"Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy" by Eri Hotta; Knopf (352 pages, $27.95)
The government wanted to get out of a war that wouldn't end. World opinion was increasingly hostile. The economy was in trouble.
The year was 1941. Japan's leaders recklessly decided to gamble with the lives of millions by starting a war with the United States. Almost none thought the war could be won, but they hoped fate would intervene.
In this book, Eri Hotta exposes the false assumptions, wishful thinking, political turmoil and cultural baggage that contributed to fatally flawed decision-making.