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"Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts?

 
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"Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/8/2011 3:46:53 AM   
Sarconix

 

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Any thoughts on this book? Though it was only released last month, I am guessing somebody here has already read it. Thanks!

UPDATE: I read the Kindle sample at Amazon, which is pretty meaty. It includes the prologue (setting up the war) and part of the first chapter, mostly about Pearl Harbor. From this, the book is sort of hard to pin down. It is not quite a history, but mostly a retelling of eyewitness accounts with some analysis of what was happening.

For example, the prologue includes quite a bit on Mahan and Teddy Roosevelt, but ends in 1913 and the first chapter jumps abruptly to Pearl Harbor without any setup of the preceding years (e.g. the US trade embargo). What is there is very interesting stuff to be sure, like the vivid description of the carnage at Pearl Harbor. However, it is necessarily incomplete, unlike (for example) Eagle Against the Sun, which is relatively dry but more thorough.

Again, my thoughts are based on the sample alone, but this looks like an excellent read, provided you have already read a supporting history (even the Pacific war article on Wikipedia) to fill in the gaps. I hope that helps!




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< Message edited by Sarconix -- 12/13/2011 2:52:10 AM >
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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/8/2011 3:48:16 PM   
ckk

 

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I am also curious

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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/8/2011 5:54:17 PM   
kaleun

 

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Me two.

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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/8/2011 7:45:09 PM   
Sardaukar


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It has gotten couple of good reviews on Amazon.

And writer's earlier "Six Frigates" was definitely well-received..so new book might be well worth getting it, not too expensive either.

On the other hand..."Ian W. Toll has been a Wall Street analyst, a Federal Reserve financial analyst, and a political aide and speechwriter. A lifelong sailor, Toll's research into British and American naval history dates back to the early 1990's, when he was first introduced to the historical novels of Patrick O'Brian. Six Frigates is his first book."

So, he definitely is NOT a historian.

< Message edited by Sardaukar -- 12/8/2011 7:46:46 PM >


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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/8/2011 9:20:44 PM   
dr.hal


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I really liked Six Frigates, it was well done and I thought well researched, so I'm also interested in this book's status. Hal

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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/8/2011 9:38:54 PM   
spence

 

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The book is highly praised at "The Battle of Midway Roundtable" site which I only found yesterday but which seems to have an absolutely amazing amount of material pertaining to that particular battle...IIRC the book is the first of a trilogy that will deal with the naval war in the Pacific from well before WWII up until the Battle of Midway.


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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/9/2011 7:46:16 PM   
Ranger5355

 

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Six Frigates was first rate. Based on that I will be picking up Pacific Crucible.

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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/13/2011 2:53:17 AM   
Sarconix

 

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I posted some quick thoughts in the first post... see the UPDATE.

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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/13/2011 3:39:03 PM   
Blacksheep

 

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I just finished this book and found it to be a very enjoyable read. I think that Toll's primary strength is bringing out the viewpoints, thoughts and feelings of those on the scene of these oft describe combats. I was interested to note that Alan Zimm (whose book on Pearl Habor caused some heated debate on the AE thread) was one of the peer reviewers of this book prior to publication and that certain of his speculations on Nagumo's actions in the early part of the war were cited by Toll. If this is in fact the initial book of a trilogy on the Pacific war, I look forward to the next two volumnes.

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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/13/2011 5:21:51 PM   
Nikademus


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Currently reading it. So far it is enjoyable. Nothing particularily outstanding thus far, but neither have i detected any glaring weaknesses yet other than labeling non Zeros as Zeros. The pre-history is interesting. I enjoyed the expanded bio and analysis of Mahan and of Teddy Roosevelt's opinions in view of Japan and the racism issues that inflamed the sore points between the US and Japan. His foreign policy insights were with hindsight, spot on. It has sparked a renewed interest in me on reading a more in depth bio on him. I didn't have much appreciation for the younger "Spanish Amer. war" era version.....too brash and glory seeking. The older presidental version seemed wiser, calmer and far more mature.

First though i have to finish my third book on MacArthur.

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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/13/2011 6:14:45 PM   
ckk

 

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Nik a suggestion: "Theodore Rex" by Edmund Morris is the part of the trilogy about the presidential years. Good book. I think we could use someone like TR now. Currently reading "Colnel Roosevelt" about the post presidential years

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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/13/2011 6:27:45 PM   
Nikademus


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Thx!!

It's Kindle ready too. Awesome. Added it to the Wish List. Gotta be good though. Already got 5 books i'm reading at the same time. Thats the problem with electronic readers....its SO easy to be tempted to download a new book before finishing a current one.

Have a partial excuse though.......Getting through the last parts of Neptune's Inferno and Every Day a Nightmare have been hard. Disapointing books both. OstKrieg is just a hard read as it focuses more on Nazi policies behind German lines. Just a hard hard read as is Knights of Bushido.

Frank's book on Mac though is very good as was Fighting for MacArthur: The Navy and Marine Corps' Desperate Defense of the Phillipines and the new Midway book by Craig Symonds.

I'd tentatively recommend The Korean War: A History (Modern Library Chronicles) by Bruce Cumings though be warned....title is very misleading. Its not a book about the military campaign but a behind the scenes book about Korea, before/after the Japanese occupation and the dynamic between the North and South. Book is controversial and will challenge conservative and long held views on Korea from the US outlook..esp North Korea. Interesting read though.


< Message edited by Nikademus -- 12/13/2011 8:28:29 PM >

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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/13/2011 8:20:50 PM   
ckk

 

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Just finished "The Last Parallel" by Martin Russ. It was given to me by a Korean War Marine. Not Kindle. It is a journal by a a ist Marine Division veteran about his daily life on the lines down to handdrawn sketches of patrols and attacks. I usually go for more strategic level, but this was the day to day of someone who lived through the last days of static warfare on the front line while the peacetalks were going on.

Thx for the the recommendations. Look forward to hearing your final assesment on Crucible.

< Message edited by ckk -- 12/13/2011 9:25:35 PM >

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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/13/2011 8:31:37 PM   
Nikademus


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sounds interesting. Normally i prefer strategic/operational books myself along with air/naval tactical. Personal accounts tend to cause my mind to wander for some reason. Perhaps because like for the participant, it all tends to blend together after a while. I'm currently also trying to get thorugh an impulse buy in short spurts: Eastern Inferno: The Journals of a German Panzerjager on the Eastern Front, 1941-43. Something about it sounded interesting and while it is in places, there is the repetetive diary type entries that after about a 1/2 hour start to make the mind wander. So i try to read a single chapter at a time, then go back to a bigger picture book like Crucible.

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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/13/2011 9:24:28 PM   
ckk

 

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You're right. My mind did freeze up after several chapters of patrols. Good idea about going back to strategic/operational books and the return. Would refresh the the immediacy and then tension those actions must have caused.

< Message edited by ckk -- 12/30/2011 7:48:43 PM >

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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/14/2011 2:53:12 AM   
richlove


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I read it, in about 3 days, via Kindle. The sample doesn't do it justice; the beginning jumps around but a good deal of the 'backstory' is filled in via mini-biographies of Yamamoto, King, and Nimitz (maybe others). I really enjoyed it, but a warning: it is not a history of the 'Singapore fell on this day to these troops, etc..' variety. It's treated more like a story, which worked for me.

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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/14/2011 3:47:17 AM   
Sarconix

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: richlove

I read it, in about 3 days, via Kindle. The sample doesn't do it justice; the beginning jumps around but a good deal of the 'backstory' is filled in via mini-biographies of Yamamoto, King, and Nimitz (maybe others). I really enjoyed it, but a warning: it is not a history of the 'Singapore fell on this day to these troops, etc..' variety. It's treated more like a story, which worked for me.


Since you have read the Kindle version... where do the links go? I see them in the sample, but they appear to go somewhere past the end of the sample. Maybe a bibliography?

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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/14/2011 9:31:44 AM   
richlove


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sarconix


quote:

ORIGINAL: richlove

I read it, in about 3 days, via Kindle. The sample doesn't do it justice; the beginning jumps around but a good deal of the 'backstory' is filled in via mini-biographies of Yamamoto, King, and Nimitz (maybe others). I really enjoyed it, but a warning: it is not a history of the 'Singapore fell on this day to these troops, etc..' variety. It's treated more like a story, which worked for me.


Since you have read the Kindle version... where do the links go? I see them in the sample, but they appear to go somewhere past the end of the sample. Maybe a bibliography?



They're the footnotes that cite the other books, journals etc from which the statement in question originated.

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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/14/2011 5:38:56 PM   
Sarconix

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: richlove
They're the footnotes that cite the other books, journals etc from which the statement in question originated.


Not to get too far off-topic, but... what happens when you tap the links? Does a footnote appear, or does it jump to a list of references? I am deciding whether to get this on Kindle or hardcover. Thanks.

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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/24/2011 5:51:29 AM   
jmalter

 

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just saw Pacific Crucible at B&N & thought, "Hmm, i recognize that name (Ian Toll)." Sho' nuff, he wrote 'Six Frigates', which was an immensely enjoyable read & just impressed the hell out of me. For a 'non-professional' historian, this guy Toll's a keeper - the more so if he was originally inspired by P O'B's Aubrey/Maturin books. I rated Toll's '6F' right up there w/ Robert Massie's 'Dreadnought' & 'Castles of Steel', i lurve narrative history written in the style of McCullogh & Tuchman.

Toll reminds me of Richard Frank, whose 1st book 'Guadalcanal' transformed the author from whatever he was before into a serious player in the scene. Interesting that ckk pointers to Morris' 3-part bio of TR (i haven't read 'Colonel R' yet) - where i learned that TR's 2nd published book 'The Naval War of 1812' was a well-researched & well-received study that put TR on the map!



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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 12/24/2011 2:48:45 PM   
Sardaukar


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Seems I gotta get this one too then...

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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 1/3/2012 10:54:13 PM   
Gregory Crouch

 

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I finished it a few days ago and thought it was very good. Breezy, yet packed with good info, and told as a STORY.

For anybody who'd like to take the Midway story further, I'd strongly recommend Shattered Sword by Parshall and Tully. Midway from the Japanese perspective, and one of the best battle narratives I've ever read.

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RE: "Pacific Crucible" Book - Thoughts? - 1/4/2012 6:32:03 PM   
Nikademus


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Finished book last week.

Overall....a good portrayal of the first six months of the war. Thats the KEY point for would be readers. The title is a bit misleading. The period covered is Dec 7, 1941 through June of 42 along with a good pre-war analysis of key figures, events and situations. The SoPac/SoWest campaign of late 42 is not addressed at all.

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