Steve Twomey, Countdown to Pearl Harbor

For the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Steve Twomey has penned a fascinating look at the 12 days leading up to the Japanese attack — the warnings, clues, and missteps.

In Washington, D.C., in late November 1941, admirals compose the most ominous message in Navy history to warn Hawaii of possible danger, but they write it too vaguely. They think precautions are being taken, but never check to see if they are. A key intelligence officer wants more warnings sent, but he is on the losing end of a bureaucratic battle and can’t get the message out. American sleuths have pierced Japan’s most vital diplomatic code, and Washington believes it has a window on the enemy’s soul — but it does not.

Twomey’s telescoping of the dozen days leading to the attack unravels the crucial characters and moments, and produces an edge-of-your seat drama with fascinating details about America at this moment in its history.

Steve Twomey spent 14 years at The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, and then worked at The Washington Post for 13 years. More recently, he has written for Smithsonian and other magazines and has taught narrative writing at the graduate schools of New York University and the City University of New York.

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