Ian W. Toll. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2020. 944 pp. Maps. Photos. Illus. Biblio. Index. $40.
Reviewed by Alan Rems
Though not everyone will agree with Thomas Mann that “only the exhaustive is truly interesting,” discerning readers will not wish that Ian Toll’s massive capstone to his Pacific war trilogy, about the war’s final year, were a page shorter.
Toll tells us in his author’s note that in the course of his research for the other volumes he learned much that “lay along the periphery of the main narrative.” Happily, he saved it all and put it here, heedless that it would require “more than three times longer to produce [the trilogy] than it took the combatant nations to fight it.”