Charms Candies: Background information when reading Lost in Shangri-La

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Lost in Shangri-La

A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II

by Mitchell Zuckoff

Lost in Shangri-La
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  • First Published:
    May 2011, 400 pages
    Apr 2012, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Megan Shaffer

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Charms Candies

It seems that Tootsie Roll Industries would have little to do with Mitchell Zuckoff's book Lost in Shangri-La. However, since acquiring the Charms Candy Company in 1988, this business has been the producer of Charms - the very food that provided the Gremlin Special's passengers with enough sustenance to survive in the jungle.

Charms candy "Breakfast was water and more Charms, still their only food on the third day after the crash," writes Zuckoff. "They separated the candies by color, eating the red ones until they tired of them, moving on to yellow, and so on."

The Charms Candy Company began producing Charms (their first product) in 1917. Due to the hardiness of the candy; its ability to withstand the elements; its light, small size; the burst of energy its sugar provided; and its colorful packaging, which was thought to boost the troops' morale; the sweet became a standard part of American soldiers' military issue around the start of World War II.

In the 1940s, the individually ...

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