Craig Shirley’s newest book featured in Jennifer Harper’s “Inside the Beltway” column in The Washington Times:
DEC. 7, 1941
The 70th anniversary of the Day of Infamy – the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 – is just over two weeks away. On bookshelves Tuesday, “December 1941: 31 Days That Changed America and Saved the World,” by historian Craig Shirley, chronicles the events that honed Yankee might and prompted the nation to shine, the author says, “with rare and piercing light.”
There is much cultural and social fare in the hefty book reflecting uncommon unity and the cheerful can-do spirit of the home front, along with news coverage of the day, plus evolving politics and grim realities. It’s all intended to give readers a sense of what their “parents and grandparents and great grandparents” were up against.
“The central and most important actor in ‘December 1941’ is the United States of America,” Mr. Shirley says.
In the crowded race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney may be the tortoise, but Newt Gingrich is the newt. And newts are highly adaptive salamanders that regenerate limbs when wounded and emit poison when challenged.
Conventional — and up-to-the-minute contemporary — wisdom pegs Gingrich as the ascendant favorite, knocking other candidates off their posts and platforms like an Angry Bird.
A recent New Hampshire Journal poll — conducted by Magellan Strategies — of people likely to vote in the state’s Jan. 10 Republican primary puts Romney and Gingrich statistically neck-and-neck.
So if Gingrich is a front-running candidate, the question arises: What do we know about Newt? The tougher question, however, may be: What do we not know?
After all, the 68-year-old former U.S. representative from Georgia has been a recurring character on the American political stage since 1974. Since his resignation from Congress in 1999, Gingrich has remained in the public eye as a political consultant and TV pundit. He has written nearly two dozen books. And for decades he has been the subject of scrutiny by countless magazines, newspapers, radio shows and websites. Story after story about his past, present and future continue to appear.
Now that his candidacy for president is taking flight, some people are saying that — in the grand old Grand Old Party tradition of picking the nominee who has been waiting around the longest — it just may be Newt’s turn.
In any case, here are five things you still may not know about Newt: Continue reading
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
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.”