LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO WAR by Stanley Weintraub

LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO WAR

12/7/1941

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Galvanic, hour-by-hour account that traces the events leading up to and following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Pennsylvania State Univ. arts-and-humanities professor Weintraub (Victoria, 1987, etc.), who recounted the final days of the Great War in A Stillness Heard Round the World (1985), details how the simultaneous Japanese attacks on American and British forces in the Pacific and Asia suddenly plunged millions into arguably the first truly global conflict. With brief snapshots, he illustrates how both ordinary and powerful people experience the mounting horror in far-flung locales--Washington, Manila, Moscow, Tokyo, Tobruk, Singapore, London, Berlin, and, of course, Hawaii. Cryptographers and junior naval functionaries sense something amiss, only to see their warnings ignored by top brass; an urgent plea for peace from FDR to Hirohito is delayed for ten hours by Japanese warmongers; a group of scientists meet in a coffee shop to discuss the atomic bomb; German forces bog down in the Soviet Union and North Africa; Hitler pops open champagne to celebrate Pearl Harbor, then later takes an ominous step closer to the Final Solution with the ``Night and Fog Decree.'' This structure emphasizes the dizzying speed of events, accurately mirroring the chaos. One caveat: Weintraub's research seems herculean, but his skeletal endnotes list only his primary sources, not secondary sources, for the interested reader. A dazzling example of historical narrative, revealing the almost infinite variety of human responses--courage, fear, intelligence, idiocy, outrage, and sorrow--as the world trembled on the brink of war. (B&w photographs--not seen.)

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1991
ISBN: 0-525-93344-1
Page count: 716pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1991




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