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PEARL HARBOR (The Pacific War Series) Paperback – Illustrated, April 15, 2008
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“A thrilling tale of America's darkest day.” ―W.E.B. Griffin
“Begins what will be a fascinating alternative history of the war in the Pacific.” ―The Roanoke Times
“Masterful storytelling.” ―William W. Butterworth IV, New York Times bestselling author of The Saboteurs
“The authors' research shines in accurate accounts of diplomatic maneuvering as well as the nuts-and-bolts of military action.” ―Publishers Weekly
“The authors skillfully mix historical and fictional characters in an enjoyable and thought-provoking tale.” ―Library Journal
From the Back Cover
Fresh from their series on the American Civil War, bestselling authors Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen now launch a new epic adventure by applying their imaginations and knowledge to the " Date of Infamy" -- the attack on Pearl Harbor.
"Pearl Harbor" covers the full spectrum of characters and events from that historic moment, from national leaders and admirals to the views of ordinary citizens caught in the chaos of war. From the chambers of the Emperor of Japan to the American White House, from the decks of aircraft carriers to the playing fields of the Japanese Naval Academy, this powerful story stretches from the nightmare slaughter of China in the 1930s to the lonely office of Commander James Watson, an American cryptographer, who suspects the impending catastrophic attack. It is a story of intrigue, double-dealing, the horrific brutality of war, and the desperate efforts of men of reason on both sides to prevent a titanic strugglethat becomes inevitable.
Gingrich and Forstchen' s now critically acclaimed approach, which they term " active history, " examines how a change in but one decision might have profoundly altered American history. In "Pearl Harbor," they pose the question of how the presence of but one more man within the Japanese attacking force could have transfigured the war. More than a retelling, the book also serves as a potent warning, valid still today as an example of what happens when communications and understanding breaks down, and a nation is ill-prepared for the onslaught that might ensue.
A compelling, meticulously researched saga, "Pearl Harbor"" "is also a novel of valor about those who took part in this cataclysmic moment in world history. It inaugurates a dramatic new Pacific War series that begins with the terrifying account of the day that started it all. Praise for "Pearl Harbor":
" A politician and a novelist, each an accomplished historian in his own right, are emerging as master authors of alternative history. In this ' what if' treatment of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Newt Gingrich and William Forstchen combine their talents to make the diplomacy as suspenseful as the combat, even for readers who know what happens next---or think they know. The authors' mastery of both the broad sweep of events and the details of naval war and military technology give their counterfactual scenarios an unusual degree of plausibility, concluding with a version of the Japanese attack that guarantees a fictional Pacific war even more terrible than the one that began on December 7,1941."
-- Dennis Showalter, former president of the Society of Military Historians
" The book is not only a great read, it is a fascinating historical story that applies today in Iraq as it did in the Western Pacific in the late ' 30s and ' 40s."
---Captain Alex Fraser (Ret.)
" Gingrich and Forstchen have done it again. Building on their successful collaboration on their Civil War trilogy that so skillfully combined real history with fiction, they have with "Pearl Harbor"" "happily inaugurated another new series. You will not want to put it down, but when you finish you will look, as I do, with great anticipation to the next book."
---Chief of Police William J. Bratton, Los Angeles Police Department "Masterful storytelling that not only captures the heroic highs and hellish lows of that horrific day which lives on in infamy---it resonates with today' s conflicts and challenges."
---William E. Butterworth IV, "New York Times" Best-selling Author of "The Saboteurs"
- Publisher : Griffin; First edition (April 15, 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 390 pages
- ISBN-10 : 031236623X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0312366230
- Item Weight : 1.05 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.98 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #359,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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So one advantage of alternative history is that you as an author are relatively immune to that sort of nit picking. But not completely immune. If the alternate history account mentions technology of any kind the author should try to get it right . You can't get away with giving the Zeros jet engines for example. Some alternatives are just too much.
I read - and loved - the Alternate Gettysburg novels by the same authors. This one doesn't seem as good to me but that may be simply because I know so much more about WWII than the American Civil War. I had always avoided knowing much about the Civil War for various reasons. So I read the Gettysburg books with fresh eyes.
I know a good deal about Roman history which means I can't enjoy the movie 'Gladiator'. I don't pay attention to the story. I just argue details in my mind. It is full of really huge errors which I can't overlook. As it happens I read the Gordon Prange books many years ago and I have been a WWII aviation buff now for a couple years. All of which means I know something of the real history behind the plot of this novel.
But not all.
That means that as soon as I finished the book I fired up Wikipedia and began to cross check the facts as presented in the story. And that, my friends, is The Real Purpose of Alternative History. It motivates you to learn the real history.
After I read the Gettysburg books I read about a half dozen accounts of the battle from various perspectives. I still don't know all that much about the whole Civil War but I am a kind of minor expert on that one battle. I will read the next of these alternate histories and I'm sure I will read a bunch more factual and technical books too. So this book has done its job. It has reawakened in me a desire to know this period better.
I would give this book five stars but it really is chock full of editorial oversights and some of the characters are indeed cardboard like.
Top reviews from other countries
Pearl Harbor is an ok read - but perhaps being British the parts of the story which included Winston Churchill were not realistic. Mr.Churchill would never have called the UK 'England' the UK consists of 4 Countries.
Also everyone seemed to 'smile' all through the book. Having said that the story of the lead up to 7th December is interesting, if a little long.
with harry turtledoves two books on the same subject.a pity this type of book is not considered for the booker or whitebread
prizes,instead of some of the rubbish that finishes up in charity shops.
In fact so good I bought a 2nd copy by mistake. Oops.