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  • Published: Nashville, Tenn. : Thomas Nelson, c2011.
  • Year Published: 2011
  • Description: x, 645 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9781595554574
  • 1595554572

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December 1941 : 31 days that changed America and saved the world

by Shirley, Craig.

There are currently 4 available

Where To Find It

Call number: 940.537 Sh

Available Copies: Downtown 2nd Floor, Malletts Adult, Pittsfield Adult, West Adult

Additional Details

Chronicles the decisive month in American history, where the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor facilitated the entrance of the United States into World War II, and details the economic, social, and political climate of the country during that time.

Reviews & Summaries

Community Reviews

Not recommended

Despite its well-respected author, this book's several clear factual errors in the early pages made it unreadable for me. For example, on page six the author made the un-footnoted assertion that the US Army had "only 51,000 trained fliers as of June of 1940. On the other hand, the Royal Air Force had 500,000 pilots, and the German Luftwaffe had a million pilots." June, 1940 was prior to the Battle of Britain during which the RAF was so desperately short of pilots that it put kids with less than 10 hours of solo time into combat, leading Churchill to say famously in the House of Commons that "Never in the course of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few." Emphasize "few." I haven't checked the primary sources but I'd say the number of pilots in the RAF and the Luftwaffe are exaggerated by a multiple of about 100, somewhat less, perhaps, for the figures for the US Army.
The author also confuses the terms "warship" (a generic term for naval vessels designed primarily for combat rather than other purposes, e.g. transportation) with "battleship," traditionally the largest type of warship primarily armed with guns rather than aircraft and defined by treaty prior to WWII in terms of displacement and gun-size. On p. 16 the author states that the original "cash and carry" plan for providing support for Britain "... was radically altered so the British could 'borrow' old American battleships and other war materiel and pay the U.S. Government later." In context this appears to be the famous "Destroyers" for bases" deal in which Britian received 50 mothballed US WWI destroyers, not battleships, in exchange for 99-year leases on bases in the Western Hemisphere. These old and small destroyers were far smaller than contemporary battleships, only approximately one-twentieth their displacement. In short, battleships are warships but not all warships are battleships and battleships, although they can destroy, are not destroyers.
On page 46, the author refers to the British mounting a counteroffensive against Gen. Erwin Rommel and his 16th Panzer Division. The two panzer divisions in Rommel's Afrika Corps at that time were, famously, the 21st and the 15th, not the 16th.
These mistakes are all quite obvious to anyone with an elementary familiarity with the subject matter but escaped the author, his credited research assistant and the editor. Although perhaps relatively trivial in the broad subject matter of the book, they left me with the impression that the scholarship was less than rigorous and concerned that I might not recognize other, perhaps more important, errors.

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