I love your tiny little planet. I think I'll take it.
The depth of the story and information included. I also liked that the story was told from both sides, going into great detail about Japanese and American crewmen, captains and admirals.
I agree with another reviewer who stated that Ian Toll's earlier book, Six Frigates, was interesting, but that Pacific Crucible is amazingly good. I have read widely on the naval war in the Pacific and would rank this as one of the very best books on the topic ever. It is wonderfully researched, capturing both the historical influences affecting the decisions of the navies on both sides, as well as the lived experiences of the participants. Toll begins the work with an analysis of the impact of Captain Mahan's book, "The Influence of Sea Power on History". Also fascinating were his chapter on the cultural and ideological developments in Japan prior to the war, and his psychological portraits of Yamamoto and of Nimitz (each of whom deserves a full biography). I am not a fan of Grover Gardner generally, but he did an excellent job here.
My only complaint is an out-of-key note in the epilogue, where Toll uncritically cites a comment from Robert Sherwood, the playwright turned FDR speech writer, that World War II was widely unpopular with the US public. This is an extra-ordinary claim not borne out by the historical record, at least on its surface, made by a person promoting the reputation of FDR as the figure who held us all together. To accept such a statement without further research into its historical accuracy was a slip, in my opinion. It's the small portion that makes the whole work 99 and 44/100% excellent.
If you enjoy the naval histories of James Hornfischer, you'll love Pacific Crucible. It is a great book.
This is a great book. I knew little about the history of the Pacific Theater in World War Two and this is an excellent introduction. The author very skillfully weaves together the larger history of both sides with individual stories. The narrator is great. The battle scenes are riveting, as was the account of the initial bombing of Tokyo. This one was hard to put down.
I would recommend this book to a friend. Another good story about WWII. If you are interested in the war in the Pacific buy this book you won't be disappointed.
I really enjoyed this book and was disappointed when it came to an end after the battle of Midway. I would have listened to hours more if it covered more of the war and will probably listen to this again.
I was intrigued by the disparity between what actually happened and what knowledge the Japanese actually acted on after the Battle of the Coral Sea and how that played into an under estimation of the US ability leading up to the Battle of Midway. In addition, the ability of the US to break the Japanese codes and how that turned the tides in the US favor was very interesting. I didn't realize that the unsung heros of the Battle of Midway were the code breakers that set up the US forces to accomplish what they did.
Honestly, I don't usually take the time to read books right now, but I have plenty of time during commutes to listen to books. This story did not require acting or presenting various dialects. It required a serious tone as it was a serious set of circumstances. In that endeavor, this was a perfect presentation by the reader.
I rank this book highly
The sinking of the aircraft carrier Lexington
Gardner dramatizes some of the dry biographical sections
no extreme reaction
this is a good introduction to the events around Midway Isl in June 1942
It is hard to overstate the impact of the climatic few minutes during the Battle of Midway. When you think of how a nuclear war could end things in the blink of an eye, you tend to think of that as a recent idea--history changing that quickly. However, those few minutes in June 1942 were like any nuclear strike you might imagine today. Ian Toll does a good job of bringing the back story up to those moments and then letting the following days play out. If you are a history buff, this is a good listen. It's a long book if you are not a history nut, but if you can get through it, it will likely make you want to learn more. Grover Gardner is a good reason to listen to any book and he does his usual great job here.
Detailed & layered but not detailed in terms of battlefield tales. Which means not for a battlefield history enthusiast but good for a general history enthusiast who is interested in the war in the pacific You get rich back story and background --it reminds me of listening to the robert caro biographies for more than one reason
the Admirals..that was a good book..this is a superior book
i like gardner-i know some think he has a slight drone but i never find him dull and enjoy the gravelliness
well..its too long for that
Ian Toll does superb work with this history. The story of the U.S. Navy in the Pacific from Pearl Harbor to Midway is remarkable. These six months may be the Navy's best. Toll expertly weaves in back story and context, just when you want it. Toll's analysis of the facts struck me as completely authentic. And Grover Gardner does his consistently great narration on this book as well.
An excellent and entertaining read. I learned a lot about the early part of the war in the Pacific. And it was an exciting read. I love Gardner's performance but I see that not everybody does. Listen to the sample - his voice and delivery are distinctive - you decide. The writing is excellent, in my opinion. Lots of detail and interesting asides without slowing down the story. Mr. Toll, please write the next part!