characteristics of High-Performance Teams
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