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Pearl Harbor reading

Pearl Harbor reading — A list of books to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the tragic event

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Day Of Infamy
Walter Lord
First published in 1957, a highly popular moment-by-moment re-creation of the dark day by the author of similar narratives about Dunkirk and the sinking of the Titanic.

Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath
John Toland
When this revisionist view of the attack on Pearl Harbor appeared in 1982, it became an immediate best-seller. Toland (Adolf Hitler, The Rising Sun) argues that Roosevelt and others knew ahead of time that the Japanese planned to attack Pearl Harbor but decided not to act because they wanted to boost popular support for entering the war. Although this conspiratorial view had been around for a long time, Toland was the first to sell it to a mass audience.

At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor
Gordon W. Prange
The product of 37 years of work, Prange’s book, assembled after his death in 1980 and published in 1981, is generally considered the most authoritative account of both the Japanese and American sides of the story.

Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History
Gordon W. Prange with Donald M. Goldstein and Katherine V. Dillon
When Prange died he left behind a great deal of material refuting the revisionist view that Roosevelt had permitted the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor. Although some of his arguments against Toland and others appear in At Dawn We Slept, they receive full representation in this volume assembled after his death.

Pearl Harbor Ghosts: A Journey to Hawaii Then and Now
Thurston Clarke
Published in time for the 50th anniversary, this is a fascinating report on the lingering effects of Pearl Harbor by a journalist who has spent a great deal of time in Hawaii. The racist attitudes toward the Japanese that Clarke has collected tell a story that goes far beyond the confines of the Hawaiian archipelago.