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Publisher's Summary

On the 75th anniversary, the authors of Pulitzer Prize finalist The Eleventh Day unravel the mysteries of Pearl Harbor to expose the scapegoating of the admiral who was in command the day 2,000 Americans died, report on the continuing struggle to restore his lost honor - and clear President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the charge that he knew the attack was coming.

The Japanese onslaught on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, devastated Americans and precipitated entry into World War II. In the aftermath, Admiral Husband Kimmel, commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, was relieved of command, accused of negligence and dereliction of duty, and publicly disgraced.

But the admiral defended his actions through eight investigations and for the rest of his long life. The evidence against him was less than solid. High military and political officials had failed to provide Kimmel and his army counterpart with vital intelligence. Later, to hide the biggest US intelligence secret of the day, they covered it up.

Following the admiral's death, his sons - both navy veterans - fought on to clear his name. Now that they in turn are dead, Kimmel's grandsons continue the struggle. For them 2016 is a pivotal year.

With unprecedented access to documents, diaries, and letters and the family's cooperation, Summers and Swan's search for the truth has taken them far beyond the Kimmel story - to explore claims of duplicity and betrayal in high places in Washington.

A Matter of Honor is a provocative story of politics and war, of a man willing to sacrifice himself for his country only to be sacrificed himself. Revelatory and definitive, it is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of this pivotal event.

©2016 Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great information, Reads like a textbook.

A Matter of Honor, is a story that needs to be told, every American should know the truth about Adm. Kimmel and how unfairly he was treated after Pearl Harbor. The book is filled with facts and citations of various eye witness statements that make the book have a very textbook feel.

I don't know how else the authors could have gotten all the information out to the public but it is not a very entertaining book because it is not really a story. It is more of a research paper.

I think the authors did an excellent job of dispelling some of the more common conspiracy theories that exist about Pearl Harbor and Roosevelt and stuck to the facts of the case as they pertain to Kimmel.

Anyone who reads this book will have no doubt that Kimmel was treated unfairly and deserved better. And still does deserve better.

A lot of mistakes were made leading up to the surprise attack but they were not all Kimmel's fault and he should not continue to shoulder the blame as he has for the last 75 years. A Matter of Honor will convince even the most ardent skeptic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Well researched

This book tells a valuable story that is thought provoking. The authors carefully go through the facts in a logical manner building to the dreadful day of December 7, 1941. I highly recommend it. Also, the narrator, Malcolm Hillgartner truly brought the story to life!

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Interesting recent account

A worthwhile listen for someone interested in Pearl Harbor history. One aspect I found entirely lacking was not a hint of Toland's book "Infamy." Toland's works are masterpieces and, at the very least, this author should have acknowledged his contribution and probably should either have supported or refuted it. Wish I could ask the author about this glaring oversight of which he simply must be aware.

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Outstanding!

This is an extremely well researched, objective and honest work. It is also beautifully read. I cannot recommend it highly enough!

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Justice

The story is very much as the title suggests, "A family's Quest for Justice". Although the Admiral's name has been largely cleared, there is still a movement to get further exoneration. The book is an excellent defense of the injustice done to Admiral Kimmel and I would certainly agree that he was made a scapegoat after a brilliant career. A central theme is that the "Magic encryptions" if sent to General Short and Admiral Kimmel would of "changed history" is compelling and worth the read. It also touches on the skuttlebutt that President Roosevelt was involved in a conspiracy. Both sides are presented, including a quote from Harry Truman during the Post-war investigations that, "The country was just not ready". Would the last minute warnings have made that much difference for a military who's mindset was that the Japanese just wouldn't do it? Let you be the judge. Highly recommended.

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  • Tracy
  • ALPINE, CA, United States
  • 08-14-17

loved every word !

A real eye opener. A part of history rarely spoken of. Fantastic companion to other historical texts.

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AWESOME

This is a subject, which needs to be addressed and clarified. Well thought out and easy to follow.

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Black & White

Many of us are content with thinking things are black and white, right or wrong, one way or the other. It makes it easier for us. But this telling of the Pearl Harbor story challenges us to admit there are many sides of the same story; it really does depend on who controls the narrative. Challenge yourself; read this story and see if you're not left with a new view.