Catching Up on History: Five Pearl Harbor Books Worth Reading

By: Kellar Ellsworth

Getting to know American history can be as simple as hopping online, but with countless blogs and reposts of somebody else’s words, the true impact of events can become blunted and distorted. When it comes to the history of Pearl Harbor and the Japanese attack in 1941, the impact the event had on the country is something that won’t soon be forgotten, and through the words written in these books, you’ll find yourself connected to the devastating events of that day and the emotional impact on the country.USS Arizona: The Ship, the Men, the Pearl Harbor Attack, and the Symbol That Aroused America

USS Arizona: The Ship, the Men, the Pearl Harbor Attack, and the Symbol That Aroused America

Written by Joy Waldron Jasper, James P. Delgado, and Jim Adams, this history of the fate of the USS Arizona is a poignant journey through time, marked by eyewitness accounts that retell the fateful events of America’s most notable ship. The authors conducted their research through personal dives in the wreckage and the memories of survivors they were able to track down.

At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor

Rather than telling just one side of the story, this book looks at the events of Pearl Harbor not only through the eyes of the Americans but also of Japanese soldiers, military leaders, and government officials who lived through it. Readers get what is considered the most objective view of the Pearl Harbor attack as Gordon W. Prange, Donald M. Goldstein, and Katherine V. Dillon look into the politics of the time and the decisions behind the attack, refusing to peg either side as hero or villain.Countdown to Pearl Harbor

Countdown to Pearl Harbor

Steve Twomey’s Countdown to Pearl Harbor examines the twelve days prior to the attack, looking at warning signs that the United States government missed or foolishly ignored. Twomey avoids rehashing history by looking at lesser-known details, including information the government had and the general views of Americans towards the Japanese that may have contributed to such devastation.

Sunday in Hell: Pearl Harbor Minute by Minute

Bill McWilliams delivers one of the most in-depth accounts of the Pearl Harbor attack to date. Drawing on official records and other documentation surrounding the attack, McWilliams takes readers on a step-by-step trek through the events of the day, starting before the first bomb struck. Interviews with military officials, politicians, and survivors of the attack give an incredibly well-rounded look at all aspects of the attack, from the physical destruction to the political motivations.Pearl Harbor: America’s Darkest Day

Pearl Harbor: America’s Darkest Day

Susan Wels’s aptly-titled book is a thoroughly researched guide to the history of the attack. Filled with battle maps, unpublished artifacts, and diagrams, it’s designed to tell the entire story of the attack, from both the American and Japanese perspectives. Filled with more than 200 photographs from Pearl Harbor, the author creates a complete story of the attack from beginning to end.

Recommended Articles