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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive account
Reading about the Pacific War in the new WWII novel, "The Triumph and the Glory", spurred me into exploring the topic further, so I picked up a copy of "Eagle Against the Sun" and was very impressed. It is solidly researched, very readable, all in all one of the better history volumes about the great struggle in the Pacific between the United...
Published on 25 July 1999

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars state of the art, 20 years ago.
Eagle Against the Sun is a problematic book to review now. Certainly is well written (even the evident bias of professor Spector against MacArthur is not to pronounced) and certainly well argued, for 1984 yet when the author moves from strategic problems to operational or tactical ones the book is lacking. In discussing individual battles Spector is not at ease as in...
Published on 17 Aug 2011 by Arrigo


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive account, 25 July 1999
By A Customer
Reading about the Pacific War in the new WWII novel, "The Triumph and the Glory", spurred me into exploring the topic further, so I picked up a copy of "Eagle Against the Sun" and was very impressed. It is solidly researched, very readable, all in all one of the better history volumes about the great struggle in the Pacific between the United States and Imperial Japan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Piece of Writing, 30 April 2012
Many people will overlook this book in preference for the more well- known 'Nemesis' by Sir Max Hastings . This is a mistake . Both books represent superb writing . Hastings work only covers the last year of the conflict however, whereas Spector writes about the full duration of the war against Japan . Eagle against the Sun is history writing of the very highest order . As an aside , Spectors treatment of MacArthur is diplomatic ; MacArthur was an egotistical martinet who hampered Americas war effort against the Japanese , Spector cannot quite bring himself to say this .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic read., 14 Mar 2010
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Duncan Cameron (Glasgow Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I am not a "big" reader, maybe only 3 or 4 books a year and tend to pick my books wisely,(usually via online recommendations). For me this book surpassed most reviews. Spector brings this huge period of the war back to life with an exciting and vivid writing style that had me racing from page to page. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Book Dealing with the U.S. War with Japan., 29 Jun 2010
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Eagle against the Sun by Ronald H. Spector is a very good book dealing with the Pacific War from an American point of view. It is well-written, fast-paced, opionated and insightful and provides a lot of detail on certain events. Although it suffers from the usual problems associated with single volume works dealing with such a broad topic it barely detracts from the work. Overall, this is a very good book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 20 July 2014
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Book arrived in good time and as described. Very happy with my purchase.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars state of the art, 20 years ago., 17 Aug 2011
Eagle Against the Sun is a problematic book to review now. Certainly is well written (even the evident bias of professor Spector against MacArthur is not to pronounced) and certainly well argued, for 1984 yet when the author moves from strategic problems to operational or tactical ones the book is lacking. In discussing individual battles Spector is not at ease as in discussing broad strategy, yet sometime he wants to use specific examples (often wrongly described) to support broader conclusion. The book is also showing its age and reliance on problematic sources. One of spector book is that he never cross checked his sources and tend to use uncomfirmed statements (I hate when he said "one american officer said..." often in conjunction to criticism) or statment long proven false (Fuchida or Kelly Turner for example).

There are two main drawbacks, the first is the over reliance on airpower (sadly the actual hit rate of air dropped ordonance in WW2 was marginal); the second is the claim that the duel drive was dangeorus. While it is a fair claim he never supported it fully and its two examples (Rabaul and Biak) can also be used to support the view that indeed the dual dirve was forcing the japanese to divide their attention and never being effective against a single one.

He has also problem on weapon technology and these problems were inexcusable even at the time. He continually claims that the Wildcat was inferior in every respect to the Zero (except one could add in armor, armament and dive speed), that the F6F Hellcat has been designed base on the Zero captured in the Aleutines (the F6F flew before the Zero was captured) or that american naval weaponry was inferior to Japanese one, especially when torpedoes were concerned. While US torpedoes were indeed inferior in range and realiabilty the vaunted japanese Long Lance torpedo was equally dangerous to its owner, a thing spector never mentions even in conjunction with the loss of Mikuma. On the other hand he almost venerate the radar as a sort of black magic. Despite its claim rarely in pacific night battles US Radar outperformed Japanese lookouts. Also in the case of the Carrier raid on Rabaul he claims that it was a desperate decision made by the fact that Halsey US light cruisers were inferior to Japanese heavy ones. considering that several pages earlier he described as a surface group centred on those light cruisers fended off a group of heavy Japanese ones at Empress Augusta Bay the claim is suspicious. If one compared the Clevelean and Brooklyin class to the Japanese heavy cruisers the claim is indeed spurious.

As a single volume overview on the american effort in the pacific this spector effort is good if dated. As good in deep miilitary history of the World War Two in Asia it is sorely lacking. Probably skipping technical part would have improved the book. It can be an useful reading, but today it is seriously flawed.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive study of U.S.--Japanese relations in WW2., 9 July 1999
By A Customer
An outstanding study of the developments leading to the war between Japan and the U.S. and of the war itself.
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Eagle Against The Sun: The American War With Japan
Eagle Against The Sun: The American War With Japan by Ronald Spector (Paperback - 23 Mar 2000)
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