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December 7, 1941—the date of Japan’s surprise attack on the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor—is "a date which will live" in American history and memory, but the stories that will live and the meanings attributed to them are hardly settled. In movies, books, and magazines, at memorial sites and public ceremonies, and on television and the internet, Pearl Harbor lives in a thousan December 7, 1941—the date of Japan’s surprise attack on the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor—is "a date which will live" in American history and memory, but the stories that will live and the meanings attributed to them are hardly settled. In movies, books, and magazines, at memorial sites and public ceremonies, and on television and the internet, Pearl Harbor lives in a thousand guises and symbolizes dozens of different historical lessons. In A Date Which Will Live, historian Emily S. Rosenberg examines the contested meanings of Pearl Harbor in American culture. Rosenberg considers the emergence of Pearl Harbor’s symbolic role within multiple contexts: as a day of infamy that highlighted the need for future U.S. military preparedness, as an attack that opened a "back door" to U.S. involvement in World War II, as an event of national commemoration, and as a central metaphor in American-Japanese relations. She explores the cultural background that contributed to Pearl Harbor’s resurgence in American memory after the fiftieth anniversary of the attack in 1991. In doing so, she discusses the recent “memory boom” in American culture; the movement to exonerate the military commanders at Pearl Harbor, Admiral Husband Kimmel and General Walter Short; the political mobilization of various groups during the culture and history "wars" of the 1990s, and the spectacle surrounding the movie Pearl Harbor. Rosenberg concludes with a look at the uses of Pearl Harbor as a historical frame for understanding the events of September 11, 2001.


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December 7, 1941—the date of Japan’s surprise attack on the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor—is "a date which will live" in American history and memory, but the stories that will live and the meanings attributed to them are hardly settled. In movies, books, and magazines, at memorial sites and public ceremonies, and on television and the internet, Pearl Harbor lives in a thousan December 7, 1941—the date of Japan’s surprise attack on the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor—is "a date which will live" in American history and memory, but the stories that will live and the meanings attributed to them are hardly settled. In movies, books, and magazines, at memorial sites and public ceremonies, and on television and the internet, Pearl Harbor lives in a thousand guises and symbolizes dozens of different historical lessons. In A Date Which Will Live, historian Emily S. Rosenberg examines the contested meanings of Pearl Harbor in American culture. Rosenberg considers the emergence of Pearl Harbor’s symbolic role within multiple contexts: as a day of infamy that highlighted the need for future U.S. military preparedness, as an attack that opened a "back door" to U.S. involvement in World War II, as an event of national commemoration, and as a central metaphor in American-Japanese relations. She explores the cultural background that contributed to Pearl Harbor’s resurgence in American memory after the fiftieth anniversary of the attack in 1991. In doing so, she discusses the recent “memory boom” in American culture; the movement to exonerate the military commanders at Pearl Harbor, Admiral Husband Kimmel and General Walter Short; the political mobilization of various groups during the culture and history "wars" of the 1990s, and the spectacle surrounding the movie Pearl Harbor. Rosenberg concludes with a look at the uses of Pearl Harbor as a historical frame for understanding the events of September 11, 2001.

30 review for A Date Which Will Live: Pearl Harbor in American Memory

  1. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    A nice overview of many of the ways that the "history/memory" (as Rosenberg puts it) of Pearl Harbor played out in subsequent history and American culture and politics. The book's concluding chapter, which focuses on the comparison between Pearl Harbor and 9/11, is one of the strongest and most compelling parts of the book. A quick read and very nice overview. A nice overview of many of the ways that the "history/memory" (as Rosenberg puts it) of Pearl Harbor played out in subsequent history and American culture and politics. The book's concluding chapter, which focuses on the comparison between Pearl Harbor and 9/11, is one of the strongest and most compelling parts of the book. A quick read and very nice overview.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dwight

    A great book for introducing the concept of History and Memory to a wider audience as well as a great discussion of how ideas of "the truth" get circulated and reproduced. A great book for introducing the concept of History and Memory to a wider audience as well as a great discussion of how ideas of "the truth" get circulated and reproduced.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lance

    Quick read and very enjoyable. Look forward to watching Tora Tora Tora again this December with a new perspective.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

    A pretty good, quick read. A little shallow though. And I wish it was an e-book, weirdly.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anna Lyon

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kaiti

  7. 5 out of 5

    Billy

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michele LaFerriere

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bee

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael Fantauzzo

  12. 4 out of 5

    Annie

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

  14. 5 out of 5

    Avery Warkentin

  15. 5 out of 5

    A. Bowdoin Van Riper

  16. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sara Lowe

  18. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Loper

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emma Jo

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melynda Seaton

  26. 4 out of 5

    CARRIE

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alec

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sirena

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jim Lewien

  30. 5 out of 5

    Walter Dalton

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