A Date Which Will Live: Pearl Harbor in American Memory

A Date Which Will Live: Pearl Harbor in American Memory - Emily S. Rosenberg

Rosenberg focuses on the many interpretations that the attack on Pearl Harbor has been given in America. This book is interesting as a different look at the event itself and as a model for historical inquiry. The continuing redefinition of Pearl Harbor to suit present needs isn't unique. All events in history and subjects of study undergo this process, which is an important lesson for anyone wishing to learn how to think critically about events they may believe they already know.

Rosenberg's narrow scope may seem limited in some areas, her last chapters concerning the film 'Pearl Harbor' and, of course, the 9/11-Pearl Harbor relationship are rough as the movie and the attacks happened as she was writing the book, but overall I appreciated her clear approach and how it dovetailed nicely into 'War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning's theme of selective memory. Rosenberg shows how Japan is treacherous, industrious and/or loyal according to the needs of the state or a group at the time. People see no conflict in these contradictory images in the "heat of the moment", reviving or filing them away as necessary. People, whatever, we, do this all the time and breaking that habit, learning to see beyond what has been presented to us since childhood and parsing evidence for ourselves is a crucial step towards being an informed adult and citizen.

Heck, when I put it that way, it's clear that it is your patriotic duty to read this book.