Pearl Harbor
The Essential Reference Guide
by Spencer C. Tucker, Editor
October 2015, 274pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3718-0
$108, £84, 94€, A148
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3719-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Seven decades later, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor continues to resonate today.

This book provides students with an understanding of the motives behind the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the consequences of this action on Japan, on the United States, and on the outcome of World War II.

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
Spencer C. Tucker is Senior Fellow in Military History for ABC-CLIO Publishing. He retired in 2003 after 36 years of university teaching, the last 6 years as holder of the John Biggs Chair in Military History at the Virginia Military Institute. Tucker has written or edited 54 books or encyclopedias treating military and naval history, a number of which have won important awards. Among his published works are World War I: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection.
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