Day of Infamy
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Day of Infamy

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  1,200 ratings  ·  52 reviews
The Day of Infamy began as a quiet morning on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor. But as Japan’s deadly torpedoes suddenly rained down on the Pacific fleet, soldiers, generals, and civilians alike felt shock, then fear, then rage. From the chaos, a thousand personal stories of courage emerged. Drawn from hundreds of interviews, letters, and diaries, Walter Lord recoun...more
Paperback, 60th Anniversary Edition, 241 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Hnery Holt and Co. (first published January 1st 1957)
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Annie Vu
Walter Lord's "Day of Infamy" retells the small details and planning leading up to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which was where one of the U.S.'s most important fleets resided. The book is set in Japan to Hawaii on December 7, 1941, a day significant to the larger event of World War II. Meticulously planning an attack on the U.S., a group of Japanese generals and commanders gathered an army and began sailing toward Hawaii, a dreaded trip that was not only long and boring but also full of caution...more
It is very difficult to judge this book. It´s a 200 pages "easy" take on one of the most historical of days involving thousands of people doing remarkably historically significantly things. So you know, it´s not exhaustive (nor could it be. Maybe even at 100 times the length it could not be). The style is jerky and very much geared to the *good* stuff witnesses said. But it works, against the odds, at showing what that day was - and more than just being about *that* day, it is an interesting exp...more
I picked up this "classic" (yup, I bought the "sixtieth-anniversary edition) while touring Pearl Harbor (and the Arizona, the Bowfin, and the Mizzou - all of which, by the way, are well worth the time). The folks in the gift shop told me this was the best seller out of a massive collection of Pearl Harbor, Navy History, and WWII history on the shelves. Basically, it's a mostly chronological retelling of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor through the eyes of literally hundreds of folks involved...more
I chose this book as background reading in preparation for a visit to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona. Though I knew the basics of the attack and the US entrance into WWII, I wanted to learn more.

The book itself was very readable. The individual perspectives ran the gamut from:
sadly moving as men and some women risked and in many cases lost their lives serving their country and their fellow soldiers

infuriating as you could see the mistakes being made and knew of the impending attack


Oct 17, 2008 Denise rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: anyone with an interest in recent history, WWII, nonfiction, the truth about Pearl Harbor
William Lord's Day of Infamy is an extremely well detailed account from many sources of the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Lord does a fantastic job of bringing you back to that day, minute by minute almost. Not only does he give us details leading up to the attack and the "blow by blow" of the attack, but he also takes you into the thoughts, reactions, mindsets and feelings of the actual people that it was happening to. To get this first hand account was like actually reliving that day with...more
Peter Wolfley
I really didn't know a whole lot about Pearl Harbor until Hilary and I read this book, even though I've been there. The amount of detail is staggering. It combines everyone's story from that day into a minute by minute retelling of the entire day.

There are some crazy stories, especially at the end. Like a Japanese fighter crashed on a little island and was taken prisoner by the locals. That prisoner than went ballistic, stole some guns, and started tearing up and burning the village.

One big na...more
Jun 18, 2008 Selena rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: WWII buffs, people who have visited Pearl Harbor
Walter Lord is really great for bringing you into the moment of amazing events. Just like "Night to Remember," you feel as though he was there taking notes from some other dimension. This story of the bombing at Pearl Harbor is so detailed (but not overly done) that you get to tap into so many of the different mens' lives to see what their average day was like. The story didn't focus on just a select few, which is great for me because I want to know what a mess attendant did that day as much as...more
December 7, 1941, Japan hit us at Pearl Harbor. Bombing and sinking one of our battleships, the Arizona. President Roosevelt stated that it was a "Day of Infamy". This book is all about the bombing the story of why and all the details about the attack on Pearl Harbor.
I can make a text to text connection there are a lot of attacks that are being planned right now. Anyone who has an Ally should watch what they do carefully, you never know if they will bomb your country.
I gave this book 5 stars...more
A very good book. I am an amature history buff so reading this book gave me a feeling of being there December 7 1941. If you like history and want to see it from someone who had been there, read this book.
Dara Tuck
I hate history! For me to read a book on history it has to resonate with me as more than just information and facts. Walter Lord did just that for me with this book. He took the history, the facts, information on individuals and told the story of Pearl Harbor in a timeline based on several hundred individuals as it happened.
The book was filled with facts, information not found else where and memories of the people involved from both Japanese side and the American side. These little details of w...more
Marcus P
Nov 01, 2013 Marcus P rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: any one who likes world war 2
I think the book is a good book to read if you want to know more about Pearl Harbor and what it took for the Japanese to make up the plan, how many men were lost, what ships, and how. The book starts out pretty bland and gets better as you go because the way it is set up is by historical facts and notes about Pearl Harbor. The parts I didn't like were the huge section for maps, pictures, and images. The book is a nonfiction book but the way it is written is like a fiction book. The ways it is wr...more
Walter Lord really does an excellent job. Can I keep track of all the characters? Absolutely not. I can follow the general anecdotes, though. They're compelling, and I learned a lot.

I wonder if Lord has a special attraction to disasters? I read "A Night to Remember," and it was amazing--the sinking of the Titanic was even worse and more bumbling than I thought. The reader, if properly distanced, gets to sit there and watch events unfold, saying "You idiot, why would you do that?!" Oh, the beauty...more
Clear and detailed retelling of the events at Pearl Harbor. Sometimes a little *too* detailed -- talk about your cast of thousands! I had trouble keeping the many players straight. But I learned a lot about Pearl Harbor and the scope of the tragedy -- much more than I ever learned in history class. Lord's writing style was very linear and concise. I recommend both "Day of Infamy" and his book about the Titanic, "A Night to Remember."
Walter Lord's Day of Infamy is a collection of eye-witness accounts of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, told by soldiers and civilians on both sides of the conflict. It doesn't really attempt historical analysis, mostly because it was written just a few years after the incident, but the immediacy of the accounts have their own power. It was also short and accessible, which is rare in history books.
I was intrigued to discover how, because we were such an isolationist nation, many civilians and even soldiers did not believe an actual attack was underway on Dec. 7, 1941. In a matter of thirty minutes, we went from being a completely neutral nation to one plunged into war, and this event certainly shaped our far-reaching military policy of today.
Day of Infamy was first written in 1957, 15 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor. It's comprised largely of first-hand accounts from survivors, particularly Americans, but Japanese as well. I would like to go back to Pearl Harbor and be there again having read more about it. I wish I had done that more before I went.
Robert Melnyk
Pretty good book on the details of the events of December 7, 1941. The book describes the events from the perspective of both sides. It was interesting to read about the details of what some of these men went through that day - on both sides. It was also interesting to see how I'll prepared we seemed to be for such an attack.
The 50th anniversary edition of a truly classic book. Lord's stirring account of the unexpected Pearl Harbor aerial attack has had a powerful effect on more than a million readers. If you don't know the story of this pivotal event in U.S. history, read this book. It will make you want to stand up and wave the flag!
Don Weidinger
a history of surprise attacks, OK5 WV6 AZ2 CA2 MD TN, no carriers, quick response, calm response, anti fdr la times, on Oahu Peal 96 ships 394 planes strike force 31 ships 432 planes 28 subs 8-10am 2403 killed 1200 wounded AZ OK lost 29japan planes lost 1sub5mini, rank forgotten pitch in, planes from Enterprise.
I first read this before my trip to Honolulu (and of course visiting the AZ Memorial in Pearl Harbor). Very well researched and nicely balanced with historical over view & first person accounts of the attack on Dec. 7, 1941. A bit brief on the Japanese persepective, but it's inclusion was invaluable.
Read this years ago when it first came out. Lord provided a good narrative and overview of the Japanese "High Water Mark" in the Pacific. An ease, interesting and fact dotted book of the battle that still must be the most critical 10 minutes in world history; Just Luck or Devine Intervention?
Bridget Flannery
I love World War History. This is one of my favorite books on World War II. I purchased it at the gift shop at Pearl Harbor when I was 14 years old, at a time when the author was signing the books (12 years ago). I went back 3 years ago and they are still selling the same book. Really great read.
Walter Lord's history of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor remains popular decades after publication and its easy to see why. It is fast-paced, engaging, and makes history come alive. I do sometimes wish there was more depth to the parade of people who all too quickly pass through.
Dave Sunderland
This is a very straight forward account of the events at Pearl Harbor. It is basically a minute-by-minute account told from a number of different perspectives. Very dry and not much narrative, but it is great if you are looking for the facts and firsthand accounts of the Day of Infamy.
An interview based account of "...the day that will live in infamy." Pearl Harbor. This author interviews hundreds of eye witnesses on that fateful day and the reader comes away with a much better appreciation for what that day was really like. A must read for the military historian.
Military history at this level of detail isn't quite my cup of tea, but it's an interesting minute-by-minute account of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Lord clearly did a lot of research and paints a clear picture of what it felt like to be there from various perspectives.
Every military officer should read this book, there is much to be learned in the initial response to the surprise attack. Reminded me of all the endless exercises I have been a part of and how difficult it was to drive home the realityvs the fiction.
Angela Best
I bought this book at the Pearl Harbor memorial site in Hawaii, and while it is a fantastic and detailed account of what happened, it wasn't very exciting or engaging. It read like a history textbook, and I had to struggle a bit to finish it.
I cannot believe this, but I absolutely LOVED this book. It told the story of Pearl Harbor in a clear, concise way. Details were given from both the American and Japanese survivors, and that added immensely to the horror of the day.
This book does a good job of the minute-by-minute accounting of the events in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. However, it's not terribly engaging. I got halfway through (page 102 of 209 pages) before putting it down for a long time.
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Walter Lord was an American author, best known for his documentary-style non-fiction account A Night to Remember, about the sinking of the RMS Titanic.

In 2009 Jenny Lawrence edited and published "The Way It Was: Walter Lord on His Life and Books."
More about Walter Lord...
A Night to Remember The Night Lives On Incredible Victory: The Battle of Midway Miracle of Dunkirk A Time to Stand

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