A minute-by-minute account of the morning that brought America into World War II, by the New York Times–bestselling authors of At Dawn We Slept.
When dawn broke over Hawaii on December 7, 1941, no one suspected that America was only minutes from war. By nightfall, the naval base at Pearl Harbor was a smoldering ruin, and over 2,000 Americans lay dead. December 7, 1941 gives a detailed and immersive real-time account of that fateful morning.
In or out of uniform, every witness responded differently when the first Japanese bombs began to fall. A chaplain fled his post and spent a week in hiding, while mess hall workers seized a machine gun and began returning fire. Some officers were taken unawares, while others responded valiantly, rallying their men to fight back and in some cases sacrificing their lives. Built around eyewitness accounts, this book provides an unprecedented glimpse of how it felt to be at Pearl Harbor on the day that would live in infamy.
“Luminous . . . thoroughly documented and detailed yet captivatingly readable as well.” —Library Journal
“Riveting.” —Publishers Weekly
Gordon W. Prange (1910–1980) was a professor of history at the University of Maryland and a World War II veteran. He served as the chief historian on General Douglas MacArthur’s staff during the postwar military occupation of Japan. His 1963 Reader’s Digest article “Tora! Tora! Tora!” was later expanded into the acclaimed book At Dawn We Slept. After Prange’s death, his colleagues Donald M. Goldstein and Katherine V. Dillon completed several of his manuscripts, including At Dawn We Slept. Other works that Goldstein and Dillon finished include Miracle at Midway; Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History; December 7, 1941: The Day the Japanese Attacked Pearl Harbor; and Target Tokyo: The Story of the Sorge Spy Ring.
Donald M. Goldstein is a retired United States Air Force officer, professor emeritus of public and international affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, where he taught for thirty-five years, a winner of two Peabody Awards, and author of many books. He has also taught at the Air Force Academy, the Air War College, the Air Command and Staff College, the University of Tampa, and Troy State University. He is considered the leading authority on the Pearl Harbor attack. He lives in the Villages, Florida.
Katherine V. Dillon (1916–2005) was a chief warrant officer, United States Air Force (retired), and longtime collaborator with Gordon W. Prange and Donald M. Goldstein on their work. She served during World War II and the Korean War.