Countdown to Pearl Harbor

Countdown to Pearl Harbor

The Twelve Days to the Attack

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"In Washington, DC, in late November 1941, admirals composed the most ominous message in US Navy history to warn Hawaii of possible danger--but they wrote it too vaguely. They thought precautions were being taken, but never checked to be sure. ln a small office at Pearl Harbor, overlooking the battleships, the commander of the Pacific Fleet tried to assess whether the threat was real. His intelligence unit had lost track of Japan's biggest aircraft carriers, but assumed they were resting in a port far away. Besides, the admiral thought Pearl was too shallow for torpedoes; he hadn't even put up a barrier. As he fretted, a Japanese spy was counting the warships in the harbor and reporting to Tokyo. There were false assumptions and racist ones, misunderstandings, infighting, and ego clashes. Through remarkable characters and impeccable detail, Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Twomey shows how careless decisions and blinkered beliefs gave birth to colossal failure. But he tells the story with compassion and a wise understanding of why people--even smart, experienced, talented people--look down at their feet when they should be scanning the sky. The brilliance of Countdown to Pearl Harbor is in its elegant prose and taut focus, turning the lead-up to the most infamous day in American history into a ticking-time-bomb thriller. Never before has a story you thought you knew proven so impossible to put down."--Dust jacket.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2016.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781476776460
Branch Call Number: 940.5426 Two
Characteristics: xiv, 365 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : maps, illustrations ; 24 cm


Featured Blogs and Events

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

St. Tammany Parish Library Remembers National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Today marks the 77th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  Prior to the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001, Pearl Harbor was the biggest attack on American soil since the War of 1812. At the time, American had been enjoying a peaceful, if tense, relationship with the Japanese Empire. In… (more)

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 08, 2017

Enjoyed the book. As always, military catastrophes can be attributed to missed signs, arrogance or luck.

Mar 27, 2017

Even though we all know how the ending of this story will turn out, the book reads like a thriller. Twomey gives us strong characters, a good sense for the maddening gaps in intelligence-gathering, the desperate measures taken to avoid capital-W War - as well as an astonishing amount of basic incompetence and failures due to simple human prejudice. Definitely a worthwhile and engaging read.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at STPL

To Top