Twilight of the Gods: War in the Western Pacific, 1944–1945

Norton. Sept. 2020. 944p. ISBN 9780393080650. $40. HIST
It took nine years from publishing volume one to this volume, but Toll’s trilogy of the Pacific Theater during World War II is complete. After Pacific Crucible (2011) and The Conquering Tide (2015), Toll begins this tale of 1944-45 at a crucial meeting in Honolulu between President Roosevelt and the major players of the military: Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and General Douglas MacArthur. It was here they decided the final push toward victory against Japan. Toll uses this as the jumping-off point to cover the entirety of the remainder of American actions in the Pacific, from Allied troops withstanding kamikazes to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The author can get bogged down in minute details and his own dislike of MacArthur, but he effectively uses primary documents, official reports, journals, and autobiographies to cover events from multiple viewpoints. This is helpful as it provides a personal take on harsh battles and horrific conditions for the combatants.
VERDICT Fans of Toll’s previous volumes will enjoy this book. World War II experts may find this work redundant, since it uses previously published materials. However, casual enthusiasts will appreciate as it compiles those works thoroughly.
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