Day of Infamy by Walter Lord Essay
(New York: Henry Holt & Company, LLC, 2nd Edition, 1985), 227 pp.
Walter Lords' Day of Infamy traces the drama of the massive aerial attack of Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941.In this book, Lord painstakingly reconstructed not just the "why" and the "way" of the attack, but also how it happened, how people could have been so unaware of what might happen, and the slowness to regroup when it did.He begins with the innocence (and evils) of the night before the tragedy.He ends with the famous national radio address of President Franklin D. Roosevelts' speech before Congress the following day.Lord is also known for his bestselling book A Night to Remember, which was written in the same style as this book, with minute-to-minute accounts of the sinking of the Titanic.
Walter Lord reminds the reader of just how innocent people are in the moments before history is changed forever. How untrained they are at putting the clues together, and just how unprepared they can be, until after the fact- when they become fiercely patriotic and regroup.He does not spend a lot of time pointing fingers or placing blame, but remains on the raw human experiences of the day.As author James Michner wrote in The New York Times, " It stuns the reader with the weight of reality."
Lord shows the way Americans believed that no one had the ability to reach them, let alone attack the U.S.This is obvious in Chapter VII's title: "I Didn't Even Know They Were Sore At Us!", p 64. He illustrates how everyone was oblivious to extreme nature of events going on around him or her, even after the bombs were dropped.Lord goes into meticulous detail to recount the day all the way from the Japanese build up of a secret mission, to the Americans living and stationed on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. He interviewed 577 people to recount the events from as m