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Twilight of the Gods: Book summary and reviews of Twilight of the Gods by Ian W. Toll

Twilight of the Gods

War in the Western Pacific, 1944-1945 (Pacific War Trilogy #3)

by Ian W. Toll

Twilight of the Gods by Ian W. Toll X
Twilight of the Gods by Ian W. Toll
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Book Summary

The final volume of the magisterial Pacific War Trilogy from acclaimed historian Ian W. Toll, "one of the great storytellers of War" (Evan Thomas).

In June 1944, the United States launched a crushing assault on the Japanese navy in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. The capture of the Mariana Islands and the accompanying ruin of Japanese carrier airpower marked a pivotal moment in the Pacific War. No tactical masterstroke or blunder could reverse the increasingly lopsided balance of power between the two combatants. The War in the Pacific had entered its endgame.

Beginning with the Honolulu Conference, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt met with his Pacific theater commanders to plan the last phase of the campaign against Japan, Twilight of the Gods brings to life 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.

Ian W. Toll's narratives of combat in the air, at sea, and on the beaches are as gripping as ever, but he also reconstructs the Japanese and American home fronts and takes the reader into the halls of power in Washington and Tokyo, where the great questions of strategy and diplomacy were decided.

Drawing from a wealth of rich archival sources and new material, Twilight of the Gods casts a penetrating light on the battles, grand strategic decisions and naval logistics that enabled the Allied victory in the Pacific. An authoritative and riveting account of the final phase of the War in the Pacific, Twilight of the Gods brings Toll's masterful trilogy to a thrilling conclusion. This prize-winning and best-selling trilogy will stand as the first complete history of the Pacific War in more than twenty-five years, and the first multivolume history of the Pacific naval war since Samuel Eliot Morison's series was published in the 1950s.

32 photographs; 20 maps

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Written with flair and chock-full of stories both familiar and fresh, this monumental history fires on all cylinders. WWII aficionados will be enthralled." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"There is no shortage of accounts of the brutal island-hopping invasions (Peleliu in September, the Philippines in October, Iwo Jima in February 1945, Okinawa in April), but Toll's take second place to none...A conventional but richly rewarding history of the last war that turned out well for the U.S." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"No one has told the story of World War II in the Pacific, from beginning to bitter end, better than Ian W. Toll. This final volume concludes a brilliant trilogy. Elegant and supremely readable―don't miss the finest military history of 2020." - Alex Kershaw, New York Times best-selling author of The First Wave and Avenue of Spies

"I've been a fan of Ian W. 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 from the beginning and doesn't let go until the very end―an epic masterpiece of military history." - Nathaniel Philbrick, National Book Award–winning author of In the Heart of the Sea and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

"In his masterly narrative, Ian W. Toll brings clarity and a stinging immediacy to America's long, bitter climb up the island ladder that led to Japan. With deft, incisive character sketches, Toll summons the leaders back to contentious life: arguing about what to do, making mistakes, bringing triumph out of disaster―and sometimes the reverse. This is maritime history at its best and most accessible." - Richard Snow

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Author Information

Ian W. Toll

Ian W. Toll is an independent naval historian, the author of Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 and Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy. Six Frigates won broad critical acclaim and was selected for the Samuel Eliot Morison Award, the William E. Colby Award, and New York Times "Editor's Choice" list.

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