Monday, May 19, 2014

Book Reviews

Midway: The Battle That Made the Modern World

This is a decent summary of the Battle of Midway. There's not a whole lot of new information here for someone who has read up on World War II before. The book also comes off as being a dry read. Midway is a very suspenseful battle, but here we just get a simple recitation of the events. On the good side, it does end with a brief analysis of how the American victory possibly affected the shape of the post-war world.

Enduring What Cannot be Endured

This is one of those books that after you read you will feel you have no right to complain about your life ever again. What this woman went through is unbelievable, and it says a lot about her that she persevered the way she did.

I have read a lot of books on WW2, and this gives a perspective of the war I have not seen elsewhere. Most of what I have read gives just snippets of civilian life during the war, with most of them describing how life carried on despite the occupation. This is one of the few that describes how civilians found themselves on the run during the Axis occupation.

If there is one criticism to the book, it is that I wish it had been longer. The book rushes through and just gives us the highlights, when it would have been nice to know some more of the fine details.

Pearl Harbor: Hinge of War

 This book is a good overview of the attack on Pearl Harbor. I’ve read a lot of books on WW2, and this book had a good amount of information I hadn’t come across before.

One weakness to this book is it reads more like an outline than a book. The attack itself is covered by listing out each ship and explaining what happened on each one. This gives a lot of individual details on the attack which might be hard to find elsewhere, but it ends up being a dry read.

There are a few odd errors in it. As another reviewer noticed, the author states the Japanese lost three carriers at Midway when they really lost four. In another section of the book, he implies the attacks against Malaysia and the Philippines only occurred after Pearl Harbor succeeded. Both invasions had launched days before the attack and the Japanese even landed in Malaysia before the first bombs were dropped.

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