To Wake the Giant: A Novel of Pearl Harbor (Paperback)
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The New York Times bestselling master of military historical fiction tells the story of Pearl Harbor as only he can in the first novel of a gripping new series set in World War II’s Pacific theater.
In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt watches uneasily as the world heads rapidly down a dangerous path. The Japanese have waged an aggressive campaign against China, and they now begin to expand their ambitions to other parts of Asia. As their expansion efforts grow bolder, their enemies know that Japan’s ultimate goal is total conquest over the region, especially when the Japanese align themselves with Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy, who wage their own war of conquest across Europe.
Meanwhile, the British stand nearly alone against Hitler, and there is pressure in Washington to transfer America’s powerful fleet of warships from Hawaii to the Atlantic to join the fight against German U-boats that are devastating shipping. But despite deep concerns about weakening the Pacific fleet, no one believes that the main base at Pearl Harbor is under any real threat.
Told through the eyes of widely diverse characters, this story looks at all sides of the drama and puts the reader squarely in the middle. In Washington, Secretary of State Cordell Hull must balance his own concerns between President Roosevelt and the Japanese ambassador, Kichisaburo Nomura, who is little more than a puppet of his own government. In Japan, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto wins skeptical approval for his outrageous plans in the Pacific, yet he understands more than anyone that an attack on Pearl Harbor will start a war that Japan cannot win. In Hawaii, Commander Joseph Rochefort’s job as an accomplished intelligence officer is to decode radio signals and detect the location of the Japanese fleet, but when the airwaves suddenly go silent, no one has any idea why. And from a small Depression-ravaged town, nineteen-year-old Tommy Biggs sees the Navy as his chance to escape and happily accepts his assignment, every sailor’s dream: the battleship USS Arizona.
With you-are-there immediacy, Shaara opens up the mysteries of just how Japan—a small, deeply militarist nation—could launch one of history’s most devastating surprise attacks. In this story of innocence, heroism, sacrifice, and unfathomable blindness, Shaara’s gift for storytelling uses these familiar wartime themes to shine a light on the personal, the painful, the tragic, and the thrilling—and on a crucial part of history we must never forget.
About the Author
Jeff Shaara is the New York Times bestselling author of The Frozen Hours, The Fateful Lightning, The Smoke at Dawn, A Chain of Thunder, A Blaze of Glory, The Final Storm, No Less Than Victory, The Steel Wave, The Rising Tide, To the Last Man, The Glorious Cause, Rise to Rebellion, and Gone for Soldiers, as well as Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure—two novels that complete the Civil War trilogy that began with his father’s Pulitzer Prize–winning classic, The Killer Angels. Shaara was born into a family of Italian immigrants in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University. He lives in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.
“An exciting war story . . . [a] deeply researched, nonjudgmental account of Pearl Harbor.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The run-up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor . . . is depicted in a thrilling you-are-there re-creation. . . . Fans of military fiction will find much to enjoy.”—Publishers Weekly
Praise for Jeff Shaara
“Shaara [is the] master of the war novel.”—Chicago Tribune, on The Steel Wave
“Shaara is apparently giving the people what they want—and what they need.”—The Wall Street Journal, on The Rising Tide
“[Shaara] writes with considerable sensitivity and skill.”—The Seattle Times, on The Last Full Measure
“Shaara’s historical accuracy is faultless, and he tells a good story.”—Historical Novels Review, on A Chain of Thunder
“An outstanding writer.”—Huntington News, on A Blaze of Glory
“Whether you’re a military veteran or currently serving in the armed forces, or you’re a history buff or just enjoy a well-told tale, check out Jeff Shaara. Nobody tells war stories any better.”—The Sacramento Bee, on The Final Storm