Book Review: A Date Which Will Live: Pearl Harbor in American Memory


by Emily S. Rosenberg

Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2005. Pp. x, 236. Illus., notes, biblio. $18.95. ISBN:0822336375

The subtitle of A Date Which Will Live sets the purpose of the work, a point stressed in the title of the first of its two main sections, "Signifying Pearl Harbor."

The point of the book is not to discuss "The Day of Infamy," but to explore the ways in which Pearl Harbor has been perceived and used by the American people.  Individual chapters look at how the attack rallied the nation to unity in the war effort, provided opportunities for those opposed to the administration and the New Deal, affected the place and role of Japanese-Americans in society, served as a metaphor for preparedness, became part of the "culture wars," and more, including the relationship between the memory of Pearl Harbor and the events of 9/11. 

Well written and often quite insightful, the book will be of interest to students of Pearl Harbor , war and society, and modern America .

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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