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Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot Hardcover – June 5, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


"James Leininger's story is the most compelling evidence so far for reincarnation."
--T.J. MacGregor, Edgar-winning author of Running Time

"Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, you can't help being impressed by the compelling evidence in its favor from this story of James Leininger, an American child who has recurring memories of a past life as World War II fighter pilot, James Huston, who was killed in the battle for Iwo Jima. Soul Survivor is a fascinating read; highly recommended." --Phyllis Vega author of What Your Birthday Reveals About You and Lovestrology

"Soul Survivor describes the case of James Leininger, a spectacular example of the phenomenon of young children who seem to remember previous lives. We are fortunate that one of our guides for the story is James' father Bruce, who approaches the situation with a critical attitude. His insistence on doubting each piece of information until it can be verified makes the eventual conclusion that James's parents reach--that he is indeed remembering the life of a deceased World War II pilot--well-earned. Anyone interested in the possibility of past-life memories, or anyone who thinks it can be easily dismissed, needs to read this book. " --Jim B. Tucker, M.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia and author of Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children's Memories of Previous Lives

"I believe with all my heart that James is James again. His story is riveting. I am sure this book will cause readers to see the truth: That we do come back here again, so we should make the most of the chances we have this time around." --Concetta Bertoldi, author of the New York Times bestseller Do Dead People Watch You in the Shower?

About the Author

Bruce and Andrea Leininger, James' parents, live in Louisiana with their son James, who is now nine years old.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition edition (June 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446509337
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446509336
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (362 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

150 of 160 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Writing about reincarnation brings the skeptics out of the woodwork and many people in Western culture say, "I don't believe". The Judeo-Christian ethic does not believe in coming back in the form of another person. Bruce Leininger, a Human Relations executive, and his wife, discussed their two-year-old son James' nightmares and bizarre conduct. Soul Survivor, will be released in June 2009 dispelling some of the doubts that Bruce had about the phenomenal behavior of his son. Ken Gross provides a great assist in conveying their story.

Since their son was a lot different than most two-year-olds, Bruce and Andrea Leininger sought the help of Carol Bowman, renowned author, who wrote books about vivid past lives of her children. The Leininger's needed a better way to contend with the mysterious recollections by their son with his screaming in the night as his plane dove into the ocean in flames. "Little man" James would describe his life as a fighter pilot and how he died when he was unable to get out of the cockpit of his Corsair, which had been hit by enemy aircraft in the battle for Iwo Jima.

Bruce and Andrea were unable to rationalize James' behavior. They could not explain his vast knowledge of airplanes, crew members, or recollection of actual events which had taken place during the life of James M. Huston Jr. At the age of four, James was able to name crew members who had died before him and states he met them in heaven before his birth as James Leininger. "He was a four-year-old, and he was saying things that made his parent's skin crawl," according to Ken Gross.

Bruce became a first-rate detective in the ensuing years, uncovering actual people who swore that his son James III was indeed James Jr. after many years had gone by.
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99 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Leafpeeper on June 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed Carol Bowman's books in the past so this was a natural for me when I saw the Leiningers interviewed on GMA about their son's past life memories. The Leiningers do not present a very sympathetic picture in the beginning of the book - shallow corporate power couple, obsessed with perfection, frantic over their son's acceptance to the "right" kindergarten making their gradual forced conversion to belief in reincarnation more powerful. I especially loved the last chapters where Bruce is underemployed and begins really opening his heart to the elderly WWII pilots and surviving family members; it shows real growth from the absentee father who had been working 12-hour days to the man who cherishs every minute spent with the crew of the Natoma Bay. Therein lies the rub: 50% of the book is spent viewing the life of the Leiningers pre-conversion, as average American consumers - decorating house, attending cookouts, choosing wall paper and wall colors. Only the last two chapters document James meeting his Natoma crew mates, recognizing them instantly by voice, meeting his sister Anna and knowing intensely personal details of her girlhood, and meeting airplane pilots who recognize him as a trained professional. These astonishing meetings are given barely one sentence each while whole pages earlier in the book are devoted to Andrea's housecleaning regimes. The writers state that James was the star of the Natoma crew reunion, but no details are given. It feels like they ran out of room at the end of the book, but rather than edit the first chapters they shoehorned all the really interesting material into the last two chapters failing to detail conversations or meetings. Maybe they are saving that for a sequel?Read more ›
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75 of 83 people found the following review helpful By B. Scoggin on June 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, this story is extremely meaningful. Bruce Leininger's research uncovered the stories of the 21 men who died while serving our country off of the escort carrier USS Natoma Bay during WWII. The military records had been classified for over 60 years until Mr. Leininger uncovered them in order to disprove the information revealed in his son's nightmares. The accounts of these mens deaths had never been published.The surviving family members were unaware of how their loved ones had died until the records were sent to them by Mr. Leininger. If this story is compelling for no other reason, the painstaking research and discovery of military records that brought peace and closure to the surviving families who still grieved for their loved ones generations later is a monumental accomplishment.

Mr. Leininger stated that researching the details of how fighter pilot, James M. Huston, Jr., died and reconciling them with his son's night terrors was "a clash of faith vs. fact". His journey led him from trying to disprove the information to slowly substantiating it as a true historical account. The evidence is overwhelming. Whether you are a believer or a non-believer, this story is about a renewal and acceptance of faith. It made Mr. Leininger re-examine his own belief system and, ultimately made him believe even stronger in what God promises to all of us....that of our soul's eternal life.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Rev. Ben Cox on June 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have just finished a Master's Thesis on Mediumship and Evidence of Survival. It included a chapter on reincarnation. I was forced, by my research, to look at all sides of the question and to become quite critical and quite skeptical. I looked at many cases studied by Dr. Ian Stevenson in India. I also looked at a case that came up under hypnosis in America and had my doubts. I then looked at Jenny Cockell's case ACROSS TIME AND DEATH, and came away disturbed by some elements in her story that really discredited her. I then came across this book and applied the same criticisms to this story that I had applied elsewhere. I read one reviewer's remark that the child said very little in the TV interview, whereas his parent did most of the talking. So, needless to say I was on my guard! I came away from this book convinced that here we have an authentic "early bird" case; that is, a case where the young child, around age two, remembers and verbalizes past life details. I found that here, the father was EXTREMELY skeptical, and fought the idea of reincarnation to the bitter end. The book is extremely well written and builds the case step by step to what I felt was a rather emotional ending. This story deserves to be read, by believers and unbelievers alike, to increase our awareness, that no matter what our religious faith, there is more to life and its continuance than we know.
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