Countdown to Pearl Harbor

Countdown to Pearl Harbor

The Twelve Days to the Attack

Book - 2016
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"A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter chronicles the 12 days leading up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, examining the miscommunications, clues, missteps and racist assumptions that may have been behind America's failure to safeguard against the tragedy,"--NoveList.
"In Washington, DC, in late November 1941, admirals composed the most ominous message in US Navy history to warn Hawaii of possible danger--but they wrote it too vaguely. They thought precautions were being taken, but never checked to be sure. ln a small office at Pearl Harbor, overlooking the battleships, the commander of the Pacific Fleet tried to assess whether the threat was real. His intelligence unit had lost track of Japan's biggest aircraft carriers, but assumed they were resting in a port far away. Besides, the admiral thought Pearl was too shallow for torpedoes; he hadn't even put up a barrier. As he fretted, a Japanese spy was counting the warships in the harbor and reporting to Tokyo. There were false assumptions and racist ones, misunderstandings, infighting, and ego clashes. Through remarkable characters and impeccable detail, Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Twomey shows how careless decisions and blinkered beliefs gave birth to colossal failure. But he tells the story with compassion and a wise understanding of why people--even smart, experienced, talented people--look down at their feet when they should be scanning the sky. The brilliance of Countdown to Pearl Harbor is in its elegant prose and taut focus, turning the lead-up to the most infamous day in American history into a ticking-time-bomb thriller. Never before has a story you thought you knew proven so impossible to put down."--Dust jacket.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2016
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781476776460
1476776466
9781476776484
1476776482
Branch Call Number: 940.5426 TWO
Characteristics: xiv, 365 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : maps, illustrations ; 24 cm

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memoral
May 08, 2017

Enjoyed the book. As always, military catastrophes can be attributed to missed signs, arrogance or luck.

t
tjdickey
Mar 27, 2017

Even though we all know how the ending of this story will turn out, the book reads like a thriller. Twomey gives us strong characters, a good sense for the maddening gaps in intelligence-gathering, the desperate measures taken to avoid capital-W War - as well as an astonishing amount of basic incompetence and failures due to simple human prejudice. Definitely a worthwhile and engaging read.

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