This essential reference guide is devoted to one of the most important military events in American history: the Pearl Harbor attack of December 7, 1941, “the day of infamy.” Distinguished military historian Spencer C. Tucker is the editor of this thorough study of the Japanese attack that contains reference entries as well as primary documents and oral histories describing the circumstances that led up to the attack, the event itself, and its immediate aftermath and consequences, thereby providing readers with the necessary context to understand all aspects of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Readers will understand why Japanese leaders decided to go to war with the United States, what they expected to accomplish in attacking Pearl Harbor, why this key American base was not better defended, and what the aftereffects of the attack were for the outcome of the war. Biographies on major players in the crisis such as Franklin Roosevelt, Chester Nimitz, Isoroku Yamamoto, and Hideki Tojo will provide insight into the individuals who played key roles in the events before, during, and after December 7, 1941.
- Addresses historical controversies such as whether Roosevelt knowingly allowed the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor in order to bring the United States into World War II and what the consequences of a third Japanese carrier strike might have been
- Includes primary source documents—including oral histories by participants in and victims of the attack—that help readers to better grasp the motivations behind the Japanese attack, the reasons why Pearl Harbor was not better able to resist, and what it was like to live through the attack itself
- Provides an ideal resource for high school and college students as well as interesting reading for general audiences seeking authoritative historical information on the Pearl Harbor attacks