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The Washington Times “December 1941” Book Review

When 1941 dawned, about half the nation wanted to stand aside from “Europe’s wars,” and about half thought “preparedness” was imperative to help the embattled British and rearm ourselves. Few actually thought we would be dragged into a war.

Charles Lindbergh and other famous names led America First, an organization that epitomized the isolationist view. The most familiar individual on the “internationalist” side was the president, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Craig Shirley, known for creating a you-are-there atmosphere in his earlier books about Ronald Reagan’s 1976 and 1980 presidential campaigns, has done it again in “December 1941.” News stories and confidential dispatches about the growing worries over Japanese imperial expansion in Asia are intermingled with the quotidian. We learn about popular films and songs of the day. (Inexpensive moviegoing was a national habit.)

The nation was gradually climbing out of the 10-year Depression. An upbeat mood had been created by the World’s Fair in New York and International Exposition in San Francisco in 1939 and 1940, and most Americans were looking forward to better times. Their thoughts were not about distant wars. Continue reading The Washington Times “December 1941” Book Review

“December 1941” Featured in the Jewish Ledger

As stated in the Jewish Ledger,

“A book will be available this month by Ronald Reagan biographer Craig Shirley called “December 1941.” While December 7,1941 is the day that gave the month importance, the abrupt change in the psyche of the nation and the move from innocence and isolation to reality and involvement is graphically outlined in this day by a compilation of events, moods and cultural change. Pearl Harbor awoke a sleeping giant in a way few could have imagined at the time, and this book gives the reader a sense of the many irrevocable changes that gripped America, along with the war that dominated the decade and the subsequent balance of the century.”

“December 1941” Featured in Northern Virginia Magazine

Craig Shirley, who lives in Alexandria, provides a new perspective on World War II called “December 1941:  31 Days that Saved America and Changed the World,” published by Thomas Nelson.

During the first week of December 1941, America was still struggling with the remnants of the Great Depression, and war was not on its mind.  But everything changed on Dec. 7.  Shirley details that month’s impact on America, an impact still felt today, with powerful prose.

Shirley specifically mentions D.C.’s reaction to the Pearl Harbor attack and the immediate legal and political ramifications.  A local authority on a local matter should make this book essential for the region’s history enthusiasts.

Shirley himself is a true local presence.  He not only lives in Alexandria, he also serves as president and CEO of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs.  He has long been involved in the political scene, and he has already written two highly successful books on the Reagan campaigns of 1976 and 1980.

Also forthcoming from Shirley is a biography of Newt Gingrich, with full cooperation from Gingrich himself.  That book, entitled “Citizen Newt,” wends its way into stores in January 2012, and is also published by Thomas Nelson.  Both “December 1941″ and “Citizen Newt” retail for $24.99.