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Pearl Harbor: A Novel of December 8th (Pearl Harbor, #1)
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Pearl Harbor: A Novel of December 8th (Pearl Harbor #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,075 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews

This powerful saga covers the heroic highs and horrifying lows of America?s darkest day?from the White House to the Wheeler Army Air Field, from top-brass military officers, national leaders, and admirals to the ordinary citizens caught in the chaos of war. Compelling and meticulously researched, this novel of valor stretches from the chambers of the Emperor of Japan all

Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 31st 2009 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published May 15th 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mike (the Paladin)
This book is...yeah you know what I'm going to say...interesting.

I've read other alternate histories by the author(s) and while I go 4 stars on this one I think it doesn't quite reach the quality level of some other of their works.

Why? Well the book is on a subject that fascinates me (at least some what) as I'm a long time history buff and find WW2 one of the most interesting times in history as so much hung in the balance and it set up so much of what has come since. What would have happened ha
BJ Rose
This alternate-history telling of the bombing of Pearl Harbor is mainly from the Japanese viewpoint - thus the December 8th in the title. Much of the book focuses on Japan's Manifest Destiny mindset - that this was their time in history to take control of the Orient, and therefore the United States needed to be neutralized as a fighting power so it could not interfere in Japan's plans. A big message here seems to be that wars do not just happen - Japan had meticulously planned every detail of th ...more
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
With joint author William R. Forstchen. I thought this was a novel of historical fiction. Turns out it's "active history" (authors' description) - or what most people would call "alternate history." Much of the story is based on the normal, documented facts; but then at some point they choose to diverge and play the "what if" game. So you have to be sure you know what's "real" in order to play along. I suppose the "December 8" in the title is a clue; the actual attack was on December 7 in Hawaii ...more
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww11
It is a work of FICTION. So, I read it as such. Interesting storylines in this story about Pearl Harbor. However, I'd rather read NON-FICTION stories about WW11 so, this wasn't really my cup of tea. There was a mixture of the actual stuff that took place but the FICTION took over quickly and well, it became confusing and messed my train of thought. At times it was a bit difficult to separate the fiction and nonfiction stuff that was inserted in the story and that's why a TWO. Again I know it was ...more
Dec 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short and Sweet: I could not put this novel down. It is just as good as the trilogy the authors wrote about Gettysburg. In those books, the writers changed history so that Lee won at Gettysburg and what happened after that.

In this two-book series (of which this is the first), the writer basically one thing: Instead of sitting in Japan during the attack, Admiral Yamamoto sailed with the Japanese fleet.

***Spoiler Alert***

In the real battle of Pearl Harbor, Admiral Nagumo called off the third wave
A nice "recreational read", a good way to escape after a day at the office. The literary equivalent of renting a Netflix film. But if you are looking for historical fiction ala Shaara (Dad or Son), then you'll want to stay away.... There are more than enough historical errors in this book to qualify it as pure fiction. I was surprised the Gingrich would play so lose with historical fact ex: Akagi was sunk at Midway, not Pearl; the Lexington is currently in Corpus Christi, TX, not at the bottom o ...more
D.A. Bale
Nov 20, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
No disrespect, but this novel bored me to tears. It was not engaging in any way and they "played" with history too much in my opinion. I'm a very big World War II buff and read a good deal of non-fiction on the subject, but textbook material is more engaging than this attempt at a novelization of history. Didn't even bother to pick up the second in the series. Very disappointing!
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Insights into the hearts and minds of wartime Japanese.
Ironman Ninetytwo
Oh, just pathetic from an author who clearly overestimates his own intelligence. Despite the juvenile plot, I'd like to make special mention of the codebreakers at "Benchley Park". At least try.
Ashley McCabe
Jun 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just ok

Not able to catch on to story told many times. Quite boring. Not interesting. Not worth the money. Don't buy.
Bill Donhiser
Like many of the WEB Griffin books this is a great historical fiction. Newt Gingrich does a great job and I am looking forward to reading more of his books
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
great book
Rob Lever
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Pearl Harbor is something of a "what if," with a slight turn-of-events that leads to a third wave of Japanese fighters on Pearl Harbor. Unfortunately, that is not particularly clear as you read, making the actual happening a "what the hell?!" kind of moment. While I probably shouldn't be surprised that old Newt would openly distort the truth, even to make "better" fiction, the act seems unnecessary. I'm curious, in our pop-culture driven world how many readers actually 1. believe fiction is true ...more
Oct 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a compelling enough story, the buildup to the day of infamy (as reckoned by the Japanese, thus the subtitle, "A Novel of December "). I thought that relating the earlier uprising of 2/26/1936 to the way decisions were made in the pre-Pearl Harbor Japanese government and military was a good touch and it adds verisimilitude to the situation within the Japanese sphere. The POV moved back and forth between the Japanese (mainly through the eyes of Minoru Genda and Mitsuo Fuchida) and the Ameri ...more
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pearl Harbor A Novel of December 8th (Pearl Harbor, #1) by Newt Gingrich Newt Gingrich

This refers to a hardcover copy of the book (thus no editorial or spelling errors as I've seen mentioned in the eBook copy) which I received as a gift.

Disclaimer: I love history, and because of this my review might be a bit biased toward this subject. But I think even if you're not a history lover, you'll like this book. The depth of the characterization for both the Japanese and Americans crucial to this book is so wonderful that you find yourself an admirer of both Commander Mi
Stutley Constable
Oct 19, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've read history books and I've read novels. This particular book straddled the styles unsuccessfully. I know it is alternate history, but alternate history is supposed to be interesting and the manner in which this book is written is not. There are a number of interesting details but there is something lacking. The parts are knitted together in a cohesive story that moves along at an acceptable pace, but so what? Nothing really grabbed my attention in a way that made me want to keep reading. S ...more
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pearl Harbor by Newt Gingrich

Pearl Harbor by Newt Gingrich tells a story about the time after World War I. The Untied States have a new rival that is coming after them. It focuses on the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the different perspectives of it.

Cecils and his friend who is an American officer are on a military ship in Japan. They meet a person named Fuchida who is Japan pilot. Cecils and Fuchida take a plane trip to Tokyo and Fuchida shows Cecils some flying techniques on how to bomb ships.
Sarah Crawford
This is an “alternative history” type of book with the main theme being how would the attack on Pearl Harbor had been different if Yamamoto himself was there coordinating the attack.

The book does a good job of examining the diplomacy, and lack of it, that led up to the attack, but it takes around 250 pages of doing that before an actual hint of any major change happens. That's almost 70% of the book done before we get a hint of a change, and it's later than that when the change becomes noticeabl
Gregory Mcdonald
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable read. This is far from my first book dealing with the Pearl Harbor attack. I seem to remember checking one out from the children's section of the library back in fourth or fifth grade after seeing the movie Tora!Tora!Tora! on televison. This one isn't a straight work of historical fiction,but is instead ,like the Civil War novels he co-wrote a couple of years ago, what is termed an alternate history,or alternate timeline novel. In the reality presented here the Japanese carried out ...more
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first 2/3 of this book should probably have been titled "Path To Pearl Harbor", as it requires the reader to take a much more patient approach to the events of December 7, 1941. Once this patience is mastered, the reader is then treated to a very personal set of events that describe the actions of key characters and their motivations through the years to the inevitable collision on that fateful Sunday morning. The last 1/3 flies by (no pun intended) as the reader really identifies with the c ...more
What's not to like about a true story of an event that changed the lives of every American, not to mention most of the rest of the world? But, you'd better be astute on the facts of Pearl Harbor and its aftermath or you won't get the alternative ending. Read some of the Goodreads reviews. And then, be prepared for the worst editing job ever. The punctuation and run on sentences in this book are laughing out loud funny. Seriously, I read some of the two and three paragraph sentences out loud to m ...more
This was not a page turner. It took me forever to get through it. I think the title is a little misleading, because it says "a novel of December 8", but it doesn't actually get to that part of the story until page 291. Most of the book is backstory, which is great for a history buff. It illustrates the story from Japan's point of view, which is pretty interesting. I tend to forget that it was not a divide and conquer strategy in league with the German side, but more of a manifest destiny kind of ...more
Daniel Foxx
The approach used by Gingrich and Forstchen to tell the story of Pearl Harbor does what history can't do: create characters through whom an interesting back story can be woven. The authors have done this in their earlier works of historical fiction. This story is fast moving and held my interest, but I confess that I found myself comparing it to their Civil War novels. Had I read this one first I might have given it an extra star or two. But no matter, I do recommend this alternative telling of ...more
Jun 11, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii, history
This is more of a 2 1/2 to 3 stars for me. When I bought the book it was on sale for like $5 or $6 and I wouldn't have paid anymore for it. It just isn't worth that much, and I thought it was non fiction, not fiction based on actual history from about 5+ years before Pearl Harbor to Dec 8, 1941. At one point of the book I said there is no way this could have happened and then I saw where it said novel on it... They wrote about the Civil War in a 3 part book and I would assume that this will be p ...more
Aug 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well thought out tale of the events leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack. Includes a good amount from the point of view of the Japanese. Japan, with the alliance of the Germans expand their empire into an occupation of China. However, to expand further yet, the Japanese will need some "help" from the US by way of their massive oil reserves. The US and Japanese will surprise each other with their willingness to stick to their course. Remember, this is an alternative history, so a lot of facts ...more
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well written book that kept me very interested. The book was well researched and is very factual besides the fact that Yamamoto leads the Japanese forces. It is an effective narrative of not only the events of Pearl Harbor, but the culmination of events that lead up to the attack such as the Panay incident etc. The novel does an effective job presenting the countries perspectives and viewpoints through ordinary characters representing their respective countries. Overall, it was a great nove ...more
Ben Knowlton
Aug 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a surprise. An old Navy veteran friend of mine in the neighborhood recommended this one and so I read it based on friendship rather than interest. I really got into it. It is the story of Pearl Harbor from the Japanese perspective written in an engaging style which the authors call "active history". It is full of dialouge and character development. It is written with a similar style to "Killer Angels". The only problem with it is that you don't know what really happened and what is the acti ...more
Chuck Wullenjohn
Very imaginative in that the book changes the overall direction of history based on small circumstances that take place prior to the Pearl Harbor attack. It's pretty accurate when discussing American military strength in the Pearl Harbor area, but a small section of the book discusses the situation in the Philippines and Douglas MacArthur's efforts there, but the author totally screws up his facts for that area of the world. Maybe modern-day politics colored Gingrich's vision.
Oct 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having enjoyed his Gettsyburg triology I was very interested in this new active history series. He did not disappoint me. Weaving three fictional characters into what I already knew about pre-World War II political and military events with FDR, Churchill, ADM Kimball, Yamamanto, etc. Well written narrative darts back and forth between Pearl Harbor, Japan, Singaphore, and Washington to effectively picture military positions of all powers. Can't wait for the next installment.
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Pearl Harbor 0 4 Apr 16, 2009 09:32AM  
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Newt Gingrich is well-known as the architect of the “Contract with America” that led the Republican Party to victory in 1994 by capturing the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in forty years. After he was elected Speaker, he disrupted the status quo by moving power out of Washington and back to the American people. Under his leadership, Congress passed welfare reform ...more
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