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Publisher's Summary

A revealing and controversial account of the events surrounding Pearl Harbor.

Pulitzer Prize - winning author John Toland presents evidence that FDR and his top advisors knew about the planned Japanese attack but remained silent.

Infamy reveals the conspiracy to cover up the facts and find scapegoats for the greatest disaster in United States military history. New York Times best-seller.

©2017 John Toland (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Richard Karpusiewicz
  • 28-07-2021

Revisionist History

I think it is important for Audible to provide a note or caption on controversial works, especially by otherwise reputable authors or historians. Infamy is Toland’s most controversial book, as it alleges foreknowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack by President Roosevelt and a cabal of senior military officers. It would be possible for a less informed reader to reach the end of this work assuming that this is the historical consensus. In reality, most of Toland’s assertions in the final chapter are completely unsupported and provide nothing in the way of definitive evidence for his conclusion that FDR “knew” when and where the attack would land or that George Marshall had “sacrificed his honor” to achieve Roosevelt’s policy of uniting the country by allowing Japan to strike first.

Toland treats the episode of the Japanese Winds Code as authoritative evidence that intelligence officials (who suspected war with Japan was looming and were monitoring for any signals suggesting war) should have provided adequate warning. But the winds code was a warning to Japanese legations that if it was sent at all, was sent “in the clear” ie not as a secret encryption code, confusing readers who are receiving this information from the point of view of Navy cryptanalysts. The code if sent was a potential signal for war, but not at all the “smoking gun” Toland suggests, and it did not mention an attack or a specific target.

In general when a controversial book is made available to the public, some disclaimer or additional information should be made available to readers indicating that the book is disputed or that it contains a certain perspective. Readers should be cautioned to take Toland’s conclusions with a grain of salt. Where his earlier work is illuminating of the Japanese perspective, this book goes entirely beyond the evidence by insinuating an illogical, unsupported, and unlikely conspiracy theory.

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  • John
  • 10-04-2021

It Is Human to Try to Cover Up Mistakes

Until now, I never bought the idea that FDR “let Pearl Harbor happen”, knowingly sacrificing so many men and ships. And as John Toland makes clear, he didn’t—at least not knowingly. Given what was believed at the time—the strength of Oahu’s defenses, the low efficiency of Japanese aviators, the impossibility of aerial torpedoes working in shallow Pearl Harbor—the risk seemed acceptable. For minimal loss, a divided nation would be galvanized for war.

Of course, all leaders make horrible blunders. The issue here is that men with the grit to win a world war lacked the integrity to own up to their errors—or their connivance in the errors of their Commander in Chief. Ably assisted by Democrat politicians and press, that connivance survived a series of ten official investigations that make up the heart of this book, proving, as one key actor in this story, Captain Laurance Safford, testified, “It is human to try to cover up mistakes”. But the harm done to brother officers’ lives and careers is indeed infamous.

In the 40 years since this book first appeared, no doubt new evidence and interpretations have emerged. Unfamiliar with any more recent scholarship, all I can say is that I found Toland’s work illuminating. Granted, it’s a tough book to do as audio; the cast abounds with politicians, army and navy officers, and lawyers who enter, exit and re-enter the story through a perpetual revolving door. But stick with it; if you miss the finer shades, the overall story is still well worth the ride. Traber Burns hands in yet another fine performance, especially when delivering the cut-and-thrust of committee room hearings.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-02-2021

History an argument on ended

What I find remarkable about this story (which came out when I was in college and I didn't have time to read ) is that so much was occurring in the background in prelude to war. Obviously the need to protect the Purple decrypt took precedence and yet most people you would today still believe the attack came as a complete surprise and that's 40 years after this book was published. I also want to complement the reader here for expressing the emotion in the review hearings bye Navy and Army boards for Kimmel and Short and the post-war Congressional hearing.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jason Rager
  • 29-01-2021

Definitely Biased

Conclusions are wrong. "War with Japan was a needless war". Peace with Japanese Empire was possible??

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  • KnightT
  • 15-11-2020

The Truth About the Advance Warnings of the Pearl Harbor Attack

Mr. Toland’s book is an outstanding work that revealed that President FD Roosevelt had advance knowledge of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and had the Army and Navy commanding officers there sacrificed as scapegoats. The details of the extensive investigations and hearings should have been shortened in this book as it slowed down the story. Sadly there were lots of things that should have been done by the leaders in Washington that were not done. The cover up and the ruining of many military careers followed. Sadly this was another case of “the end justifies the means” that leaders often choose.

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  • Troy
  • 06-09-2021

A very important book

An illustration into just how untrustworthy government is and just how dirty an American icon was.

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  • Margaret Harley
  • 24-08-2021

Incredible

John Tolland is my favorite author. However I have not read Infamy and Would rate this his best. Incredibly researched, gripping, and troubling. Must Read

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  • Kevin Cooper
  • 12-07-2021

A believable cover-up

Very dry facts, without substantial evidence. , the kind of facts that makes one
wonder and sway to the conspiracy theory side. After reading it, I have been swayed.

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  • Markus
  • 21-12-2020

Bad men with worse characters

Cover up they own mistakes and sacrifice honorable men and their families. Let's Gen Marshal appeal at least as a shady character if not down awful. If you enjoy the minutia of political backdoor deals... Go read this book.. The book is not bad at all, the author did a great job researching it all. It is just sickening that good men are sacrificed for political purposes and short term goals.

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  • Relar
  • 13-11-2020

must read for WWII buffs

I have always been fascinated by Pearl Harbor given my grandfather fought there. this book is a must read for anyone with a connection to the war. How history may have changed with one little warning.

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  • Deb C
  • 06-08-2021

Dry

I did not enjoy this, in fact I found it a struggle. Yes it good to have these facts, but the language and presentation were not as good as I expected. I

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