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USS Arizona: The Ship, the Men, the Pearl Harbor Attack, and the Symbol That Aroused America

Overview

"This is no drill! This is no drill! General Quarters! All hands! General Quarters! We're under attack!"

In the first terrifying moments of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the crew of the USS Arizona could not have imagined the horrors that awaited them on that "Day of Infamy," December 7, 1941. The battleship Arizona exploded when an armor-piercing bomb ignited its forward munitions, creating a thunderclap that rocked the skies; 1,177 men were killed on the Arizona-more than half the casualties at Pearl ...

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Overview

"This is no drill! This is no drill! General Quarters! All hands! General Quarters! We're under attack!"

In the first terrifying moments of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the crew of the USS Arizona could not have imagined the horrors that awaited them on that "Day of Infamy," December 7, 1941. The battleship Arizona exploded when an armor-piercing bomb ignited its forward munitions, creating a thunderclap that rocked the skies; 1,177 men were killed on the Arizona-more than half the casualties at Pearl Harbor. The USS Arizona gives a riveting account of the terrible events that violently thrust America into World War II. From accounts of what it was like below deck and topside to its fiery aftermath, we see the attack unfold through the eyes of survivors. Accompanied by 16 pages of photographs, this stirring chronicle tells the story of the famous battleship as few other writers or historians have, detailing its construction, covering life on board the peacetime Arizona, and revealing the unshakeable bond its sailors shared with their ship. Most of all, The USS Arizona captures the ship's transformation into a potent symbol of American grit and resolve-a symbol that resonates today at the final resting place of the USS Arizona and the sailors and Marines who perished with her.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A memorable book about ground zero on the day America entered World War II." -Walter Cronkite

"Superbly researched and brilliantly written - The USS Arizona is a moving portrayal of a towering tragedy filled with the drama and courage of ordinary men." - Clive Cussler

"The authors have done a service to history as well as providing a powerfully compelling narrative of the events of that dreadful day." -The Washington Post

"This book provides the human story of the tragedy in a most compelling way." -Publishers Weekly

"The first-person accounts and the authors' lucid reconstruction of the Arizona's final hours are vividly cinematic and wholly absorbing.... A revealing glimpse into that other day that shook the world." -Edward Morris, Bookpage

Clive Cussler
Superbly researched and brilliantly written -- The USS Arizona is a moving portrayal of a towering tragedy filled with the drama and courage of ordinary men.
Publishers Weekly
Coming out in time for the 60th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, this book tells the full story of the battleship Arizona, arguably one of America's most well-known ships. Of the ship's crew that fateful December 7, 1941, 1,177 died when the ship exploded following a fatal bomb hit that detonated the ship's ammunition magazines (crew names are all included in a grim appendix). Only 289 survived, and that number gets fewer each year. The authors have all dived on the wreck; Adams, the cultural resources manager at the Arizona Memorial for several years, is the son of an Arizona survivor. Jasper, Delgado and Adams trace the history of the Arizona, from her launching in 1915, through her extensive cruises in the Atlantic and Pacific, to the chaos after Japanese airplanes sounded the death knell of America's battleship fleet. Extensive interviews with 10 survivors of the Japanese attack are the core, and given how few survivors remain, it is a plethora. They were stationed in different parts of the ship, so provide a comprehensive view of the ship's final hours. While many previous books dwelled on technical data and argued about how the ship exploded, this book provides the human story of the tragedy in a most compelling way. 16 pages of photos not seen by PW. (Dec.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-A sensitive and respectful portrait of the battleship Arizona in peacetime, in war, and as a "symbol of American loss and American courage." The introduction relates how each author was drawn to the ship's story. Jasper is an investigative journalist who devoted nearly a decade to locating and interviewing Arizona survivors; Delgado is a maritime archaeologist; and Adams, a retired U.S. Marine, son of an Arizona survivor, and an accomplished diver affiliated with the National Park Service's stewardship of the memorial. The battleship's history is traced from the 1914 keel laying in the Brooklyn Navy Yard through the fateful events of December 7, 1941, continues with the establishment of the memorial in 1962, and concludes with present-day underwater monitoring of the site to assess corrosion and structural stability. Key chapters draw on remembrances of survivors to sketch the routines of shipboard life in Pearl Harbor before the attack. GQ drills, inspections, gunnery practice, holystoning the teakwood deck, camaraderie among turret crew members, and more are all recalled by the men who were then 18- to 20-year-old sailors from hometowns across America. The generation-defining events of December 7th are told with restrained emotion as each man narrates his tale of survival on a day when 1177 of his shipmates perished. The authors' intent to acknowledge the many levels of heroism on that day and to preserve the heritage are finely achieved.-Lynn Nutwell, Fairfax City Regional Library, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A history of the construction, staffing, shipboard life, and shocking destruction at Pearl Harbor of the USS Arizona, coupled with an earnest meditation on its legacy in American history. Journalist Jasper (Lighthouses of the Delaware Bay and River, not reviewed), historian Delgado (Lost Warships: An Archaeological Tour of War at Sea, not reviewed), and shipwreck preservationist Adams share the distinction of being among a select group of people the US government has allowed to visit the underwater wreckage of the Arizona. This rare honor gives the writers a unique perspective on the battleship's place in American history and helps them to effectively bring it to life. Their detailed reconstruction of the vibrant shipboard culture, using sailors' descriptions of naval preparations for the looming war against Japan, adds poignancy to their two-chapter description of the Arizona's death-throes, as those same sailors serve as eyewitnesses to the Japanese bombing that ignited the battleship's ammunition magazines. Many of the survivors, some horribly burned or otherwise wounded, went on to fight the Japanese into submission at Midway and in other important naval battles. Just as the ship itself now exists as an underwater national monument, the authors treat the sailors who served on the Arizona as living testaments to the need for continual national vigilance against criminal aggressors. Their reconsideration of this lesson stands as a thoughtful and passionate addition to the tragic legacy of Pearl Harbor. Historically accurate and well-researched: a welcome antidote to Hollywood's airbrushed WWII romances. (16-page photo insert)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312993511
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 11/17/2003
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.82 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Joy Walrdon Jasper is an investigative journalist and a magazine feature writer with an avid interest in genealogical research. She lives near Hartford, Connecticut where she is at work on her next book.

James P. Delgado is a noted underwater archaeologist and historian who has dived on many wrecks, including the USS Arizona and Admiral Yamamoto's flagship, Nagato. He is the executive director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Jim Adams, following a career in the Marine Corps, joined the National Park Service and became the cultural resources manager at the USS Arizona Memorial. Presently assigned to Biscayne National Park in Florida, he is writing about his late father, the journalist Val Adams, who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2004

    Increased my appreciation for those at Pearl Harbor

    I was a long way from being born when the attack on Pearl Harbor happened. And in school they never took the time to teach us about it, it was barely touched on. I have read many other books about WW2 ships but this one really increased my appreciation for not only WW2 but for those at Pearl Harbor in particular. This book makes you realize how much of a family the shipmates become and it chokes me up to think that so many of them would choose to be buried back in the spot that they were lucky enough to escape. Even if you aren't usually a history buff I think you would benefit from reading this book.

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