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I was born in Barcelona and have lived in the UK for many years now. I'm a writer, translator (English-Spanish and vice-versa) and I'm a medical doctor and worked in Forensic Psychiatry many years. I also have a BA and a PhD in American Literature and Film, and a Masters in Criminology. I've always loved books and apart from writing them I review them often. I write a bit of everything, check my books for more information and my about page for links. My blog is bilingual, English and Spanish.

Comments (6)

  1. This should do well, as it coincides with the anniversary. Americans obviously focus on events that affected their home nation, with Pearl Harbour and 9/11 being the most pertinent examples. Over the many years that I have been reading about wars and history, WW2 included, the most interesting aspect of the attack in Hawaii for me is that the US almost certainly knew in advance that it would happen, and ‘allowed’ it to go ahead. They needed it as a reason to make the American people want to enter the war.
    I think it is no coincidence that many of the capital ships, including the important aircraft carriers, were not in the harbour when it was attacked.
    Then again, many people would say that I am something of a conspiracy theorist…
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Thanks, Pete. Reading the book, it’s clear that there had been many warnings but those went mostly ignored. There seemed to be, at least at some levels, much stereotyping of Japanese as little men with glasses who didn’t know how to fly… and quite a bit of denial as to the fact that anybody would dare to attack the mighty US. But I didn’t realise that some of the ships they destroyed (most were repaired) were still down there and had become massive graves. I found quite interesting the fact that the book also gathers Japanese accounts and I must say their training methods were… And of course, Hawaii itself was full of Japanese. I know what you mean, though.

  2. History is written by the victor, often causing longstanding bias an contempt. I’ve lived with the results of people refusing to dig deeper, find out for themselves rather than blindly accepting assumptions that continue. This writer seems to do all he can to avoid that. I’d like to read this one. It sounds well rounded, thoroughly researched. Thanks for bringing this one to our attention, Olga. Hugs.

    1. I haven’t read a lot about it but to my uninformed self it seemed very thorough and well-researched. Thanks, Teagan and have a great weekend.

  3. Thanks for reviewing this. It is a subject I have encountered, but skirted round in my research, and I would like to be better informed. Although it bought the Americans into the war, the Japanese had already quietly marched through Burma and also invaded Malaya on the same day as they bombed Pearl Harbour, so although many were taken by surprise about Pearl Harbour, Singapore would have fallen just the same. In many of my father’s letters in late 1941 from Malaya and in his later memoirs, this stereotyped idea of the Japanese being shortsighted and not capable of heavy engineering crops up. News of events in China seemed to filter through and make them revise their ideas a little… but not enough or in time, to mount a proper defence.

    1. Thanks, Hilary. Yes, I was struck by how powerful the stereotypes can be. Also, I guess it is partly that people couldn’t really believe it could happen. In some ways, I kept thinking about a film I saw about 9/11 (United 93 directed by Paul Greengrass) that purported to be a pretty accurate account of what went on (as far as they could guess) on the last plane, the one that crashed onto the ground in Pennsylvania. It showed the air controllers and the authorities and how they couldn’t believe what was happening, no matter what the evidence was. (Not that they would have managed to change what happened, but it simply wouldn’t enter into their heads that somebody would be so bold). In this book about Pearl Harbor, there was much reference in documents cited and in interviews collected at the time that they didn’t believe Japanese were good pilots or their planes could compare to the American and British. Reading the comments about the book I saw that some people said it didn’t add anything new, and it’s probably true, but I thought it seemed pretty complete and offered a good bibliography and the appendixes had full documents so it might not be a bad investment as far as initial research goes (and it’s a pretty good read too). It does talk about the moves of the Japanese in China and their invasions before Pearl Harbor, so you might find some relevant information there too (it shows the escalation and the build-up pretty well, I thought, but you know much more about that than I do).

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