December 1941: The Month that Changed America and Saved the World  -     By: Craig Shirley
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December 1941: The Month that Changed America and Saved the World

Thomas Nelson / 2011 / Hardcover

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Product Description

December 1941 is a fascinating and meticulously researched look at the American home front - her people, faith, economy, government, and culture - during a month that radically changed the American way of life. Nostalgic in tone, this lengthy work provides a day-by-day account of the days before and after Pearl Harbor, casting the event as a causal agent in American history and American identity. 645 pages, hardcover with dust jacket.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1595554572
ISBN-13: 9781595554574
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

In the days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, eyes in America were focused on the war in Europe or distracted by the elevated mood sweeping the country in the final days of the Great Depression. But when planes dropped out of a clear blue sky and bombed the American naval base and aerial targets in Hawaii, all of that changed. December 1941 takes readers into the moment-by-moment ordeal of a nation waking to war.

Best-selling author Craig Shirley celebrates the American spirit while reconstructing the events that called it to shine with rare and piercing light. By turns nostalgic and critical, he puts readers on the ground in the stir and the thick of the action. Relying on daily news reports from around the country and recently declassified government papers, Shirley sheds light on the crucial diplomatic exchanges leading up to the attack, the policies on internment of Japanese living in the U.S. after the assault, and the near-total overhaul of the U.S. economy for war.

Shirley paints a compelling portrait of pre-war American culture: the fashion, the celebrities, the pastimes. And his portrait of America at war is just as vivid: heroism, self-sacrifice, mass military enlistments, national unity and resolve, and the prodigious talents of Hollywood and Tin Pan Alley aimed at the Axis Powers, as well as the more troubling price-controls and rationing, federal economic takeover, and censorship.  

Featuring colorful personalities such as Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull, and General Douglas MacArthur, December 1941 highlights a period of profound change in American government, foreign and domestic policy, law, economics, and business, chronicling the developments day by day through that singular and momentous month.

December 1941 features surprising revelations, amusing anecdotes, and heart-wrenching stories, and also explores the unique religious and spiritual dimension of a culture under assault on the eve of Christmas. Before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the closest thing to war for the Americans was uncoordinated, mediocre war games in South Carolina. Less than thirty days later, by the end of December 1941, the nation was involved in a pitched battle for the preservation of its very way of life, a battle that would forever change the nation and the world.

Author Bio

Craig Shirley is the author of two critically praised bestsellers about Ronald Reagan, Rendezvous with Destiny and Reagan's Revolution as well as the New York Times best-selling history, December 1941. He is the president of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs. Shirley and his wife, Zorine, are the parents of four children. They reside in Lancaster, Virginia.

Product Reviews

4.7 Stars Out Of 5
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(1)
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Value:
4.8 out Of 5
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Meets Expectations:
4.8 out Of 5
(4.8 out of 5)
100%
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Displaying items 1-5 of 7
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  1. John Chancey
    Linden, NC
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Eye-opening
    May 7, 2012
    John Chancey
    Linden, NC
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male

    I began reading this e-book in March. The author's research and attention to detail are very admirable. The book was quite long and packed with more information than the brain can actually comprehend in a quick-read, but it held my interest steadily. Let me get the minutia out of the way: there were a smattering of curse words throughout the book (most of them were NOT in the context of a quote, so they were totally unnecessary). The author constructed some very awkward sentences - mainly in the way they were phrased... Dangling modifiers and such. The placement (or omission) of commas in odd places also caused some mild irritation. There were a few formatting errors, like missing spaces between words, quotation marks out of place, etc. But for the vast scope of the book, I can overlook all these things as trivial.

    I've never read anything of substance concerning World War II before this book. The truth behind the tragedy of Pearl Harbor and the effect it had on our nation was much more astonishing than I'd ever known. Instead of giving positive/negative critiques, let me point out a few of the thoughts that impacted me the most in this book.

    1. The Allies may have eventually won the war, but in December of 1941 the Axis powers were doing all the damage. It really surprised me how badly the war was going the first few weeks after America joined the fray. (The war had technically been going on for two years, but our American frame of mind usually forgets about the fact that much happened around the world before the attack on Pearl Harbor.) Japan was relentless in its desire to dominate the Asia-Pacific arena. Also, German troops had pushed their weight all over Europe, North Africa, and almost all the way to Moscow! Things could have turned out very differently for the Allies...

    2. The U.S. experienced a tremendous unity after Pearl Harbor. The shared national tragedy created a solemn resolve in every American heart. The government asked so much of the people, but the people gladly met the need of the hour. Rationing, blackouts, "war bonds" - all of it was not merely tolerated, but embraced by the people with an amazing "Can-do" attitude. It made me sad to realize that our nation today is morally incapable of such unity. If we could not experience the same steely resolve and unity after the attacks of 9/11, when will we ever see it? Why is there no die-hard loyalty to the flag, to our military, to each other? Instead of the "Greatest Generation", we have people who call 911 because McDonalds is out of french fries..... It is unthinkable that the America of today would be willing to give up the rubber for their car tires, or donate a seventh work-day to the war effort without pay, or agree not to make long-distance calls in case of a defense emergency - all of which the Americans of the 1940's did without flinching. Again, the nation lacks the moral and spiritual fortitude to survive another such hour of dire need. May God have mercy on us.

    3. Winston Churchill was an amazing individual. There were other men (and women) of the time period who were great in character and influence, but Churchill is just a radiant figure. I didn't (and still don't) know much about him; but I am determined to read a biography on him soon, as well as all of his speeches I can find. His skills of speech were only rivaled by his charisma as a leader.

    The book was tremendously eye-opening. The picture it paints of the nation of that day, and how the men and women rose to meet a remarkable challenge against an unspeakable evil - well, in short, they make me proud to be an American. What a heritage of heroes we have! I give the book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

    I received this e-book free from the publishers in exchange for my honest review.

  2. Vera
    North Carolina
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    WWII, the US, the World
    January 17, 2012
    Vera
    North Carolina
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    Asia and Europe were engaged in war. Japan had invaded china and was amassing a large army in Indochina, and Hitler held Europe and England in the throes of his climb to control the World. America was gradually climbing out of the Great Depression and there was a general up beat mood throughout the country.

    The wars in which Asia and Europe were engaged had not escaped the attention of the American on the streets of large cities or of the mid-American farmer and average Joe. There were basically two sides to the coin in America. The America First anti-war organization believed that America should not become involved in Europe or Asia. President Franklin D. Roosevelt believed in internationalism and was inclined to commit American youth to the battlefields of other countries.

    December 1941 covers 31 days of news articles, confidential reports, and other sources that tell the story of America's involvement in World War II. "Never before or since has America been so unified." (Preface ix, December 1941) The book has extensive end notes.

    The build up of a large Japanese military in Indonesia along with the rumor of Japan's amassing a large naval fleet in the Pacific caused intense tensions among American strategists, however talks with the Japanese envoys continued with smiles but neither side conceding.

    December 7th brought the dawn of a new era to America and to the World. After the bombing of the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, there were virtually no more isolationists or America Firsters. America was rallied and America was at war.

    President Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress on December 8 saying, "Yesterday, December 7, 1941- a date that will live in infamy - the United States was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” (pg. 167, December 1941)
    "........ I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire." (pg. 168, December 1941)

    Americans rallied in uniform strength to build the military. Americans' individual strength of purpose, industrial strength, and community determination eventually turned the tide in the Pacific and in Europe. The cost was great both in lives and finances.

    Craig Shirley documents the immediate (31 days) of national anger and arousal at an enemy that dared to invade and devastate the American people's military might. He also shows the speed of response of a nation to rally to arms.

    The gearing up of manufacturing to support the war effort and to replace destroyed planes and ships from Pearl Harbor. The required and accepted sacrifice of day-to-day "necessities" on the part of the American peoples to support the troops and the cause. All tell the story of a nation doing it's part in the fight for freedom.

    Mr. Shirley uses research gleaned from major and small town newspapers from around the United States and from other sources of record. It tends to be difficult to follow if one is trying to research a particular subject. There is much, if not too much, information and it seems somewhat muddled to me. But then, that was a confusing time to the American public because there was so much going on and the involvement of the people was so widespread and intense. He captures the essence of the flow of life, the political scene, and the international tensions affecting life in America at the time.

    This book will have limited market appeal in that it most likely will be a desired read or study tool for those heavily interested in history of the World War II period. The pictures included with the book are not the best of the period, but they are representative. I would have encouraged him to use more pictures to make the book more appealing but still avoid the look and feel of a period picture book. This is not a "coffee table" book. It is a lengthy and involved book.

    Finally, I like that Craig Shirley ends December 1941 with President Roosevelt's calling for the peoples of America to pray (pg. 534, 535) - "...all churches throughout America would be open from early the morning of January 1, 1942, until well into the evening for prayer, communion, and supplication."

    President Roosevelt's statement concluded with,

    "In making this first day of the year 1942 a day of prayer, we ask for forgiveness for our shortcomings of the past, consecration to the tasks of the present, and God's help in days to come.

    We need his guidance that this people may be humble in spirit but strong in the conviction of the right; steadfast to endure sacrifices and brave to achieve a victory of liberty and peace."

    I received this book free from BookSneeze for the purpose of review. I was not required to give a positive review

  3. Arkatox
    Illinois
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: male
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    ...Recommend to anyone into World War II history.
    January 16, 2012
    Arkatox
    Illinois
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    Though I couldn't spend as much time with Craig Shirley's book as I would have liked, December 1941 is a very interesting, day-by-day summary of all that went on in one of the most important months of all of World War II. Each chapter is an account of one day, and overall it makes for a very interesting book.

    The amount of research put into this book is outstanding. You can understand that just from reading any part of the 544-page book. And then, once you get to the end, you find 94 pages of small print notes and bibliographies. That is a heck of a lot of notes!

    December 1941 is best read a chapter a day. I would recommend starting on December 1, and finishing on December 31. Of course, you can't do that now, since it's January, but any other 31-day month would work as well. Or, of course, you could read it at any pace you like. I'm just giving a suggestion.

    The book itself was quite interesting. I admit I wasn't able to get through all of it without any skipping around a lot, but it's the kind of book where that is easily allowed. Obviously, since it's non-fiction, it's not like you need to read every last part to be sure of what's going on. It's well-written and easy to read. The amount of research put into it is amazing, and it's definitely something I would recommend to anyone into World War II history or history in general.

  4. Rachel
    Canada
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great book!
    December 20, 2011
    Rachel
    Canada
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    have you ever wondered what happened after the attack on pearl Harbor? when the USA went to war and what effect it had on the USA?
    this book is a wonderful history book that goes day by day in December of the events leading up to December 7 and to the end of the month.

    From newspaper clippings and tons of reasearch Craig Stirling compiled the book, December 1941, the USA really bonded together after pearl Harbor bombing, blind, old and young all went to efforts for the war.

    its a really good history book.
    5 stars

  5. Booklover10
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Great for history lovers
    December 14, 2011
    Booklover10
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    When you hear people talk about December 1941, what do you think? I think most people think back to WWII and Pearl Harbor. At least I hope most people think of that so that this year is never forgotten.

    I love history, so I was intrigued by the title of this book and the great reviews that it had on it. Also, my grandfather and I like to talk about WWII and things he remembered so I thought this would give us more to talk about!

    On December 6, 1941, America knew that they would have to be involved in the war at some point, but they really thought they would be in the European War. Other countries wanted us in the war against Hitler but America wasn't quite ready at the time. They had no idea of the plans Japan had concocted. The Japanese fleet of boats and planes were able to move about undetected in the ocean and then surprise us with the unthinkable. This book goes through the 31 days in December and what happened each day. These were most probably the most important days for us in the war due to the huge amounts of loss of life.

    Not only was WWII going on, but you also had the Great Depression lingering about. How would that fit into the war with not much money to spend? That's talked about, too.

    If you are in any way interested in history, you have to read this book. Don't worry. It's not like you reading a textbook like you did in school. This book holds your interest and makes you want to find more history books written just like it.

    _________________________
    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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