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Pacific Crucible

War in the Pacific, 1941–1943
Pacific Crucible: War in the Pacific, 1941–1943. Norton. Nov. 2011. 544p. ISBN 9780393068139. $32.95. HISTORY
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Winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison and William E. Colby awards for Six Frigates, Toll has the expertise to discuss the first months of the Pacific War. History readers will want; with a seven-city tour.
Award-winning author Toll () writes here about the trial by fire faced by the Allies in the first six months of World War II, when the Imperial Japanese Navy swept the U.S. and British Commonwealth forces from the western Pacific. Focusing on the U.S. Navy, the author tells the well-known story of the hasty reorganization after the shock of Pearl Harbor and of desperate battles fought with inferior numbers. He successfully incorporates personal accounts to provide a courageous human dimension to the tale of everyday duties punctuated by occasional terror. The book ends with the miraculous American victory at Midway in June 1942 when the Japanese advance was finally halted for good. Well documented—albeit from previously published materials—and well written. Experienced World War II history buffs may bypass if they feel no need to read another retelling of this phase of the Pacific War, but nonspecialists and general readers will want to consider it. (Photos and index not seen.) [See roundups of new titles in military history in the October 1 and October 15 issues of .—Ed.]—Daniel K. Blewett, Coll. of DuPage Lib., Glen Ellyn, IL
Award-winning author Toll (Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy) writes here about the trial by fire faced by the Allies in the first six months of World War II, when the Imperial Japanese Navy swept the U.S. and British Commonwealth forces from the western Pacific. Focusing on the U.S. Navy, the author tells the well-known story of the hasty reorganization after the shock of Pearl Harbor and of desperate battles fought with inferior numbers. He successfully incorporates personal accounts to provide a courageous human dimension to the tale of everyday duties punctuated by occasional terror. The book ends with the miraculous American victory at Midway in June 1942 when the Japanese advance was finally halted for good.
VERDICT Well documented—albeit from previously published materials—and well written. Experienced World War II history buffs may bypass if they feel no need to read another retelling of this phase of the Pacific War, but nonspecialists and general readers will want to consider it. (Photos and index not seen.) [See roundups of new titles in military history in the October 1 and October 15 issues of LJ.—Ed.]—Daniel K. Blewett, Coll. of DuPage Lib., Glen Ellyn, IL

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