- Paperback: 656 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (November 26, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393343413
- ISBN-13: 978-0393343410
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 557 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 1st Edition
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“An entertaining, impressively researched chronicle of the tense period between the bombing of Pearl Harbor and American victory at the battle of Midway.”
“Revealing and poignant, Toll’s latest deftly navigates the rough waters of the Pacific struggle with flying colors.”
- Publishers Weekly
“Excellent. The research is thorough, the writing clear, and the narrative flow exemplary…It is difficult to think of a recent book on this subject that is of such consistently outstanding value.”
- Roland Green, Booklist (starred review)
“Well documented―albeit from previously published materials―and well written. Experienced World War II history buffs may bypass if they feel no need to read another retelling of this phase of the Pacific War, but nonspecialists and general readers will want to consider it.”
- Library Journal
“Toll’s book does a good job of capturing strategy, tactics, weaponry and, especially, people, on the Japanese side as well as the American…You won’t set [Pacific Crucible] aside.”
- Harry Levins, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
About the Author
Ian W. Toll is the author of Pacific Crucible, The Conquering Tide, and Six Frigates, winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award and the William E. Colby Award. He lives in San Francisco and New York.
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This book is one of the best books I have read as a WWII buff. It is an excellent detailed accounting of the early stages of the war in the pacific. You will learn of countless heroes who fearlessly set out to win. You won't want to put it down and when finished you will take pause to recall the horror war bestows on our societies.
This book it complete and very well written. An important accounting of an historic event during an historic time.
It covered the events leading up to the Battle of the Coral sea, however, description of the battle itself was somewhat abbreviated. He spent quite a bit the book discussing the battle of Midway. In fact, if you just want a good analysis of that battle, this book will give it to you.
The maps were readable and copious.
Overall, I was pleased with the contents.
This book, unlike Army at Dawn, delves into the history of Japan during the 1930's and how they became militaristic. Overall, it was a very enriching read, and I would encourage it to anyone. I am pacing myself, but I eagerly look forward to reading the second book of the series.
This book is for those who already know a good deal about Pearl Harbor and Midway (or who aren't interested in knowing much about them) and who want to learn about the "small" background details of the war's first six months. If you want to know how it feels to swim in an oil-encrusted harbor; what the training regimen for Japanese naval aviators was like; how the seemingly unimportant hit-and-run raids in early 1942 helped the codebreakers do their vital work; or, yes, what Admiral Nimitz did on his train trip; then this is the book for you.
And so, here we have the interesting balance between detail and overview; several pages on (for example) how a carrier plane makes a landing, followed by a sentence or two stating that a raid took place. This is not intended as a criticism; far from it. I thought that the author got the detail-overview balance just right. I already knew a good deal about the battles; I wanted to know the background to them. And this book was perfect for that.
To be sure, there are a few glitches. In the rush to tell the familiar story of the Battle of Midway, there were a few things that didn't gel. For instance, when the Akagi is abandoned, we are told that Captain Aoki refused to leave her. What we are not told is that he was eventually ordered off -- so we are left to assume that he went down with his ship. Reading other Midway accounts, I've gotten used to seeing several pages about the Hiryu survivors who bobbed about in a boat for over two weeks before being rescued by an American vessel. But here, they get exactly one sentence.
But these are minor quibbles. "Pacific Crucible" is a highly engaging book, tremendously well written and very informative about the matters it's intended to cover. If you are interested in the early days of the Pacific War -- and especially if you already know a lot about the major battles, and want to delve deeper into the background -- this book is indispensible.