REFIGHTING THE PACIFIC WAR: An Alternative History of World War II

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REFIGHTING THE PACIFIC WAR: An Alternative History of World War II By Jim Bresnahan 288 Pgs., Illustrated, 6-in x 9-in, Hardback, ISBN: 978-59114-079-5, $29.95. US Naval Institute, 800-233-8764; www.usni.org

There's an old saying that it is the victor who usually writes war histories, not the loser. Another proclaims that it is easier to predict the winner of a battle after it has been fought, than before. Author Jim Bresnahan does us one better. Using the ever popular "What if?" format, he poses provocative questions about a multitude of Pacific War happenings and then solicits replies from a variety of historians, writers, scholars, and experts who are well-grounded in the subject. The result is Refìghting the Pacific War, an altogether enlightening fun read that supposes different beginnings and finales to many aspects of the prolonged near four-year battle to correct Japan's often distorted vision of an Asian utopia.

By posing questions such as "Should Japan Have Invaded Hawaii?," or "What if Nimitz Had Allowed Midway to Fall?," or "Was the Atomic Bomb Necessary?," the author elicits qualified responses from his noted panel that delightfully entertain, inform, and amuse the reader. …