More About the Author
James D. Hornfischer (www.jameshornfischer.com) is the author most recently of Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal (Bantam 2011). A New York Times, Boston Globe, and Publishers Weekly bestseller in its hardcover edition, the book is a selection of the U.S. Navy's official Professional Reading List maintained by the Chief of Naval Operations, and was chosen as a best book of 2011 by Military History Quarterly and several other book reviewers.
Hornfischer's other books include Ship of Ghosts (Bantam 2006), about the cruiser USS Houston and the odyssey of its crew in Japanese captivity, and The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors (Bantam 2004), a naval action narrative about the Battle off Samar that won the Samuel Eliot Morison Award and was chosen by the Wall Street Journal as one of the five best books on "war as soldiers know it."
Hornfischer has also collaborated with Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, the bestselling author of Lone Survivor, on Luttrell's second book, Service: A Navy SEAL at War (Little Brown, 2012), a New York Times bestseller.
Hornfischer's motivation to write about the U.S. military reaches back to his childhood years building Monogram and Revell model ships and aircraft, watching "Black Sheep Squadron" on TV, featuring Robert Conrad as the legendary Marine fighter pilot Major Pappy Boyington, and absorbing the epic intonations of Laurence Olivier narrating the documentary "The World at War."
A native of Massachusetts and a graduate of Colgate University and the University of Texas School of Law, Hornfischer lives in Austin, Texas.
PRAISE FOR NEPTUNE'S INFERNO: THE U.S. NAVY AT GUADALCANAL
"Extremely readable, comprehensive and thoroughly researched. . . . Analytical and entertaining . . . In the end what one takes away from Mr. Hornfischer's vivid and engaging account is a feeling for the uncertainty, complexity and extreme physical and psychological demands of war at sea in 1942." --Ronald Spector, The Wall Street Journal
"Hornfischer understands the human dynamics of the U.S. Navy in the Pacific war as well as any student of the subject.... He reconstructs the fighting in a masterful synthesis of technical analysis, operational narrative, and tales of courage." --Publishers Weekly
"As in his first two books, the author's narrative gifts and excellent choice of detail give an almost Homeric quality to the men who met on the sea in steel titans." --Booklist (starred review)
"With this grand, sweeping, history-correcting book, James Hornfischer takes his place among the elite historians of the United States war in the Pacific during World War II. Like a Curtiss Helldiver, Neptune's Inferno catapults the reader high into the skies for a clear perspective on the vast oceanic conflict, then dives relentlessly to propel us right into the smoke and fire and human valor of the brutal inferno known as Guadalcanal. Along the way, and drawing on newly available papers, Hornfischer clears up lingering misconceptions about this battle, including the full extent of the U.S. Navy's role in victory. And in his character portraits of the brilliant, quirky top admirals and generals of the fractious Army-Navy command, Hornfischer offers a worthy counterpart to Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals." --Ron Powers, coauthor of Flags of Our Fathers
"Neptune's Inferno is a superb portrait of the U.S. Navy's critical role in the Guadalcanal campaign, both the surface and aerial combat. Comprehensive with much that is new, yet immensely readable, it covers not only the admirals, but the junior officers and bluejackets as well. Highly recommended." --John B. Lundstrom, author of The First Team
"Hornfischer has produced an account that is visceral, yet technical; sweeping, yet personal. It's a terrific read, and an important new addition to the literature on this most important naval campaign in the Pacific." --Jonathan Parshall, coauthor of Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway
"Hornfischer's accounts of naval combat in the Pacific are simply the best in the business."
--Ian W. Toll, author of Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy