Pearl Harbor

  • by Craig Nelson
  • Narrated by George Guidall
  • 18 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Published in time for the 75th anniversary, a gripping and definitive account of the event that changed 20th-century America - Pearl Harbor - based on years of research and new information uncovered by a New York Times best-selling author.
The America we live in today was born not on July 4, 1776, but on December 7, 1941, when almost 400 Japanese planes attacked the US Pacific Fleet, killing 2,400 men and sinking or damaging 16 ships. In Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness, Craig Nelson follows, moment by moment, the sailors, soldiers, pilots, admirals, generals, emperors, and presidents, all starting with a pre-polio assistant secretary of the navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, attending the laying of the keel of the USS Arizona at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, against the backdrop of the imperial, military, and civilian leaders of Japan lurching into ultranationalist fascism, all culminating in an insanely daring scheme to shock the Allies with a technologically revolutionary mission in one of the boldest military stories ever told - one with consequences that continue to echo in our lives today.
Besides the little-understood history of how and why Japan attacked America, we can hear the abandoned record player endlessly repeating "Sunrise Serenade" as the Japanese bombs hit the deck of the California; we feel terror as navy wives, helped by their Japanese maids, upturn couches for cover and hide with their children in caves from a rumored invasion; and we understand the mix of frustration and triumph as a lone American teenager shoots down a Japanese bomber. Backed by a research team's five years of efforts with archives and interviews, producing nearly a million pages of documents, as well as a thorough reexamination of the original evidence produced by federal investigators, this definitive history provides a blow-by-blow account from both the Japanese and American perspectives and is a historical drama on the greatest scale. Nelson delivers all the terror, chaos, violence, tragedy, and heroism of the attack in stunning detail and offers surprising conclusions about the tragedy's unforeseen and resonant consequences.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good Book Ruined by Horrible Narration and Quality

It's hard to get past the very bad narration and horrendous audio quality of this audio book, despite the well told story of the events leading to Pearl Harbor. I've listened to dozens of books and this is by far the worst audio quality I've even encountered. Listening to the first three quarters of the book the audio has so many audio edits and changes in volume and speed it is jarringly distracting. Couple this with the narrator's very odd voice inflections, especially his frequent accenting the last syllabic of words, the book is a very bumpy ride.

For whatever reason, the edits and speed changes abruptly normalize for the last quarter of the book, but by then the author is done with Pearl Harbor and takes a non-linear journey through battles following the Pearl Harbor attack.

If you're interested in the events leading to Pearl Harbor, this book has excellent information, particularly on the events taking place in Japan and the breaking of Japanese naval codes long before the Dec. 7, 1941 attack. But I would read and flip pages and not listen to this audio.
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- Blake

Great book on old subject

I have a read many books on this subject, and this is one of my favorites.
The author brings new perspective to this much reviewed subject.

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- Joan Tweedie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-20-2016
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio