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Summary

Day of Infamy is Walter Lord's gripping, vivid re-creation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Sunday, December 7, 1941. The listener accompanies Admiral Nagumo's task force as it sweeps toward Hawaii; looks on while warning after warning is ignored on Oahu; and is enmeshed in the panic, confusion, and heroism of the final attack.
©1985 by Walter Lord (P)1998 by Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"Stuns the reader with the weight of reality!" (James A. Michener)

What listeners say about Day of Infamy

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A Seminal Work

Day of Infamy

I picked up Day of Infamy from a Audible Recommendation, and was really impressed with it.

It balances knowledge and depth well - while the author displays a clear understanding of the events he balances it well so the narrative doesn't become turgid. The writing is now sixty years old and it shows in the style. At points it's difficult to tell weather the book influences Hollywood or Hollywood influences the book. At times characters and situations can feel a little unreal.

The narration is generic, the narrator is clear and keeps the narrative moving, but the style does feel outdated.

Saying all that I would look at other Walter Lord books.

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  • Chas
  • 07-12-04

Engaging Story, Great Reading

Though Walter Lord's Day of Infamy is nearly 50 years old it does not feel dated-in fact, if anything it seems fresh because of the sheer amount of first-hand anecdotes which were only available immediately following the war. Lord weaves many compelling stories of American, Japanese and Hawaiian participants of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Tom Parker's reading is excellent, as always. This is a classic that I highly recommend.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Mike From Mesa
  • 29-07-17

Pearl Harbor through personal vignettes

There are many detailed books concerning the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that catapulted the US into World War 2 as an active combatant instead of its then current role as weapons and food supplier, including those from both the US and the Japanese perspective. Many of those give detailed explanations of what happened, when it happened and how each event affected the overall attack. This book is very different in that the entire attack is viewed through the individual actions on hundreds of people, US sailors, marines, soldiers and civilians as well as Japanese sailors. There is no overall high level view of what happened, or a moment by moment description of the events, but rather the story is the sum of all of the individual accounts.

Thus we understand the attacks on the US battleships by hearing what sailors and marines on the ships did, what they could not do, what they saw and how they reacted. Sometimes this narration tells much that an overall account could not, as with the description of how one mess stewart, with no training, took control of one of the machine guns firing at the attacking Japanese planes, how one sailor stayed at his machine gun while the fires raged around him and how sailors trapped below decks waited for either rescue from their sunk ships, or suffocation as the air ran out. Often the narrations, although compelling, fail to tell us how the events hung together and what the views of the commanders were, so the book ends up being a mixed bag.

This book is quite old, having been written in 1957, so it lacks information that has been gleaned in the intervening years through research, but it is still a worthwhile look at the event that started World War II for the US. The narrator, Grover Gardner, has the perfect voice and pace for this type of book and, although much information is missing, especially from the Japanese side, the book is well worth listening to for someone who wants a more personal and less academic view of the terrible events of December 7, 1941. But for those really interested in learning about the attack itself, this book serves more as a companion piece for more detailed books covering the war in the Pacific. While there are many such books now available readers should not go wrong by starting with those by Ian Toll (Pacific Crucible, The Conquering Tide) or James Hornfischer. The former covers the war from the start, the latter from later in the war.

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  • Jon Hill
  • 09-05-21

Full of Personal Insights

This particular history of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is unique and extraordinary because of its focus on very numerous, brief, revealing and often-poignant direct quotations from those who were present that day. The book gives insight into how it must have felt to be present that day. On this point alone the book is a roaring success.

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  • Central MN customer
  • 09-09-21

good history

Great book for learning history. Very engaging and interesting. Really like the books written by Walter Lord.

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  • Luis
  • 29-07-21

Excellent book.

This book is a great memoir of December 7th 1941. The story and narration are excellent. I recommend you listen to this book and Walter Lords other great book A night to Remember.

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  • matthew
  • 21-07-21

Amazing retelling of an historic event.

This book with narration flowed easily. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the story of our entrance into WW II

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  • Dr. S. J. Ahearn III
  • 09-06-21

Wonderful

The details, the realism and reality were put forth with pain staking effort to dramatize the attack. Seriously lessons can be drawn from this history. Should be a must read for all young people. However, it looks more and more likely that they will have to learn the lessons of history first hand.

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  • Diann
  • 20-05-21

interesting

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the perspectives of the peoples involved. Good addition to the Pearl Harbor narrative.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-04-21

WOW

I thought I new the story of pearl harbor I did not you need to hear this book. It was beyond my expectations for a good book and history lesson.

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  • KnightT
  • 17-12-20

From the people who were at Pearl Harbor

Excellent compilation of eyewitnesses who survived the attack. Well done story of the event as seen from those who survived it.