Customer Reviews for

December 1941: 31 Days that Changed America and Saved the World

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Highly Recommended! - You must buy it for a friend or for yourself

So everyone knows what was going on over in Europe between the Axis and Allies, but what was going on in our own country? December 1941 tells a day by day account about what was going on in our country before we entered WWII. If you love Military and World History you w...
So everyone knows what was going on over in Europe between the Axis and Allies, but what was going on in our own country? December 1941 tells a day by day account about what was going on in our country before we entered WWII. If you love Military and World History you will love this book. Every fact in this book is accurate and true and trust me, you will not be able to put this book down once you start reading it.! December 1941: the Month that Changed America is a must buy for everyone.

posted by Abels_Angel on November 2, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

Need advice...

I am a big fan of history books but hate it when authors put their own political views/slants in historical books (ala Bill O'Reilly's rediculous "Lincoln" book). I know Shirley has written several books on Reagan (and has a book coming out on the god-awful Newt Gingric...
I am a big fan of history books but hate it when authors put their own political views/slants in historical books (ala Bill O'Reilly's rediculous "Lincoln" book). I know Shirley has written several books on Reagan (and has a book coming out on the god-awful Newt Gingrich)...has anyone who has read this gotten a sense of a conservative/revisionist telling of the time period? Would like to know before I "Nook" it. Thanks.

posted by TruthSeekerOH on November 30, 2011

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  • Posted November 2, 2011

    Highly Recommended! - You must buy it for a friend or for yourself

    So everyone knows what was going on over in Europe between the Axis and Allies, but what was going on in our own country? December 1941 tells a day by day account about what was going on in our country before we entered WWII. If you love Military and World History you will love this book. Every fact in this book is accurate and true and trust me, you will not be able to put this book down once you start reading it.! December 1941: the Month that Changed America is a must buy for everyone.

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2011

    Well-Researched and Readable

    I'll admit to having a bit of a fascination with World War II. It was "before my time", but as a veteran, I am fascinated by the history and magnitude of that war. That's one of the reasons why I was looking forward to reading December 1941 by Craig Shirley.



    While the book goes day-by-day through the month of December 1941, it did not seem to drag (like you might expect). It was full of details, yet didn't get bogged down in them. It examines all aspects of American life in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor--people, faith, economy, government, and culture.


    I found the book to be immensely enjoyable. Of course, we all know how it turned out. And many of us have studied this subject in school (however long ago that may have been!). But this book doesn't seem like "required reading" on the topic.


    While the book is published by Thomas Nelson, it does not have nearly the religious focus as many of their other books. This should widen the appeal of the book.

    (I received this book at no cost from the published in exchange for an honest review.)

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 2, 2011

    Pearl Harbor, Infamous Day that Changed America Forever

    Only a skilled writer and researcher could pen so many pages that enthrall readers. With information from hundreds of sources, Craig Shirley relates events of the six days before and the three weeks following Japan¿s unexpected bombing of Pearl Harbor.
    A major question was ¿How did Japan destroy so many ships, airplanes and lives without anyone suspecting in advance the terrible attacks?¿ Mr. Shirley tells of every day lives, political and historical events, and world leaders¿ actions.
    Pearl Harbor galvanized intense patriotism among Americans. So many men and women volunteered to fight that military recruiters could barely process the applications. Thousands of women volunteered to fight or supported military personnel. Many women took over men¿s jobs manufacturing war materials or in political offices.
    For months Japan whipped Allied forces and relentlessly advanced throughout the Pacific area. Americans quickly produced battle equipment and few doubted we¿d defeat the enemy. But no one realized how long and disastrous the fighting would be.
    American culture changed forever as a result of Pearl Harbor. This attack and the war resulted in the USA becoming a super power in the world. Our politics also changed. This book tells younger readers about life in 1941. Older people will remember those days. December 1941 is well worth the hours of reading.
    A decorated former contact agent for the CIA, Mr. Shirley has written best-sellers. A sought-after speaker and commentator, he writes for major newspapers and magazines.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2011

    Great Read

    This well written account by Craig Shirley takes the reader as close as one can come to experiencing this historic month.The book is broken up into chapters, with each chapter retelling the story of one day of the month. What I found to be fascinating is the way that the book not only tells the stories of what is happening in the war, and overseas, but it tells so much of what the mindset of the American people at home was. I enjoyed this book so much that I gave it to a WW2 veteran friend of mine and he is enjoying it as well.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    I ate book

    Inside of me ate book

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2011

    Need advice...

    I am a big fan of history books but hate it when authors put their own political views/slants in historical books (ala Bill O'Reilly's rediculous "Lincoln" book). I know Shirley has written several books on Reagan (and has a book coming out on the god-awful Newt Gingrich)...has anyone who has read this gotten a sense of a conservative/revisionist telling of the time period? Would like to know before I "Nook" it. Thanks.

    3 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2012

    Bad, Bad, Bad

    Errors, typos, lousy editing AND blatant bias!

    This book is a disaster. DO NOT let anyone read this thinking it is a history.

    The author should be ashamed of himself. The editors have probably already gone back to their day jobs.

    Bad all around.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2012

    Incredible! Highly Recommended! Couldn't Put It Down!

    This is an excellent book. The author covers each day in December 1942 with broad strokes as well as candid close-ups on things happening that particular day in our history. This chillingly forecasts, some of the things that have happened recently, with our government’s attempts at over reaching into private lives to improve our life. Having people suggest how many clothing or food you should buy sounds like today’s news to us. In this case, it was people trying to make things work “better” for the war effort. Or, simply because the government agencies could make suggestions or issue directives, because of the war’s starting. Brings to mind the statement, “Never let a good crisis get by unused?”
    His portraits of events and people are very vivid, and accurately reveal things I’d only heard about from my parents, who lived through the time. Or, from my relative’s description’s, of either their day to day lives or the occurrences they lived through during that time. The Pearl Harbor attack, especially the things which lead the Japanese air forces to have such an easy time with our air defenses, are especially telling. From the ignored radar sightings, to the parking of aircraft wingtip to wingtip to make them easier to protect from sabotage, to the lack of a ready force even though they’d been warned of imminent hostile actions make the people in charge look (as they were) really stupid. Then he points out US forces did the very same thing in Manila, as well. Which makes it very hard to understand how, General MacArthur could have made the same mistakes, only days later. UNLESS, the Navy and Army brass didn’t share with him details of the Pearl Harbor attacks. Which is wholly possible, though not answered herein.
    His story covers the entire world in so far as the story goes. Not just from a US standpoint, but also from the standpoint of the British Empire’s positions at the time, to the Axis leadership and forces, and to hone in on the Japanese actions and thoughts. He even asks the obvious questions, and then tries to answer them:
    1. Why was Hitler so dumb to declare war on the US? 2. Why didn’t the Japanese carriers, send a second strike to take out the fuel dump and dry docks, as urged by the flight leaders?
    3. What was the relation between Churchill and Roosevelt? 4. How was broad strategy set by the allies?
    5. AND: Why doesn’t someone continue this book – I’d buy it! – throughout the entire war?
    The descriptions of events and day to day life in cities all over the USA were very interesting. Highly detailed and closely footnoted as well. Making it possible to go back and find more information on places and people at the time. Presenting a wide ranging picture of how the US reacted to the attack, responded to sudden crisis, and moved to help individual across the US. This book is much different than just a political or military history of the time. In all honesty, brought tears to my eyes more than once, reading of the spirit of individuals trying to help each other and the country.
    It was hard to put the book down once I’d started it. I bought copies for both of my sons so they could better understand our history. After hearing me rave about it, my wife (not exactly a history buff) devoured the book. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in history and especially history of World War II. I'd recommend it to all.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    Well Worth Reading...but....

    This is a fascinating book in many ways. The details of life in America at the transition from the Great Depression into World War II are well written and it's an easy read. There are things about the time that will be new insights to many 21st Century readers. Should the attack on Pearl Harbor have been such a surprise? No. Could it have been prevented? Probably not. The stories of the "America First" people who sought to keep the U.S. out of the war in Europe may be new to some. The descriptions of people, habits and customs, and events of these critical days help set the context of America's entry into World War II.

    The "but..." in the review title has to do with two things. At least the e-book version is in need of re-editing; typographical errors abound, and many sentences are repeated verbatim or slightly altered throughout the book. The other caution is that as fascinating and insightful as this book is, the author's personal political perspectives sometimes cloud the objectivity of an otherwise great read.

    Despite the caveats, it's well worth reading.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 30, 2011

    Essential Reading for WWII Buffs

    Craig Shirley's "December 1941: 31 Days That Changed America and Saved the World" is a powerful account of the days leading up to, and the days immediately after, the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and subsequent entry of the United States into World War II.

    This 500+ page book (600 if you count the notes) has a very simple format: it devotes one chapter to each day of the month of December 1941. The chapters describe the events of each day, either directly or indirectly related to the coming war.

    Of all the things I learned, I was especially surprised that, prior to December 7, the mindset of many Americans was not in favor of the United States entering the war. We are used to such things regarding the Vietnam war and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the image we tend to get of 1940's America is that of solidarity. In fact, the national mood changed quite a bit as of December 7, but even then, it wasn't a case of undisputed unity.

    The stories and information in "December 1941" are excellent. I received a copy of this book for free for review purposes, with no obligation to deliver a positive assessment. Still, I highly recommend it for anyone interested in history, especially World War II buffs.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    A remarkable, detailed account of the dark days of December, 1941, the first seven days, prior to Pearl Harbor, and of course what happened after the attack....

    A must book for those who love modern history and those who love stories about how World War II started....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 18, 2012

    A very disaapointing book- I worked my way to page 351, noting e

    A very disaapointing book- I worked my way to page 351, noting errors and typos throughout, but finally gave up on the book and the author when I read of MacArthur escaping blame from Roosevelt for the sneak attacks because of their friendship- a friendship, according to the author, stemming from FDR's refusal to give into the Bonus Marchers and directing MacArthur to rid Washington of the marchers. The author had noted that this occurred in 1932, but is apparently so oblivious to American history that he does not know that FDR did not take office until March 1933. The Bonus March, and MacArthur's actions in ridding Washington of the marchers, is a part of the history of Herbert Hoover's administration. How this could have formed the basis of a friendship between FDR and MacArthur escapes me, as does the reasoning that follows. If the author can make such an egregious error on such a simple fact, I can have no confidence in what he is writing. I would urge others not to waste money on this author's works.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 11, 2012

    Awesome Book!!!

    I must say this book took me longer to read and get through. December 1941 by Craig Shirley take you through each day of december and give you an account of the days events. Days before the tragic events at Pearl Harbor the country was at peace. Thanksgiving had just ended a couple weeks back, the Christmas season was upon them and they thought all was well in the USA. They know and understood that the World was not at peace. Little did they know that Japan had already set sail for Hawaii and 7 days into the last month of the year the USA would change and change for good.

    This book is well written, Yes it is a little long but thinking back on it I not sure how you could not have put the information in there that Mr. Shirley did. As a advit fan of the WWII era, this book is a must have and one that I recommend to those that love to study WWII history.

    I thank Thomas Nelson for my free copy and in return I was asked only to give my honest review of this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2012

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    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2012

    Great read for history buffs

    I was 7 years old on Dec 7, 1941 and wanted to read the book to see how much I could remember and what I missed. With a day by day report, basically from newspapers, it was fascinating to read the daily accounts. Have recommended it to all my friends as a must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2012

    Churchill never gave an order or any instructions without having them written down. You wouldn't think in the middle of the war anyone would be that detailed.

    You wouldn't think that so much could go on in 31 days but the book is very interesting. It really holds your attention. Can't put it down!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2012

    Not a great with book filled with questionable history.

    So many things in the book are just false. FDR did not repeal prohibition.
    London was bombed 19,000 times in May of 1941? Plus many many more.
    The author uses references from some news article published in a second rate newspaper and passes it off as fact. Not everything you read in the paper is fact! Then he repeats the same basic information time and again.
    It leaves wondering what is really true and what isn't.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2012

    Some interesting tidbits, but.....

    I had a lot of trouble getting past the factual errors, for example the author's reference to the state of New York effecting navigation restrictions on the Saint Lawrence Seaway, a waterway that was built in the fifties and that opened in 1959. The errors I identified had me wondering what else he may have gotten wrong. In addition, the book has an embarrassing number of typos and grammatical errors.

    Having just finished a book by Max Hastings, this book was a real disappointment

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2013

    Excellent book!!! Takes you back to December 1941 in a magnifice

    Excellent book!!! Takes you back to December 1941 in a magnificent way and you have the feeling and the taste of the time while you go through day by day. Love it and warmly recommend it to everyone!

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  • Posted July 24, 2012

    Engrossing and disappointing. Definitely a different and engagin

    Engrossing and disappointing. Definitely a different and engaging view of this crucial month in out nation's history. While I thought the content first class, the proofreading was decidedly third class at best. The are numerous errors of syntax, punctuation and spelling that detract from a smooth read. Nonetheless, I would recommend it to anyone interested in WWII history.

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