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Publisher's Summary

"A thrilling tale of the attack that marked America's darkest day." (W.E.B. Griffin) 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt's speech on December 8, 1941, lasted a mere six and half minutes. But his words and tone - in a monologue that would later be named the Infamy Speech - sent ripples into a nation and a world that continue even today. The historical implications that emerged from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor were unprecedented, launching America not only into the depths of a dangerous war, but forever altering the safety and comfort of everyday living. December 8th became a day of speaking out publicly and declaring war; of action, battle, plotting, and victories. This date's significance is resonant and profound as an indelible moment in American history. 

Fresh from their series on the American Civil War, best-selling authors Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen now launch a new epic adventure by applying their imaginations and knowledge to the "Date of Infamy" - the attack on Pearl Harbor. 

Pearl Harbor covers the full spectrum of characters and events from that historic moment, from national leaders and admirals to the views of ordinary citizens caught in the chaos of war. From the chambers of the Emperor of Japan to the American White House, from the decks of aircraft carriers to the playing fields of the Japanese Naval Academy, this powerful story stretches from the nightmare slaughter of China in the 1930s to the lonely office of Commander James Watson, an American cryptographer, who suspects the impending catastrophic attack. It is a story of intrigue, double-dealing, the horrific brutality of war, and the desperate efforts of men of reason on both sides to prevent a titanic struggle that becomes inevitable. 

Gingrich and Forstchen's now critically acclaimed approach, which they term "active history", examines how a change in but one decision might have profoundly altered American history. In Pearl Harbor, they pose the question of how the presence of but one more man within the Japanese attacking force could have transfigured the war. More than a retelling, the book also serves as a potent warning, valid still today as an example of what happens when communications and understanding breaks down, and a nation is ill-prepared for the onslaught that might ensue. A compelling, meticulously researched saga, Pearl Harbor is also a novel of valor about those who took part in this cataclysmic moment in world history. It inaugurates a dramatic new Pacific War series that begins with the terrifying account of the day that started it all. 

©2007 Newt Gingrich and William Forstchen (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC

Critic Reviews

"Intriguing....it is always fun to re-imagine history, and Gingrich and Forstchen won't disappoint." ( Booklist)

What listeners say about Pearl Harbor

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

History with a twist

History can be dry and dull or it can be so interesting depending on how it is communicated. I found this novel to be a wonderful interpretation of the events leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Many of the characters are fictional, some are real, most of the events are real, one key event at the end is fictional. I suppose this is so that in the sequel which I haven't yet read we will learn how that one key difference might have affected history. Highly recommend this audio book even if you have read plenty about Pearl Harbor in the past.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow, what I never knew I didn't know!

The alternative history part of this book is later on in the execution of the attack, but the lead up really opened my eyes to the real world of the 1930's era. Most of this book is "set-up" and Newt does an amazing job of laying the foundations for this pivotal event.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Pearl Harbor (Unabridged)

I was sceptical about this book. I had to put aside my politics and listen to this book with an open mind. With that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was well written and gripping. I found myself making time to listen to it instead of just listening when I was driving. The character development was good and the alternative history aproach makes this the possibility we all wonder if it could have actually happened this way.

After finishing this book I was immediately ready for his next book. This is a must listen for all who are intrested in history and are intrested in thinking about what could be not only what was.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good historical fiction

This is a very listenable account of the events leading to and about the attack on Pearl Harbor. In a manner different from most western books on Pearl Harbor, the emphasis of the story is how the Japanese got to point where the attack was justified (from their view of course). The story walks the line of telling you the Japanese thinking without either condeming, excusing or supporting it. It provides a glimpse into the cultural differences between the Japanese and the west and how that plays into the story.

The written description of the attack itself is very well done and you feel like you can see it in front of you.

It is one of thoise books where you are sorry to see it end and want to read what happens during the rest of the war. I would love to see the story continue through the use of the atomic bombs.

I would have given it a 5 but I thought that it would have benefited from more specific historical information and more details about code breaking efforts.

Otherwise a great historical novel...

11 people found this helpful

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Pearl Harbor - "What If Yamamoto Led the Attack?"

Interesting exploration of alternative history narrative for Pearl Harbor where the Admiral Yamamoto led the attack on Pearl Harbor. With this basic premise, the authors lay out the lives and careers of some of the key players leading to the attack as well as the strategic and operational background to provide context for the actual events. With this foundation, they make the key change where Admiral Yamamoto led the attack and who would have pressed his advantage more than Admiral Nagumo. The key item where Admiral Yamamoto conducted a third wave in the afternoon of December 7, 1941 and inflicted even more grievous damage. The authors do not speculate here what impact this change would have had on the Pacific War: quick peace, no real change, a longer and more costly campaign? Overall, it is a good read. As always, read the Wikipedia notes on the battle to ground yourself in the real history.

2 people found this helpful

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As real as life.

a sobering view of how things could have been so different if one small thing would have been changed

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Story Spectacular Narrator

One may or may not like Newt Gingrich as a politician but he is a qualified historian and this take on the possible is very well done.

As far as the narrator, William Dufris is, IMHO, Audible's very best narrator. His accents are amazing. I will buy any book he narrates if it is even close to a book that i might like.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Series

A gread read. Gingrich and Forstchen do not disappoint. Their Civil was series has a great Followup with this series, if you loved the civil war series you will love this series almost as much

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Nothing new

I was hoping for more insight in the backstory of this event. An overall disappointment

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting point of view

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

Wasn't just America

What other book might you compare Pearl Harbor to and why?

none

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

A little less routing for one side or the other

Who was the most memorable character of Pearl Harbor and why?

Yamamoto

Any additional comments?

As a student of the Pacific front it gave me more insight into the other side

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • JohnWK
  • 05-08-18

Needs reclassification!

I suppose it is my fault for not reading the description carefully enough but Audible, in fairness, share some of the blame as they classified it as 'history' and so I assumed it was a historical, non-fiction account of the attack on Pearl Harbour. Be warned - it's not!

It is fictional work based on the events of Pearl Harbour. The description gives the impression that the work looks at counter-factual 'what if' scenarios. Again it doesn't in the context of historical analysis.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for J NEILL
  • J NEILL
  • 06-01-07

A great experiance - well done

This book is great. It?s not just for history buff?s or Americans (indeed my 17 year old daughter found it interesting on a trip to Bristol down the M5). It reads just like thriller. And the very unique style does draw you in to the story. It works on several levels and I will be looking for more. Get it, and enjoy it

1 person found this helpful