Monday, December 19, 2011

Review of December 1941

I read this book from cover to cover. I have read many books about World War II and was looking forward to reading this book. I was greatly disappointed. The author states at the beginning that he used the newspapers of the day to write the book, along with some previously undisclosed top secret documents. 

Each chapter is titled according to the day. There are 31 chapters. The first six chapters happen before Pearl Harbor, and though the author does reveal some information that the government had prior to Pearl Harbor day, he spends an inordinate amount of time and energy covering sporting events (70 year old football games, anyone?), entertainment news and other extraneous things that I am not interested in now, much less when they are so old. Many of the stars of the day that he reports on to the point of exhaustion are not even people I recognize and they certainly are not important to the story line he was trying to achieve.

When the author finally gets to Pearl Harbor day, I expected the pace to pick up, but this was not to be the case. I assume that he did it this way because he was following newspaper articles, but the one chapter that should be mesmerizing and gripping was boring and confusing. I know that Pearl Harbor day happened on December 7, but from the author's account it could have just as easily have happened on December 11th. It wasn't until December 11th that the author got around to revealing the seriousness of the attack. 

By Christmas day things were going badly for America in the new war, but the populace was strongly supportive. The author is still reporting on football scores and movies at the theaters. There is more war news, but often there are long lists of people involved in different aspects of government work, to the detriment of plot progression. Often, he jumps from one subject to another, without any cohesion. 
I didn't like this book. I wanted to like it, but I did not.

I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.

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