Thursday, August 17, 2017

Book Review - Dawn of Infamy

I've enjoyed books by Stephen Harding before and this story about a long forgotten ship sinking on December 7, 1941 caught my attention. The story is about a small freighter carrying a load of lumber to Hawaii that was sunk within minute of the attack on Pearl Harbor and may have preceded the actual attack there. The ship sank without a trace and the crew vanished. What happened to them is one of the mysteries of the war.

Unfortunately, Harding goes into too much detail and turns what could have been in intriguing mystery into a long slog of details. He devotes the first 100 pages to a history of the vessel, it's various owners, details of the military contract under which it operated and biographies of each crew member no matter how trivial. He then describes the sinking in a few pages and follows that with the personal stories of the families who tried to recover insurance.

He ends with a series of speculations as what happened but falls back on the obvious - a crew in life boats on the open ocean have a good chance of dying from starvation and will likely be lost forever.

If you are really into the minutia of a small side issue to Pearl Harbor, you may enjoy this but I did not.

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