The definitive history of the Pacific war – Hirohito’s War: The Pacific War, 1941-1945

This book has been criticised { rightly} for having some factual mistakes and { unjustifiably} for putting its appendices and maps on a website. These criticism had deterred me from buying the hardcopy.

It is indeed unfortunate that my paperback 2016 edition still shows these factual mistakes. However, the sum total of the excellent narrative in this 1160 – page book justifies me recommending this book to the reader. Having all the appendices and maps in this book would also have necessitated a 2 volume book or the cutting down in the number of appendices and maps. Having maps on a website also allows us to enlarge them for easy reading.

The subtitle of this book is put as The Pacific war 1941-1945. This is a bit of a misnomer. Pike actually starts with a useful analysis of the empires existing in 1868, the outbreak of ww 1, the Treaty of Versailles and the genesis of ultra-nationalism in Japan { 1931-1941} that caused Japan to invade China etc. The book ends with Hirohito radio surrender announcement.

Pike is good in analysing the facts and giving his conclusions, besides narrating the facts.

I highly recommend this book which is indeed a monumental achievement and the fruit of a 5-year labour of love.

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