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A Matter of Honor: Pearl Harbor: Betrayal, Blame, and a Family's Quest for Justice Hardcover – November 15, 2016
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“Meticulous, eloquent, and compelling - and hugely readable. The 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack is well served by A Matter of Honor.” (Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author of The Men Who United the States and Pacific )
“Anthony Summers’ & Robbyn Swan’s A Matter of Honor is a noble and right-minded portrait of Admiral Kimmel, the scapegoat for Pearl Harbor. The amount of fresh research is deeply impressive. Highly recommended!” (Douglas Brinkley, author of Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt & the Land of America)
“The most comprehensive, accurate and thoroughly researched book of events leading up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor ever written. It provides new information never before revealed.” (Admiral James Lyons, former Commander in Chief U.S. Pacific Fleet)
“Streamlined, muscular, objective, and well-written - a sensitive examination of a vast constellation of source material. [Summers and Swan] present a powerful argument in defense of Admiral Kimmel, who was blamed for the attack and forced into inglorious retirement. An excellent book.” (Martin Morgan, World War II historian and author)
“Meticulous research...thorough-going...provides a great deal of insight into the ordeal of Admiral Husband Kimmel, who served his nation well but was treated shabbily by its leaders.” (Paul Stillwell, author of Battleship Arizona)
“A fine book. Scrupulously researched and rigorously argued..[a] compellingly told story.” (David M. Kennedy, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression & War, 1929-1945)
From the Back Cover
We thought we knew the story well: On December 7, 1941, 2,403 Americans died when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, devastating the nation and precipitating entry into World War II. In the aftermath, Admiral Husband Kimmel, commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, was relieved of command, accused of dereliction of duty, and publicly disgraced.
The fact was, however, that—through sheer inefficiency—the top brass in Washington had failed to provide Kimmel with vital intelligence. Then, in the name of protecting the biggest U.S. intelligence secret of the day, they and top officials allowed the Admiral and the Army commander in Hawaii to be made scapegoats for the catastrophe.
The Admiral fought to clear his name for the rest of his long life. After Kimmel’s death his sons—both Navy veterans—continued the fight. Both houses of Congress approved the posthumous restoration of the Admiral’s four-star rank, only to be blocked by the Navy bureaucracy. Today Kimmel’s grandchildren maintain the struggle—for them, it is a matter of honor.
In this conversation-changing book, Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan go far beyond the fall and fight-back of one man. They unravel the many apparent mysteries of Pearl Harbor, clear President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the charge that he knew the attack was coming, and uncover duplicity and betrayal in high places in Washington.
The authors, Pulitzer Prize finalists for their revelatory book on 9/11, The Eleventh Day, have conducted extraordinary research, with unrivaled access to documents, diaries, and letters. A Matter of Honor is a heartbreaking human story of politics and war—and epic history.
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Interesting to me is the overall conclusion that FDR didn't have knowledge of the impending attack. That may be true. But it is clear from this book and others I have read that FDR was intent on not taking the first military action against Japan and was determined to wait for them to do it. Politics is the only explanation for this. The U.S. population was not supportive of going to war and so FDR avoided taking action which his subordinates, the Secretaries of State and War and the heads of the Navy and Army Departments, fully understood. FDR concentrated on politics and elections. Chapter 51 and page 325 reveal this also. Since the Secretaries of State and War were his choices, they and FDR share responsibility for the gross mismanagement of their duties, as do Stark and Marshall. The lack of coordination within the Navy and Army and the failure to ensure intelligence was forwarded to field commanders is appalling.
Once again Washington bureaucrats worked to save their own skins and allowed the horrendous mistreatment of field commanders which continued for years. It is incomprehensible to me that various Presidents have failed to act to restore Admiral Kimmel's rank. I can only hope that this book will motivate appropriate action even at this late date. In any event, the public now knows, thanks to this book, where the faults and blame belong.
It is "A Matter of Honor" as I have believed for a long time. Even after he learned of MAGIC and how he had been denied that vital intelligence which could have enabled him to protect the fleet he chose to say nothing which would have cleared his name so that the ability of the U.S. to intercept and read Japanese transmissions would not be compromised. Unlike Wasington he put the mission of protecting the country ahead of his own reputation.
Admiral Kimmel gave his life for our country!!!!!