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Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath (Penguin Classic Military History) Paperback – 31 May 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (31 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141390603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141390604
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 3 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,688,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

John Toland has written may books, of which the best known are THE LAST 100 DAYS (the last days of the Third Reich), THE RISING SUN: THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE JAPANESE EMPIRE, 1936-45 (Pultizer Prize, 1971) which will be published in Penguin Classic Military History in August 2001, ADOLF HITLER and NO MAN'S LAND: THE STORY OF 1918.

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First Sentence
On Saturday morning, December 6, 1941, one of the translators at Op-20-G, the Security Intelligence Section of U.S. Naval Communications, in Washington, D.C., began skimming through a pile of intercepted Japanese messages in the consular code. Read the first page
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By fion@gofree.indigo.ie on 30 July 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is a must for anyone interested in finding out more about the people who took the blame for the ill-prepared state of the US Navy and Army in Pearl Harbour.
The book not only puts the spotlight on Admiral Kimmel and Gen Short but also on the Washington Intelligence Corps and indeed on FDR. What emerges is a focused and balanced account of not only what happened but also the build up to the attack, the aftermath and how the disaster could have been avoided.
Previous to reading INFAMY I had read PEARL HARBOUR by HP Willmott but have to say that in spite of the excellent photos in Willmotts book I much preferred the analytical approach of INFAMY.
This is a book that is well worth buying!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Sept. 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A thorough look at whether Pearl Harbor was such a disaster because of the dereliction of duty by Kimmel and Short, of the naval base in Hawaii, or whether they were simply used as scapegoats by the government who had failed to give them enough warning or to take the intercepted messages from Japan seriously enough. It is a well written book and it takes you through all the events and consequences of the Pearl Harbor incident. Toland believes that it was the government's fault and after careful consideration of the facts and inspection of the commissions that were carried out at the time, presents a convincing argument to this effect. A thoroughly enjoyable read and very informative.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 45 reviews
61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
I was stunned at testimonies of those involved in the matter 15 Sept. 1999
By Daffer@email.msn.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As the grandson of a good man who died at Pearl Harbor on the U.S.S Utah, in his sleep, I have a special interest in this topic.
Firstly, did we know about the attack before it occurred? Secondly, how did our government deal with the uproar of the time that enraged our nation and drove us into the Pacific War with a blood-lust for vengeance. The shout of "Remember Pearl Harbor" was our Battle Cry and for good reason.
Thirdly, I have found this book to be very specific and detailed, with information I had not previously been able to acquire, I.E: Interviews with the Naval Intelligence Officer who actually translated the Japanese "Winds" code prior to the attack, and who was prohibited from testifying at the Official Congressional, Army and Navy Hearings that comprise the "official" record as we have been handed it.
This is a book that helps us all make our own minds up about who was responsible for the fact that we were caught sleeping, literally, when war was imminent and on the way to our Pacific outposts in early December of 1941. I give it 5 Eagle, Globe and Anchors for the Pearl Harbor History Buff in search of the "real" story that led us to War in the Pacific.
Ronald Hinton USMC/Retired
41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Worth a read 12 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Toland is an excellent historian. He's put together a lot of different lines of evidence to insinuate that the United States was indeed aware of the Pearl Harbor attack before it happened. That's the gist of this book.
Does he prove it? No. There is no absolute evidence that proves FDR and the State and War Departments knew that Pearl Harbor was about to be hit. Toland's circumstantial evidence IS very strong, though, and if what he writes here is true (and he documents it all), then it is very difficult not to reach the same conclusions he does. I've always found it difficult to believe that, with the threat of war obviously hanging over the United States and Japan, we had no idea where the Japanese Navy was. But, again, there is no absolute proof, no documents that say "FDR knew." But no other historian, not even Prange, brings up the evidence that Toland does.
FDR apologists will hate this book. FDR haters will believe Toland has proven his case. Fair readers will wonder. Historians (and that's the way I make my living) will conclude Toland hasn't proven his point. Not absolutely. But he does do very good investigative work. We'll probably never know for sure what FDR knew or when he knew it.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Master Historian Turns to Pearl Harbor 2 Jun. 2008
By Todd and In Charge - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I agree with those who have already noted John Toland's superior research and writing skills, which are very much in evidence in this gripping, masterful account.

But as a lawyer I wanted to highlight how enjoyable and fascinating are the behind-the-scenes accounts of the various Pearl Harbor tribunals, which pinned guilt perhaps wrongly on some of the accused. I was particularly interested in famed Boston attorney Charles Rugg's defense of Admiral Kimmel, and the legal tactics employed to best make use of the otherwise secret cables and testimony that Rugg assembled on Kimmel's behalf.

A great account, and an inside look from a master historian of WWII, this one is a no-brainer for anyone interested in WWII history.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Lessons about bureaucracy 10 May 2009
By Andrew Terhune - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My opinion differs from many of the others here. I don't think that one needs to draw any conclusion from the book. Indeed, I don't think you can. Accept it for what it is, a well written story that pokes holes in the accepted wisdom. Given the amount of time that has passed and the deaths of all the principles, it is unlikely that we'll ever "know" the whole truth. But in showing us that we can never know, Toland has performed a valuable service.
38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
It still stings! 10 April 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When Mr. Toland's book Infamy was first published it caused a stir, and it still leaves a sting! Sometimes truth hurts. Mr. Toland's earlier book, The Rising Sun ( a Pulitzer prize winner ), presents a different picture from that in Infamy and perhaps more in line with textbook thinking. But deeper research into the subject forced him to the conclusions he drew in Infamy. If it is shocking that's good, because that is how one can learn from history.
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