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Day of Infamy [Kindle Edition]

Walter Lord
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Lord’s classic, bestselling account of the bombing of Pearl Harbor
The Day of Infamy began as a quiet morning on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor. But as Japan’s deadly torpedoes suddenly rained down on the Pacific fleet, soldiers, generals, and civilians alike felt shock, then fear, then rage. From the chaos, a thousand personal stories of courage emerged. Drawn from hundreds of interviews, letters, and diaries, Walter Lord recounts the many tales of heroism and tragedy by those who experienced the attack firsthand. From the musicians of the USS Nevada who insisted on finishing “The Star Spangled Banner” before taking cover, to the men trapped in the capsized USS Oklahoma who methodically voted on the best means of escape, each story conveys the terror and confusion of the raid, as well as the fortitude of those who survived.

Editorial Reviews Review

There may not be a better book on what happened at Pearl Harbor than Day of Infamy--and it's not as if the Pearl Harbor story has lacked chroniclers. Walter Lord is best known for A Night to Remember, his book on the voyage of the Titanic. Day of Infamy deserves to stand beside that classic as a gripping narrative, and the subject matter, of course, is infinitely more important.

Lord begins by showing how Japanese admirals, three months before their notorious sneak attack, "tested the idea on the game board at the Naval War College." (It didn't go nearly as well there as it did in real life.) Then he proceeds briskly through the preparations for the assault and delivers a minute-by-minute account about those fateful hours in Oahu. The detail is incredible. The Japanese scan Hawaiian radio stations to see if their moves have been detected; a U.S. naval officer on "his first night on his first patrol on his first command" spots a Japanese submarine just hours before the strike; when the surprise attack finally does arrive, an excited Japanese commander shouts "Tora! Tora! Tora!" ("Victory!") before even the first bombs have fallen. The whole assault lasted about two hours. Thousands of Americans were killed or wounded. The Navy lost the U.S.S. Arizona, which blew up about 15 minutes into the raid, and 17 other ships were either sunk or crippled. Hundreds of planes were destroyed or damaged. The Japanese, by contrast, lost only 29 planes. It must be considered one of the most lopsided battles in all history--and "battle" probably isn't the best word to describe it. Pearl Harbor was closer to a massacre. Whatever the label, Pearl Harbor was a turning-point moment in American history, and it gave rise, the very next day, to some of the most famous words ever spoken by an American president: "Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States was suddenly and deliberately attacked...." If you intend to read only a single book on Pearl Harbor, this is the one for you. --John J. Miller

From Library Journal

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that precipitated U.S. involvement in World War II is described here by the participants themselves. Author Lord performed an enormous amount of research, some of which is described at the recording's end, and spent considerable time locating and interviewing survivors from both sides of the battle. Tom Parker gives an excellent reading of the text. His narration is paced to the rapid sequence of events, uncertainty, confusion, and suspense experienced by those caught in the great battle. The listener who is not a student of the battle will be carried along by both the astonishing acts of courage and the incredible instances of denial that persisted even while the attack was underway! Recommended for all history collections, wherein it can be enjoyed by folks of all ages.?Cliff Glaviano, Bowling Green State Univ. Libs., Ohio
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1398 KB
  • Print Length: 237 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (March 6, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0078X73FM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,582 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars terrific history April 20, 2001
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is one of the rare historic events whose significance and continuing ramifications it is probably impossible to overstate. What If? games are inherently silly, however fascinating, and they can't produce any certain answers, but consider the course that history might have taken had the attack (or another like it) never occurred. To an extent that Americans no longer seem willing to concede--witness the hysterical reaction to Pat Buchanan's musings on the subject--Pearl Harbor was the proximate cause of the United States' entry into World War II. But for the attack, it is entirely possible that America would have safely sat out the War. This in turn would have meant either a bloody stalemate between Nazi Germany and the USSR or victory by one, followed by a debilitating attempt to control the European land mass. Meanwhile, Japan would have had a free hand to completely overextend itself in the South Pacific. Ultimately, the victorious Axis powers, and/or the Soviets, would have collapsed of their own weight. The Cold War would have been avoided and along with it the fifty year long economic displacement that the U. S. suffered through. Or suppose that Japan had simply declared war before attacking : would the lack of the "sneak" in the attack have made enough of an emotional difference for Americans not to have imprisoned our own Japanese-American population or not to drop the atomic bombs on Japan ? Well, you get the picture; we're talkin' big, big deal here.
What makes this event all the more remarkable is how utterly futile it was. Even if the bombings had been completely successful and all the U. S.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
This is one of the best books written about the attack on Pearl Harbor. This book is based on historical documents and the personal accounts of soldiers, sailors, and civilians; both American and Japanese. The planning behind the attack by the Japanese high command and the launch and the almost perfect execution of the attack are described in riveting detail. The observations by the crewmen on the Japanese war ships and the crews of the attacking aircraft are educational. Admiral Nagumo, commander of the attacking forces could have launched a second attack and caused even more destruction, but fortunately for us, he was over cautious. There is no attempt to hide the many mistakes made by the American commanders or the missed opportunities to foil the attack or at least blunt the devastating effects. Submarines were spotted and attacked and the incoming aircraft were spotted by radar, but nobody took notice. When the actual attack was under way, many thought if was some sort of drill. A lot of good men lost their lives and there were incredible acts of heroism. This book contains many tales of bravery, terror, and determination. 2403 Americans lost their lives on December 7th, 1941. The Japanese lost 5 midget submarines, one large submarine, and 29 aircraft with 55 crewmen. It was a small price to pay for such an overwhelming victory, but the cost to Japan in the long run we all know.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great insights into personal experiences June 20, 2001
After recently watching the much hyped movie Pearl Harbor, I realize my knowledge of the history of Pearl Harbor was woefully lacking. My search for information led me to this wondeful book by Walter Lord. Rather than a historical narrative of dry facts, it is a collection of individual stories, relating the experiences of the common ordinary soldier, sailor, marine, or civilian in the hours before the attack through the end of the day on 12/7/41.
Some of the tales are heroic, some comical, and many tragic, but they are all fascinating. One of the things that struck me was number of people who couldn't comprehend the fact they were under attack by an enemy force, even as bombs and bullets rained down on them. And the wild tales and rumors that spread throughout Hawaii in the aftermath of the attack are just incredible and laughable looking back on it now.
For those wanting more of a general overview of the battle, and a listing of historical facts, they may be disappointed by this book. But I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to learn more about the people involved on that fateful day.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate book about Pearl Harbor. May 31, 2002
I read this book in the seventies, and I just reread it. Prange's book may have a lot more detail, but for a quick and easy read about this historic event, read Lord's book. He is a master at presentation, not only on this book, but his two on the Titanic. The individuals shines through in his book, and it is most interesting to see how they react to the Japanese attack. I was especially interested in the Japanese suicide submarines attempt in the attack.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Puts You At Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 August 8, 2000
This was the first non-kids book I ever read. That was back in the 3rd Grade. And years later I still look at this book as one of my favorites.
Walter Lord does not break any new ground in this classic but older story of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. But what he does do is give you a perfect description of what happened and how it happened.
Walter Lord is one of those historians that puts you there. And thats what he does in this book. You are there as the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
I highly recommend this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very interesting and a very different prospective on the attack. Not for the average reader.
Published 8 days ago by John Mints
5.0 out of 5 stars Intimate day by day account of the invasion of Pearl Harbor by the...
A beautifully done, day by day accounting of the nefarious Pearl Harbor invasion by Imperial Japanese Navy. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Great account
Quick reading. Nice recap of events and individuals. Interesting facts regarding friendly fire and the enemy subs. Facts on our outdated equipment very revealing.
Published 1 month ago by James T.
4.0 out of 5 stars The kindle copy was missing the attack time line that ...
The kindle copy was missing the attack time line that was in the original copy, and is mentioned in the book.
Published 1 month ago by Frederick J. Stauch
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight
Well written by an acknowledged expert on the attack.
Published 1 month ago by Pete
4.0 out of 5 stars Short and to the point.
A little less information than I expected. A quick read, but very good.
Published 1 month ago by Greg Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Hard to put down even knowing the outcome
Published 2 months ago by Wayne Kyle
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent.
Excellent book. Showed the personal perspective. Also interesting because my Dad was there.
Published 2 months ago by Rob in KY
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearl Harbor attack in 1941
Walter Lord is a master on history and not just about the Titanic. This has been regarded as one of the best books to read on the awful attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor in... Read more
Published 2 months ago by D. J. Sharp
5.0 out of 5 stars Great historical read
Great & easy too read historical book that is cramed full of personal stories of December 7, 1941.
Published 2 months ago by Grady E. Mccright
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More About the Author

Walter Lord's A Night to Remember is a minute-by-minute account of the Titanic's final hours. Lord wrote 12 books, honing an eye-witness approach to history whether it was Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor (Day of Infamy) or the defense of the Alamo (A Time to Stand) or the Battle of Midway (Incredible Victory). In The Way It Was, he tells his own story, about his life and books.

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