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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
Before Pearl Harbor: China, FDR and the Plot to Bomb Japan by Michael Lemish is a well-researched and lucidly written account of a historic moment in WWII. The author opens this narrative by offering readers a glimpse of an ordinary day in Pearl Harbor, early Sunday morning on February 2, 1932. Images of Pearl Harbor, of people preparing for Sunday service, and of ships at berth or in dry dock around Ford Island suggest the ordinariness of the day. But then, on this day, it was attacked as part of a war games exercise. The Japanese used this as a template to attack Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, thus pulling the US into the war. At that moment, addressing the American people, President Roosevelt promised that: “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory…” But was Pearl Harbor the ultimate reason why the US joined the war?
In this meticulously researched and beautifully written account, historian and researcher Michael Lemish explores the relationship between the US and China. China was already at war with Japan, and this book unveils startling facts about the events before the war that will blow the minds of readers. A plan had already been in place, one hatched by FDR and the Chinese government, to send bombers to Tokyo. In this historical narrative, readers encounter prominent politicians and strong characters and the roles they played in the tragedy that would alter world history and the way wars would be fought from then on. The book is written in a powerful and compelling voice and the confidence with which this author writes is indicative of the assiduous research put into the writing. Before Pearl Harbor: China, FDR and the Plot to Bomb Japan provides an entirely new interpretation of the events of Pearl Harbor and takes a clinical look at the root cause of the attack. A must-read for fans of history.