The Saturday Evening Podcast: The Days Before Pearl Harbor

The attitude of pre-World War II America was quite different from the heroic era of the war years. The U.S. was still a modest, isolationist nation, with limited industry, a tiny army, and the hope that, by minding its own business, it could remain untouched by war. Although the December 6, 1941, issue of the Post shows a country at peace, the signs that war was spreading are evident throughout its pages.



In this podcast, Jeff Nilsson interviews historian Marc Wortman. In his book 1941: Fighting the Shadow War, Wortman reveals the depths to which the United States had already been involved in World War II before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Dispelling the myth that the United States was a neutral nation caught flat-footed by the Japanese attack, Wortman shows how the U.S., through military deployments, the Lend-Lease Program, and actual confrontations with Axis forces, was “neck-deep in the war before December 7.”

Sound files excerpted in the podcast:

Featured image: By United States Air Force [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons