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30 review for Eagle Against the Sun: The American War with Japan

  1. 4 out of 5

    HBalikov

    This book, often viewed as a “classic,” was published in 1985 as a part of the Macmillan “Wars of the United States Series.” It covers the war with Japan from its antecedents to and beyond the surrender of Japan in 1945. (There are, at present, 14 books in the series, which seem either to address specific conflicts or the history of the individual American military services.) At over 500 pages, this isn’t an overview of the Pacific Theater of World War II. It is a very detailed look at various as This book, often viewed as a “classic,” was published in 1985 as a part of the Macmillan “Wars of the United States Series.” It covers the war with Japan from its antecedents to and beyond the surrender of Japan in 1945. (There are, at present, 14 books in the series, which seem either to address specific conflicts or the history of the individual American military services.) At over 500 pages, this isn’t an overview of the Pacific Theater of World War II. It is a very detailed look at various aspects of that war. I wanted to get more detail about the largest of American conflicts and was gratified to have my GoodReads friends point me in this direction. Spector writes effectively in mastering the details of his subject and giving the reader sufficient analysis to understand why actions and events turned out the way they did. I particularly liked Spector’s presentation of the economic conflicts between the USA and Japan that led to Pearl Harbor. I appreciated his narrative of how the “isolationist” USA of the 1930s eventually prepared for this massive conflict. I learned a great deal about China and how it was viewed (both realistically and romantically) by both Japan and the United States. This is in addition to a detailed description and discussion of the battles, strategy and tactics that form the basis for most discussions of this period. This book can serve you well as the foundation reference for any exploration of World War II in the Pacific.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    If you are not familiar with the war against Japan, you can hardly go wrong starting with this one. A very thorough account of the lead up to and conduct of the war. The only major flaw is the lack of maps to guide you through the various theaters and engagements. 4 Stars due to this oversight but it is a compelling, exciting read nontheless. This book covers all the major players, not just the US forces. A good deal of time is spent on lesser known actions, such as the New Guinea campaigns; the If you are not familiar with the war against Japan, you can hardly go wrong starting with this one. A very thorough account of the lead up to and conduct of the war. The only major flaw is the lack of maps to guide you through the various theaters and engagements. 4 Stars due to this oversight but it is a compelling, exciting read nontheless. This book covers all the major players, not just the US forces. A good deal of time is spent on lesser known actions, such as the New Guinea campaigns; the China-Burma-India theater; and other topics, such as blacks and women in the military; intelligence both in code-breaking and behind-the-lines agents and networks, etc. Keep a notepad handy as this book will give you plenty of ideas and vectors to explore in future reading. The best part of the book is his effort to show each significant engagement (and many lesser known ones) and how it affected a subsequent action or caused a reaction that led to other outcomes. The battles are not just described in isolation. Eagle Against the Sun: The American War With Japan deserves a permanent place on the war shelf, a superb reference for one half of WWII.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kym Robinson

    This is a book that covers the Pacific and Asian theater of World War Two and while it mostly focuses on the United States and Japan it does manage to give some pages to the other players in this complicated and ever lasting conflict. At times it seems to want to go further into the discussions about China, Britain or Australia, etc but just pulls back when the pages nearly lose sight of the titlesakes focus. Spector manages to fit concisely with great detail and consideration many aspects of th This is a book that covers the Pacific and Asian theater of World War Two and while it mostly focuses on the United States and Japan it does manage to give some pages to the other players in this complicated and ever lasting conflict. At times it seems to want to go further into the discussions about China, Britain or Australia, etc but just pulls back when the pages nearly lose sight of the titlesakes focus. Spector manages to fit concisely with great detail and consideration many aspects of the conflict. From the pre-war attitudes and formations of the respective belligerents, to the campaigns and battles themselves through to the interactions of personalities and politics involved. It was in his investigation into some of the near theater and at home considerations that really helped to give this book weight for those interested in learning, with a one book, about the pacific war. Spector does not hide his disdain for MacArthur, nor does he shy away from a respect and admiration for the Japanese. Despite being an American historian with a history of service in the Marine Corps, he does not show a patriotic or service bias as far as his coverage of this history goes. I found this book to be an enjoyable read, with an excellent balance of detail mixed with a pleasant prose. Spector provides the reader with a great many sources and notations so as to inspire a greater detailed investigation into the many events mentioned, while also helping one form a further reading list. I would recommend this book for any one who has an interest in the conflict, whether a novice or an expert on the subject as I am certain it will provide both and all with a splendid historical read and trip into the horrors and heroism that was the War in the Far East. 86%

  4. 5 out of 5

    John

    This must receive five stars, as it accomplishes its mission perfectly. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone; if you are not into the history of WWII I see no reason why you would ever read this book. But it is the first book I would recommend to anyone wishing to learn about the Pacific theater of WWII. It appears to cover absolutely everything; it is understandable and quite readable; the chapters are just about the perfect length; and the author does not shy away from his own opinion, so when This must receive five stars, as it accomplishes its mission perfectly. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone; if you are not into the history of WWII I see no reason why you would ever read this book. But it is the first book I would recommend to anyone wishing to learn about the Pacific theater of WWII. It appears to cover absolutely everything; it is understandable and quite readable; the chapters are just about the perfect length; and the author does not shy away from his own opinion, so when he believes a commander did something stupid (and he thinks MacArthur was pretty stupid at times) he is up front about it. This provided me with a lot of detail I never had before, especially about the war in New Guinea and the Philippines. I never knew anything about the war in the Philippines. I watched that whole miniseries "The Pacific" and I don't think they mentioned it once. I had heard of the Bataan Death March, but the fact that the U.S. forces recaptured the islands, amidst massive naval battles and heavy fighting in Manila, I never heard about that. Spector said that Manila saw almost as much damage as Warsaw during the war, which is quite a lot. I also appreciated Spector's attention to the Japanese point of view: their war plans, strategy, ideals, etc. He has much more information on the Allied side, but he does his best to include as much information on Japan as possible. Too often we act as if the Japanese didn't have a war plan, as if the only plan was to fight to the death. This is not true. The Japanese planned and strategized just as the Americans did, the difference was that the American strategies worked better, and the Americans could improve technology and replace losses much more effectively than the Japanese could.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    Dad was involved in the invasion of the Philippines so I've long held an interest in that theater of the war. From this, a military history, I wasn't expecting much--maybe some mention of Dad's unit (yes), his command (yes) and his ship (no), certainly a third opinion about the Pearl Harbor attack (yes, albeit inconclusive) about which I'd recently studied. Otherwise, I expected the work of a professional military historian to be detailed...and dry. Well, Spector is detailed as regards the events Dad was involved in the invasion of the Philippines so I've long held an interest in that theater of the war. From this, a military history, I wasn't expecting much--maybe some mention of Dad's unit (yes), his command (yes) and his ship (no), certainly a third opinion about the Pearl Harbor attack (yes, albeit inconclusive) about which I'd recently studied. Otherwise, I expected the work of a professional military historian to be detailed...and dry. Well, Spector is detailed as regards the events he chooses to discuss, but he isn't dry. Interspersed with the accounts of 'battles and campaigns' are excurses into biographies, technologies, theories and anecdotes, some of which are quite moving. An example: Not only were Japanese soldiers required by their official military code to fight unto the death, but civilian noncombatants also often chose to die rather than surrender. In one such instance, after the US successfully captured an island and was mopping up, the body of a woman was found floating among the thousands of civilian corpses below the cliffs from which they had jumped. She had died in the middle of childbirth, the baby's head partly emerged.--Amidst all of the listing of deaths (4,000 from one sunken boat, 100,000 from a single bombing, and on and on), this brought home to me the true horror of war. Finally, Spector is to be commended for paying substantial attention to the Japanese side of things, detailing not only their (to us) atrocities but also their heroism.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Spector’s single-volume history of the Pacific campaigns in World War II is a marvel of breadth and clarity. He begins with American and Japanese societies just prior to the war and ends with the unconditional surrender following the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Spector is mostly concerned with the conduct of the war itself, so he only hints at its larger significance: the change in the balance of power between Japan and China, the rise of a democratic Japan, and the demise of Eur Spector’s single-volume history of the Pacific campaigns in World War II is a marvel of breadth and clarity. He begins with American and Japanese societies just prior to the war and ends with the unconditional surrender following the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Spector is mostly concerned with the conduct of the war itself, so he only hints at its larger significance: the change in the balance of power between Japan and China, the rise of a democratic Japan, and the demise of European influence in Asia. “The existence of the strong and stable independent nations of Asia is perhaps the most important and lasting legacy bequeathed by the men and women who perished in the American-Japanese war.” A volume of this scope will necessarily be skimping on details, but there are still plenty to savor. The rivalry between Nimitz and MacArthur, both personally and as proxies for the power struggle between Army and Navy, is a constant theme. Spector also agrees with Yamamoto that, almost inevitably, American industrial dominance proved the deciding factor in a long war. I’m sure Spector struggled daily to keep a host of undoubtedly interesting details from bloating or derailing his narrative. Thankfully, his bibliography points the way for the interested reader to keep reading about this crucial time in twentieth-century in American history.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Charles Besancon

    If you’re only going to read one book on the war between Japan and the United States, it should be this one.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Don

    As advertised, this is a good--perhaps the best--comprehensive overview of the war against Japan in World War II. Spector does a solid job in showing the broader strategies of both the U.S. and Japan, the logistics and materials issues and the intramural turf wars, as well as the specific battles. However, here are the flaws of the book: 1. First and foremost, this really suffers from the absence of maps. There is but one map, of the entire Pacific theater, with little detail. Spector's descripti As advertised, this is a good--perhaps the best--comprehensive overview of the war against Japan in World War II. Spector does a solid job in showing the broader strategies of both the U.S. and Japan, the logistics and materials issues and the intramural turf wars, as well as the specific battles. However, here are the flaws of the book: 1. First and foremost, this really suffers from the absence of maps. There is but one map, of the entire Pacific theater, with little detail. Spector's descriptions of various battles were, for me, impossible to follow without maps. 2. Spector's discussions of the organization and organizational battles within the U.S. military command, as well as within the Japanese military, are very detailed and undoubtedly an important part of the military history. But these sections are too detailed, dry and ultimately just not very interesting. 3. Although other reviewers claim that he shows what battle was like for the soldiers involved, I found this to be not true. There is little discussion of the experience of battle; this is no Steven Ambrose work.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    In the 1960s Macmillan began publishing a series entitled "The Macmillan Wars of the United States." Written by some of the nation's leading military historians, its volumes offered surveys of the various conflicts America had fought over the centuries, the strategies employed, and the services which fought them. Ultimately fourteen volumes were published over two decades, with many of them still serving as excellent accounts of their respective subjects. As the last book published in the series, In the 1960s Macmillan began publishing a series entitled "The Macmillan Wars of the United States." Written by some of the nation's leading military historians, its volumes offered surveys of the various conflicts America had fought over the centuries, the strategies employed, and the services which fought them. Ultimately fourteen volumes were published over two decades, with many of them still serving as excellent accounts of their respective subjects. As the last book published in the series, Ronald Spector's contribution to it serves as a sort of capstone to its incomplete efforts. In it he provides an account of the battles and campaigns waged by the United States against Japan in the Second World War, from the prewar planning and the assumptions held in the approach to war to the deployment of the atomic bombs that ended it. In between the covers all of the major naval battles and island-hopping campaigns in the Pacific, as well as America's military efforts in the China-Burma-India theater. He rounds out his coverage with chapters discussing both the social composition of the forces America deployed and the complex intelligence operations against the Japanese, ones that extended beyond the now-famous codebreaking efforts that proved so valuable. Though dated in a few respects, overall Spector's book serves as a solid single-volume survey of the war waged by the United States against Japan. By covering the efforts against the Japanese in mainland Asia, he incorporates an important aspect of the war too often overlooked or glossed over in histories of America's military effort against the Japanese, one that often influenced developments elsewhere in the theater. Anyone seeking an introduction to America's war with Japan would be hard pressed to find a better book, which stands as a great example of what Macmillan set out to accomplish when they first embarked upon the series.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rob Williams

    Still the standard.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Aristotle

    Eagle Against the Sun: The American War with Japan by Ronald H. Spector The first book I’ve managed to finish in over two months was a very entertaining one. Spector’s Eagle against the Sun (my battered original copy of it) is the very first full scholarly piece on the Pacific War. I’ve been exposed to the history of the theater my whole life, I live in one of the nations which fought it directly, I’ve read about it in small and large doses in other books and have had hundreds of hours poured in Eagle Against the Sun: The American War with Japan by Ronald H. Spector The first book I’ve managed to finish in over two months was a very entertaining one. Spector’s Eagle against the Sun (my battered original copy of it) is the very first full scholarly piece on the Pacific War. I’ve been exposed to the history of the theater my whole life, I live in one of the nations which fought it directly, I’ve read about it in small and large doses in other books and have had hundreds of hours poured in video games, movies and TV shows on the topic. HBO’s The Pacific is one of my favorite TV mini-series ever made. So how does the book shape up? Quite well. For a book written in 1984, a time where the historiography of the conflict was still in a very unsure place, it holds some very modern viewpoints and discourse on the wider and more controversial points of the war. The chapters, while strange in their listing of references in each one, are very well structured and give the perfect amount of time to each topic without leaning to heavily on any specific section of the war. Conversely I did have some small problems with the books design, however this was the only issue I had with the piece. In a majority of the documentaries and chapters I’ve read on the pacific war, a lot of focus is often given to American operations between 1944 and 1945, with smaller coverage of early events are rare coverage of events experienced by other parties such as the UK and Australia. Mind you I haven’t read any other books focused solely on the Pacific War so my view is skewed here. In Spector’s Eagle against the Sun, he goes to good lengths to cover almost all notable actions and elements of the conflict, as well as provide well measured discussion on some of it’s more tender points. He shows a good and often rare capability to look at the war from a non-American point of view and provides credence to more nuanced viewpoints. In 570 pages, Spector does well to keep everything to the point. Paragraphs flow well and information links across the entire book. I did find it odd and outdated that the sources for each chapter were listed at the end of the chapter rather than altogether at the end of the book, but it wasn’t something that detracted from the book. Otherwise, structurally, it was wonderful to read. As mentioned the only real issue I had with the book was it’s complementary design. Aside from very rudimentary ones on the books internal cover, the book contains no maps. The Pacific War was possibly the most geographically challenging and unique conflicts not just in the wider Second World War but in all of history. Without even one accurate map to trace the operations being described, it can be difficult to fully enjoy the information being delivered without having to turn to the internet. Otherwise the book did have a gallery of photographs which suited well, but due to my issue I can’t give the book a perfect score so I’m leaving it with an 8/10.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    Sits alongside "Retribution" and "The Rising Sun" as one of the three most fascinating and insightful books I have ever read about World War II in the Pacific. It provides a wonderfully balanced view of the war, reserving time for under-reported aspects such as the experiences of Japanese detainees in America, WACs and the often-neglected China/Burma/India theater. Highly recommended as the best one-volume history of the Pacific War, especially for those new to the topic. Sits alongside "Retribution" and "The Rising Sun" as one of the three most fascinating and insightful books I have ever read about World War II in the Pacific. It provides a wonderfully balanced view of the war, reserving time for under-reported aspects such as the experiences of Japanese detainees in America, WACs and the often-neglected China/Burma/India theater. Highly recommended as the best one-volume history of the Pacific War, especially for those new to the topic.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Brooks

    Powerful, detailed description of a hellish enterprise. Amazed by last sentence of book. “The existence of the strong and independent nations of Asia (Singapore, Taiwan, India, and Malaysia-for the stagnant and impoverished nations of the 1930s.) is perhaps the most important and lasting legacy bequeathed by the men and women who perished in the American-Japanese war.” In my current context as I watch leaders in my denomination fight the cultural wars to their own advantage I see a similar dynami Powerful, detailed description of a hellish enterprise. Amazed by last sentence of book. “The existence of the strong and independent nations of Asia (Singapore, Taiwan, India, and Malaysia-for the stagnant and impoverished nations of the 1930s.) is perhaps the most important and lasting legacy bequeathed by the men and women who perished in the American-Japanese war.” In my current context as I watch leaders in my denomination fight the cultural wars to their own advantage I see a similar dynamic at work among army and navy leaders in the Pacific. Douglas MacArthur who was definitely not a team player. As his troops are about to go on the Battan Death March he postures for the cameras. “I shall return” indeed. If he’d been realistic about his inability to defend his soldiers could have been put to better effect. Amazing. As for the Atomic Bomb dropping on Hiroshima and Nagasaki - A younger me had been against the dropping of the one let alone two. In retrospect I find myself at odds with my younger self. It seems in retrospect that the loss of life in an invasion of Japan would have brought about an equivalent if not more suffering. Add to this the understanding that there were strong Japanese proponents who almost succeeded in pulling off a coup when the Emperor insisted on peace (after the bombs) and it becomes a little harder to argue with those who actually had to make hard decisions. The descriptions of the hard fighting on Okinawa, Iwo Jima to just name two of many many more . . . Well! It does seem that the move from colonialism after the Second World War may be the best legacy. Ultimately how can we let go of self centered pride and truly work in the best interests of constituents and neighbors? How can we make peace?

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bob Lundquist

    World War II in the Pacific was a foregone conclusion from the beginning. The Japanese squandered what advantages they had in the many early victories that included the attack on Pearl Harbor, the conquests of Malaya, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Indochina, and on the China mainland before 1941. They were woefully over-extended and spent. Effective reserves and raw material would be hard to come by. Barely five months after Pearl Harbor, Japan was bombed by U. S. bombers in a symbolic World War II in the Pacific was a foregone conclusion from the beginning. The Japanese squandered what advantages they had in the many early victories that included the attack on Pearl Harbor, the conquests of Malaya, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Indochina, and on the China mainland before 1941. They were woefully over-extended and spent. Effective reserves and raw material would be hard to come by. Barely five months after Pearl Harbor, Japan was bombed by U. S. bombers in a symbolic move that shocked many in Japan. Shortly after that in June 1942, Midway destroyed whatever initiative the Japanese had and put on the defensive for the rest of the war. It became a waiting game for American industry and organization to development and become an overwhelming war machine. The Japanese did not have a chance and the wiser ones knew it. Though published thirty-five years ago, Eagle Against the Sun is a good introduction to the Pacific war. It has good background on how the Japanese and Americans viewed each other before and during the war. The moves that led to hostilities. How the Americans took the initiative and never let go. How the Japanese continued to fight despite the odds against them. The risks taken by both sides and how they played out. It was epic and supremely tragic. Hopefully, this book will inspire readers to take the steps to learn more.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Feiraco

    I’ve read books on The Second World War for 20 years but never really touched upon The Pacific. This had a lot to do with the geographical difficulty of all those battles and the absence of a single volume to give a readable overview. But that has been always there since 1984 when more than 30 years ago Ronald H. Spector published this magnificent book. It is very much readable and goes in chronological order from battle to battle, and explains why certain invasions were chosen and how those dec I’ve read books on The Second World War for 20 years but never really touched upon The Pacific. This had a lot to do with the geographical difficulty of all those battles and the absence of a single volume to give a readable overview. But that has been always there since 1984 when more than 30 years ago Ronald H. Spector published this magnificent book. It is very much readable and goes in chronological order from battle to battle, and explains why certain invasions were chosen and how those decisions came about. A portion of the book is dedicated to internal politics, mainly within the allies and the US itself, for those who are interested. The most important land and naval battles are covered in a few pages, and Spector dives into many aspects of the war (like the role of minorities in the US Army). This is just a perfect book to get a grip on this war and to explore it further. A flaw might be the absence of maps, except for the high-level map at the start of the book. Some specific battles are described in such detail that a map would have really helped. Finally, imagine what Spector could have achieved if he had written it in the era of the internet. But he did it without it, a marvelous achievement.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Newfell

    Very good one volume of the American war against Japan in the Pacific. It follows the events relatively in chronological order, with a few diversions. Most of the battles are well covered, of course not in depth, as many of the major battles have books of their own. A couple of caveats: some of the details can be bewildering. The battle for Peleliu is covered in exactly a page and a half, yet there is an entire chapter on how the American soldiers found many of the cultures they encountered so s Very good one volume of the American war against Japan in the Pacific. It follows the events relatively in chronological order, with a few diversions. Most of the battles are well covered, of course not in depth, as many of the major battles have books of their own. A couple of caveats: some of the details can be bewildering. The battle for Peleliu is covered in exactly a page and a half, yet there is an entire chapter on how the American soldiers found many of the cultures they encountered so strange. The biggest issue is a lack of maps. There is an overall map of the Pacific on the front pages and copied on the end pages. It has no detail - many of the islands are no larger than a literal dot on the page. There is not another map in the whole book. Many of the battle descriptions discuss beaches, mountains, valleys and other terrain that you can only imagine.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Iain

    Well done coverage of World War II in the Pacific. Spector ranges the gamut from strategic analysis down through individuals anecdotes. Although at times those anecdotes seem forced. The narrative really shines when he focuses on analysis at the operational level and higher. The book drags (as did the war) in the last several chapters and the ending is quite weak. I'd recommend this to those interested in WWII in the Pacific, although there is much recent scholarship (for example Midway) that is Well done coverage of World War II in the Pacific. Spector ranges the gamut from strategic analysis down through individuals anecdotes. Although at times those anecdotes seem forced. The narrative really shines when he focuses on analysis at the operational level and higher. The book drags (as did the war) in the last several chapters and the ending is quite weak. I'd recommend this to those interested in WWII in the Pacific, although there is much recent scholarship (for example Midway) that is lacking in this older account.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I haven't read as many books regarding WW2 as other people who have reviewed this book but I am happy I came across this book. WW2 is one of the most interesting time periods to me, this book was understandable and the chapters were the right length. It offered me a very balanced view and thorough account leading up to the war and also the conduct of the war. I gained a better perspective from the other major players aside from the United States, although I wish there were more maps. I haven't read as many books regarding WW2 as other people who have reviewed this book but I am happy I came across this book. WW2 is one of the most interesting time periods to me, this book was understandable and the chapters were the right length. It offered me a very balanced view and thorough account leading up to the war and also the conduct of the war. I gained a better perspective from the other major players aside from the United States, although I wish there were more maps.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Penny

    I just couldn’t make myself read this. It was for a book club, and I did learn some things in the first 5 chapters, and I did enjoy discussions. However, when I find myself not tempted to pick up a book and read any time I have the chance, and I dread having to read, it’s time to give up on it! There are too many books that interest me to be spending time on one that doesn’t. If you like history and theories behind war, this may be more your cup of tea.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    This book reads more like a textbook. It is difficult to stay with it. Instead of footnotes on each page - they are at the end of the chapter, The reader must go back and forth. Some of the footnotes are pertinent so as I reader, I kept looking through them. I had trouble making any progress on this book. To be honest - I gave up on it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ray

    For my Pacific Campaign course I concurrently read Eagle Against the Sun by Ronald H. Spector and and The Rising Sun by John Toland. Both books were good reads with Spector going into a more narrative approach in his work then Toland.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jim Byrne

    Good read Many insights on the political aspects leading to the conflict as well as the strategies employed. Would recommend this book

  23. 5 out of 5

    Grant

    The best single-volume overview, with nuanced and balanced judgments.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michael Truscott

    This was the perfect book for me. I was familiar with most of the major points made by the author. But I had virtually no clue how they all hung together.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Charley Duschen

    Good read. Gives broad coverage of the lead up to the conflict. Missed an opportunity to review the hapless ship that delivered the bomb and got sunk with numerous sailors left to die awaiting a much delayed rescue.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Allen Martin

    An excellent 1 volume overview of the Pacific War in WW II. The book focuses on US and Japan history. What struck me was the lack on coordination, interservice rivalry, missed opportunities, and unexpected successes from both sides. The book also helped me understand many of the design decisions made in the boardgame about this same conflict, called Empire Of The Sun.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mance

    I'm started reading this book with only the most fundamental and vague memories of World War 2 from high school days. Yet I found it to be a completely accessible read despite my starting place of nearly zero. The focus, as surmised from the title, is on the American perspective of the war in the Pacific, though there are occasional glances into the Japanese perspective. The book goes into quite a bit of detail with each major battle and campaign. Again, despite knowing little of that particular I'm started reading this book with only the most fundamental and vague memories of World War 2 from high school days. Yet I found it to be a completely accessible read despite my starting place of nearly zero. The focus, as surmised from the title, is on the American perspective of the war in the Pacific, though there are occasional glances into the Japanese perspective. The book goes into quite a bit of detail with each major battle and campaign. Again, despite knowing little of that particular subject, it was generally easy to follow. There was an excellent chapter on the social situation around the Pacific that I enjoyed, and I'll be looking for more resources regarding that. All in all, a great read. I feel as I've learned a bit, and I've got a good set of questions to guide me to the next thing I want to read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dark-Draco

    I picked this up because all my knowledge of the American/Japanese conflict during WWII, I learnt from films like Pearl Harbour. Not the most objective view, you'll probably agree! This is a quite comprehensive history of the conflict, starting from just before the Pearl Harbour attacks and ending in the aftermath of the Atomic bombing. It's a bit dry in places, where the author resorts to listing names, dates and ship specifications, but interspersed with that is some more human moments - the st I picked this up because all my knowledge of the American/Japanese conflict during WWII, I learnt from films like Pearl Harbour. Not the most objective view, you'll probably agree! This is a quite comprehensive history of the conflict, starting from just before the Pearl Harbour attacks and ending in the aftermath of the Atomic bombing. It's a bit dry in places, where the author resorts to listing names, dates and ship specifications, but interspersed with that is some more human moments - the stuff that real history is made of. I found it informative, shocking in places and proof that luck plays an enormous part in any conflict.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Hermosillo

    This was a very informative account of the World War II battles in the Pacific theater. Even though I had learned about WWII in school, they focused mostly on Nazi Germany and the holocaust. The war with Japan was not coverted extensively and the focus was on Pear Harbor, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the internment of Japanese-Americans in thye U.S. Eagle Against the Sun is an excellent account of the war with Japan and the various battles on land, sea and air. It was definitely a This was a very informative account of the World War II battles in the Pacific theater. Even though I had learned about WWII in school, they focused mostly on Nazi Germany and the holocaust. The war with Japan was not coverted extensively and the focus was on Pear Harbor, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the internment of Japanese-Americans in thye U.S. Eagle Against the Sun is an excellent account of the war with Japan and the various battles on land, sea and air. It was definitely a worthwhile read that I would recommend.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Paul Duggan

    An outstanding book, highly recommended. However, the large number of errors, both factual and typographic, distracted this reader. Also, the repetition of material became tiresome. A good editor or even a graduate student could have avoided this. But by far the greatest shortcoming of this book is its lack of maps. It is inconceivable that a narrative covering four years and fully half of the earth can lack detailed maps. The reader should equip herself with a set of good, detailed maps of the Pa An outstanding book, highly recommended. However, the large number of errors, both factual and typographic, distracted this reader. Also, the repetition of material became tiresome. A good editor or even a graduate student could have avoided this. But by far the greatest shortcoming of this book is its lack of maps. It is inconceivable that a narrative covering four years and fully half of the earth can lack detailed maps. The reader should equip herself with a set of good, detailed maps of the Pacific Ocean, Southeast Asia, China and Japan.

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