Why Newton Leroy Gingrich, PhD, was refused tenure at West Georgia College is not known, and since academic tenure is even more secretive than grand juries, it may never be. Rumor has it that he hadn’t published. If so, he’s made up for it by now with some seventeen non-fiction and eight fiction books to his credit. His recent rise in the polls, makes his writing worth a look, and surprise! I enjoyed Days of Infamy.
It has two co-authors, is a fictionalization of Pearl Harbor and the four days that followed. It’s a genre military action thriller with a veneer of verisimilitude, in that its characters include Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Admiral Halsey, Admiral Yamamoto,and some others. I have no idea whether lieutenants, petty officers, civilians, etc, are also based on real people.
The authors pretend to enter their heads. FDR: ”Our civilization must not lose this war or it would be indeed, as Winston Churchill said, “a thousand years of darkness.’” Such a wooden lugubriosity hardly invokes the man who said, “...a day that will live in infamy.” But military action thrillers seldom pretend to be literature, and literature, Days of Infamy is not.
As a former army B-17 pilot, I am sensitive to fabricated prose about flying, but the flying descriptions, of which there are many, are flawless. I can’t testify to the accuracy of fighter pilot sequences, but as to flying itself, it is on the money every time.
One co-writer, William R. Forstchen, co-author of four other books, has some fifty to his own credit, and the other Albert S. Hanser, termed “Contributing Editor,” often comes up on the Internet in connection with Gingrich.
Does the book reveal anything about Newt Gingrich, the presidential candidate who shocked the radical right by calling for amnesty for Mexican immigrants? Well, he does gives equal and essentially sympathetic attention to the Japanese high command, one of his American protagonists is married to a Nisei Japanese, and he makes it clear that the thousands of Japanese living in Hawaii in the aftermath of the attack were in a terrible predicament.