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Eagle Against the Sun: The American War with Japan
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Eagle Against the Sun: The American War with Japan (The Macmillan Wars of the United States)

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,500 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Traces the Pacific war from Pearl Harbor to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki, examining major battles & campaigns.
States of mind: American
States of mind: Japanese
Some last minute changes
The issue is in doubt
The short, unhappy life of ABDACOM
"The vital flank"
From Midway to Massacre Valley
Routes to Rabaul
Paperback, 624 pages
Published October 12th 1985 by Vintage (first published 1984)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,264)
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Kym Andrew Robinson
Jan 09, 2016 Kym Andrew Robinson rated it really liked it
Shelves: ww2-history
This is a book that covers the Pacific and Asian theater of World War Two and while it mostly focuses on the United States and Japan it does manage to give some pages to the other players in this complicated and ever lasting conflict. At times it seems to want to go further into the discussions about China, Britain or Australia, etc but just pulls back when the pages nearly lose sight of the titlesakes focus.

Spector manages to fit concisely with great detail and consideration many aspects of th
Jul 16, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it
If you are not familiar with the war against Japan, you can hardly go wrong starting with this one. A very thorough account of the lead up to and conduct of the war. The only major flaw is the lack of maps to guide you through the various theaters and engagements. 4 Stars due to this oversight but it is a compelling, exciting read nontheless. This book covers all the major players, not just the US forces. A good deal of time is spent on lesser known actions, such as the New Guinea campaigns; the ...more
Erik Graff
Oct 11, 2015 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: WWII fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
Dad was involved in the invasion of the Philippines so I've long held an interest in that theater of the war. From this, a military history, I wasn't expecting much--maybe some mention of Dad's unit (yes), his command (yes) and his ship (no), certainly a third opinion about the Pearl Harbor attack (yes, albeit inconclusive) about which I'd recently studied. Otherwise, I expected the work of a professional military historian to be detailed...and dry.

Well, Spector is detailed as regards the events
Jun 02, 2011 John rated it it was amazing
This must receive five stars, as it accomplishes its mission perfectly. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone; if you are not into the history of WWII I see no reason why you would ever read this book. But it is the first book I would recommend to anyone wishing to learn about the Pacific theater of WWII. It appears to cover absolutely everything; it is understandable and quite readable; the chapters are just about the perfect length; and the author does not shy away from his own opinion, so when ...more
Oct 26, 2013 Don rated it liked it
As advertised, this is a good--perhaps the best--comprehensive overview of the war against Japan in World War II. Spector does a solid job in showing the broader strategies of both the U.S. and Japan, the logistics and materials issues and the intramural turf wars, as well as the specific battles.

However, here are the flaws of the book:

1. First and foremost, this really suffers from the absence of maps. There is but one map, of the entire Pacific theater, with little detail. Spector's descripti
Nov 20, 2010 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history-military
Sits alongside "Retribution" and "The Rising Sun" as one of the three most fascinating and insightful books I have ever read about World War II in the Pacific. It provides a wonderfully balanced view of the war, reserving time for under-reported aspects such as the experiences of Japanese detainees in America, WACs and the often-neglected China/Burma/India theater. Highly recommended as the best one-volume history of the Pacific War, especially for those new to the topic.
Jun 03, 2015 Mance rated it it was amazing
I'm started reading this book with only the most fundamental and vague memories of World War 2 from high school days. Yet I found it to be a completely accessible read despite my starting place of nearly zero. The focus, as surmised from the title, is on the American perspective of the war in the Pacific, though there are occasional glances into the Japanese perspective.

The book goes into quite a bit of detail with each major battle and campaign. Again, despite knowing little of that particular
Hilmi Isa
Jul 25, 2012 Hilmi Isa rated it really liked it
Shelves: perang-dunia-1-2
Eagle Against the Sun: The American War with Japan,hasil karya Ronald H. Spector merupakan sebuah buku mengenai Perang Dunia Kedua di Pasifik (atau turut dikenali di dalam bahasa Inggeris sebagai Pacific Theater of Operation (P.T.O.)). Di dalam buku ini,penulis lebih memfokuskan penglibatan Amerika Syarikat di dalam P.T.O. menentang Jepun.
Walaupun hanya dihasilkan dalam satu jilid (volume) sahaja,tetapi,penulis dilihat berjaya merangkumkan fakta-fakta penting dengan baik dan teratur. Ia termasuk
Feb 12, 2013 Bruce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Considered by some to be the best single-volume account of World War Two in the Pacific Theater, Spector’s book is comprehensive and readable without being so detailed as to be mind-numbing. Spector provides adequate background to Japan’s expansionist goals and activities subsequent to World War One so that the reader has a context in which to understand the issues leading to the attack on Pearl Harbor that ushered in America’s official entry into the war. It was clear for some time before this ...more
Nov 29, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it
Spector’s single-volume history of the Pacific campaigns in World War II is a marvel of breadth and clarity. He begins with American and Japanese societies just prior to the war and ends with the unconditional surrender following the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Spector is mostly concerned with the conduct of the war itself, so he only hints at its larger significance: the change in the balance of power between Japan and China, the rise of a democratic Japan, and the demise of Eur ...more
Josh Mitchell
Jun 24, 2014 Josh Mitchell rated it really liked it
A nice overview of the Pacific War. Thorough and well written, although lacking in supporting maps that would make the narrative easier to visualize. A worthwhile read.
Sep 03, 2013 Dark-Draco rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I picked this up because all my knowledge of the American/Japanese conflict during WWII, I learnt from films like Pearl Harbour. Not the most objective view, you'll probably agree!

This is a quite comprehensive history of the conflict, starting from just before the Pearl Harbour attacks and ending in the aftermath of the Atomic bombing. It's a bit dry in places, where the author resorts to listing names, dates and ship specifications, but interspersed with that is some more human moments - the st
Joseph Fuller
Aug 21, 2014 Joseph Fuller rated it it was amazing
Particularly interesting in its treatment of the importance of command structure in influencing strategic decision making
Mike Siems
Apr 27, 2016 Mike Siems rated it it was amazing
GREAT portrayal of the often forgotten Pacific theater during WWII
Oct 14, 2014 Joshua rated it liked it
I sure did learn a lot about the war. Read while I was in Japan.
Shankar Srinivasan
Jun 14, 2014 Shankar Srinivasan rated it it was amazing
exceptional summary in a single volume. does have a lot of detail
Endre Fodstad
Jan 22, 2014 Endre Fodstad rated it really liked it
After reading so much sometimes overly sentimental soldiers-perspective ww2 history books, I almost forgot how some authors manage to both look at it from the ground and provide an overall picture. Kudos to Spector!
Paul Duggan
Jul 21, 2013 Paul Duggan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An outstanding book, highly recommended.

However, the large number of errors, both factual and typographic, distracted this reader. Also, the repetition of material became tiresome. A good editor or even a graduate student could have avoided this.

But by far the greatest shortcoming of this book is its lack of maps. It is inconceivable that a narrative covering four years and fully half of the earth can lack detailed maps. The reader should equip herself with a set of good, detailed maps of the Pa
Zachary Wagoner
Jun 14, 2014 Zachary Wagoner rated it it was amazing
Good overview of the Pacific War from the American perspective. A little heavy at times but full of information.
Kevin Hermosillo
May 14, 2011 Kevin Hermosillo rated it it was amazing
This was a very informative account of the World War II battles in the Pacific theater. Even though I had learned about WWII in school, they focused mostly on Nazi Germany and the holocaust. The war with Japan was not coverted extensively and the focus was on Pear Harbor, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the internment of Japanese-Americans in thye U.S. Eagle Against the Sun is an excellent account of the war with Japan and the various battles on land, sea and air. It was definitely a ...more
Tom Nolan
paperback 6x9
Bill V
Mar 28, 2016 Bill V rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very good general account of the American portion of the Pacific War against Japan. It largely excludes the other allies contributions to the overall war effort. My biggest criticism is the lack of maps. There are 2 identical maps at the beginning and end of the book of the Pacific including the China Burma India theaters as well but they aren't depicted in great detail, so following the narrative is difficult. There are also a few spelling errors sprinkled throughout the book.
Darren Breidigan
Great book written with a lot of thought and research. A book about the Pacific Theater that is full of surprises and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Dustin Gaughran
Aug 03, 2011 Dustin Gaughran rated it really liked it
For one volume, this covers everything about the war in the Pacific. No detail is left out. At times, it's almost information overload. But I think that's a good thing. I wanted to read a thorough, to-the-point book about the Pacific theater in WWII, and that's what I got. If you're into specific military history, I definitely recommend this book. It's, exceptionally well researched, and objective. Success and failures alike are examined for both side. Long, but worth it.
Quentin Feduchin
Aug 17, 2013 Quentin Feduchin rated it really liked it
Shelves: recent-history
From memory this book read very well. I was attracted by it's presentation and bought the 2000 publication, although it was originally written in 1984.
I read the book without any interruption and remember it was written almost as an enthralling thriller.
The writer told the story with an exceedingly easy-to-read style for the layman and I enjoyed it throughout.
I very much recommend it, indeed you can buy my copy for a small amount if you like.
Jul 05, 2007 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Clint
This is an excellent overview of the Pacific War between Japan and the USA. It gives a great strategic view of the conflict while also giving insights from well researched details of individual battles and situations. It is the best one volume history that I have read on the Japanese-American war. I would recommend it to anyone wanting a balanced view of "The War in the Pacific, 1941-1945"
May 02, 2012 Dallynusa rated it it was amazing
This was the first book I read on the War in the Pacific. It began my quest to learn as much as I could about this theatre of war. I picked up this book in the summer of 2001, just after my father passed away. He served in Macarthur's 5th Air Force during War. Spector provides the perfect introductory overview of of the struggle between the United States and Japan.
Les Wolf
Nov 19, 2015 Les Wolf rated it really liked it
A tour-de-force on the Pacific War written in a concise and fluid style. This should be required reading for any history buff, history major or person with historical inclinations. The segment on Iwo Jima was terrific. Spector very skillfully explains the conditions and circumstances that led to the decision to end the war with the dropping of the bomb.
Frank Cavanaugh
Feb 04, 2016 Frank Cavanaugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a 589 page textbook on the war with Japan. It suits a war studies program. Each chapter has 20 to 80 footnotes referencing the source of the material used in developing the chapter. It is a long read but well written. If the subject matter attracts you, you will end much more informed than before you started.
Nov 10, 2007 Todd rated it liked it
Shelves: history
I would say condensing the Pacific theater into one volume is a daunting task. Spector does an exceptional job recounting the events on the battlefield and political intrigue in Washington, London, Chungking and elsewhere.

My only wish is that there a few maps spread throughout the book to help the reader.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 75 76 next »
  • A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II
  • A War to be Won: Fighting the Second World War
  • Fire In The Sky: The Air War In The South Pacific
  • Midway: the Battle That Doomed Japan
  • Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle
  • The Two-Ocean War
  • Miracle at Midway
  • To Lose a Battle: France 1940
  • Decision in Normandy
  • Utmost Savagery: The Three Days of Tarawa
  • The Battle for History: Re-fighting World War II
  • Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway
  • The Pacific War: 1941-1945
  • Why the Allies Won
  • Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45
  • Clash of the Carriers: The True Story of the Marianas Turkey Shoot of World War II
  • When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler
  • The Pacific War Companion: From Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima

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The Macmillan Wars of the United States (1 - 10 of 14 books)
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  • A History of the United States Army
  • Semper Fidelis: The History of the United States Marine Corps (The Macmillan Wars of the United States)
  • Arms For Empire: Military History Of The British Colonies In North America, 1607 1763 (Macmillan Wars Of The United States)
  • The War of American Independence
  • The Sword of the Republic: The United States Army on the Frontier, 1783-1846
  • The Mexican War, 1846-1848
  • Frontiersmen in Blue: The United States Army and the Indian, 1848-1865
  • Frontier Regulars: The United States Army and the Indian, 1866-1891
  • The War with Spain in 1898

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