Winner, Samual Eliot Morison Award
Winner, Colby Award
New York Times "Editors Choice"
Before the ink was dry on the U.S. Constitution, the establishment of a permanent military became the most divisive issue facing the new government. The founders―particularly Jefferson, Madison, and Adams―debated fiercely. Would a standing army be the thin end of dictatorship? Would a navy protect from pirates or drain the treasury and provoke hostility? Britain alone had hundreds of powerful warships.
Volume One in the Pacific War Trilogy
Winner, Northern California Book Award for Nonfiction
On the first Sunday in December 1941, an armada of Japanese warplanes appeared suddenly over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and devastated the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Six months later, in a sea fight north of the tiny atoll of Midway, four Japanese aircraft carriers were sent into the abyss, a blow that destroyed the offensive power of their fleet. Pacific Crucible tells the epic tale of these first searing months of the Pacific war, when the U.S. Navy shook off the worst defeat in American military history and seized the strategic initiative.
The Conquering Tide
Volume Two in the Pacific War Trilogy
New York Times Bestseller
New York Times "Editors Choice"
This masterful history encompasses the heart of the Pacific War―the period between mid-1942 and mid-1944―when parallel Allied counteroffensives north and south of the equator washed over Japan's far-flung island empire like a "conquering tide," concluding with Japan's irreversible strategic defeat in the Marianas. It was the largest, bloodiest, most costly, most technically innovative and logistically complicated amphibious war in history, and it fostered bitter interservice rivalries that even victory could not heal.
"Ian W. Toll writes with an arresting energy. He evokes the world of Patrick O'Brian, the salt-stained ruthlessness of naval commanders, the carnage of the broadside and the surgeon's saw, but also conjures a lost American landscape."
- Tim Gardam, The Guardian (UK)
"The author makes vast quantities of technological and tactical concepts intelligible to all but the rankest beginner.... A particular gift of the author is intelligent character portraits: Yamamoto, MacArthur, Halsey, and Nimitz (clearly one of the author’s favorites). Add to all these other attributes a thorough scholarly apparatus, and it is difficult to think of a recent book on this subject that is of such consistently outstanding value."
"I’ve been a fan of Ian Toll’s since his first book Six Frigates, but this concluding volume of his Pacific War Trilogy has taken him to another level altogether. Twilight of the Gods grabs you at the beginning and doesn’t let go until the very end—an epic masterpiece of military history."
- Nathaniel Philbrick, author of Bunker Hill, Mayflower, and In the Heart of the Sea.
Twilight of the Gods
Volume Three in the Pacific War Trilogy
Twilight of the Gods is a riveting account of the harrowing last year of World War II in the Pacific, when the U.S. Navy won the largest naval battle in history; Douglas MacArthur made good his pledge to return to the Philippines; waves of kamikazes attacked the Allied fleets; the Japanese fought to the last man on one island after another; B-29 bombers burned down Japanese cities; and Hiroshima and Nagasaki were vaporized in atomic blasts. Readers who have been waiting for the conclusion of Toll’s masterpiece will be thrilled by this final volume.