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Publisher's Summary

Published in time for the 75th anniversary, a gripping and definitive account of the event that changed 20th-century America - Pearl Harbor - based on years of research and new information uncovered by a New York Times best-selling author.

The America we live in today was born not on July 4, 1776, but on December 7, 1941, when almost 400 Japanese planes attacked the US Pacific Fleet, killing 2,400 men and sinking or damaging 16 ships. In Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness, Craig Nelson follows, moment by moment, the sailors, soldiers, pilots, admirals, generals, emperors, and presidents, all starting with a pre-polio assistant secretary of the navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, attending the laying of the keel of the USS Arizona at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, against the backdrop of the imperial, military, and civilian leaders of Japan lurching into ultranationalist fascism, all culminating in an insanely daring scheme to shock the Allies with a technologically revolutionary mission in one of the boldest military stories ever told - one with consequences that continue to echo in our lives today.

Besides the little-understood history of how and why Japan attacked America, we can hear the abandoned record player endlessly repeating "Sunrise Serenade" as the Japanese bombs hit the deck of the California; we feel terror as navy wives, helped by their Japanese maids, upturn couches for cover and hide with their children in caves from a rumored invasion; and we understand the mix of frustration and triumph as a lone American teenager shoots down a Japanese bomber. Backed by a research team's five years of efforts with archives and interviews, producing nearly a million pages of documents, as well as a thorough reexamination of the original evidence produced by federal investigators, this definitive history provides a blow-by-blow account from both the Japanese and American perspectives and is a historical drama on the greatest scale. Nelson delivers all the terror, chaos, violence, tragedy, and heroism of the attack in stunning detail and offers surprising conclusions about the tragedy's unforeseen and resonant consequences.

©2016 Craig Nelson (P)2016 Simon & Schuster

What members say

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Worst recording ever from audible

I have downloaded dozens of books from audible. Undoubtedly, this is the absolute worst recording I've ever listened too. Bad audio, glitches, varying speed. I deserve my money back on this one. I was interested in the subject matter or I never would have made it to the end. Terrible.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding!

Outstanding, even-handed account of Pearl Harbor. The author provides a detailed analysis of what went wrong at Pearl Harbor and does so in a fascinating, engaging way. The narrator is among the best there is.

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Amazing Research To A Story We All Thought We New

Many of the facts about the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor we already know or thought we did. Nelson brings new facts into what happened in the months leading up to Pearl Harbor and tells us a story in context of what really happened on that terrible Sunday. morning. The incompetence of the US Army and Navy leaders and the warnings they ignored will leave you angry. As always George Guidall does a great job with the narration.

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  • Blake
  • Annapolis, MD, United States
  • 02-28-17

Good Book Ruined by Horrible Narration and Quality

It's hard to get past the very bad narration and horrendous audio quality of this audio book, despite the well told story of the events leading to Pearl Harbor. I've listened to dozens of books and this is by far the worst audio quality I've even encountered. Listening to the first three quarters of the book the audio has so many audio edits and changes in volume and speed it is jarringly distracting. Couple this with the narrator's very odd voice inflections, especially his frequent accenting the last syllabic of words, the book is a very bumpy ride.

For whatever reason, the edits and speed changes abruptly normalize for the last quarter of the book, but by then the author is done with Pearl Harbor and takes a non-linear journey through battles following the Pearl Harbor attack.

If you're interested in the events leading to Pearl Harbor, this book has excellent information, particularly on the events taking place in Japan and the breaking of Japanese naval codes long before the Dec. 7, 1941 attack. But I would read and flip pages and not listen to this audio.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great book on old subject

I have a read many books on this subject, and this is one of my favorites.
The author brings new perspective to this much reviewed subject.

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Best book on Pearl Harbor I have ever read.

If you could sum up Pearl Harbor in three words, what would they be?

Hard copy worthy. Every so often I will purchase a hard copy of an audiobook that I had completed. As an amateur historian, I purchase the book for reference. I have a number of other books on Pearl Harbor and the War in the Pacific. This is one at the top of my list.

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Pearl Harbor

Excellent reading , so much good information. Didn't want to put it down. The details were great and inclusive of all the facts.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Nothing New Here

If you get this book hoping for previously undisclosed secrets, or or overlooked evidence of a momentous nature, you'll be very disappointed. This is just a lukewarm redo of a story told many times before.
George Guidall does an admirable job with rehashed information, but the story is so familiar that he can't do anything to assist and keep the listeners interested.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful