ReasonTV Replay: How Pearl Harbor – and December 1941 – Made America a Global Power

72 years ago today
Japanese aircraft attacked Pearl Harbor, launching the United
States into World War II. As Craig Shirley argued during a
2011 ReasonTV interview, not only did the attack push America into
the war, but it steered U.S. foreign policy away from its long
history of non-interventionism. 

Here is the original text from the Dec. 7, 2011

The bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on December
7, 1941 killed over 2,400 Americans and led directly to the entry
of the United States into World War II.

In his powerful, thickly researched new book, December 1941: 31
Days That Changed America and Saved the World, Craig Shirley
chronicles the day-by-day shifts in American culture, politics, and
national identity through that horrible month. Before December,
Shirley tells Reason’s Nick Gillespie, a solid majority opposed
entry into World War II and the “eminently respectable” America
First movement was poised to help select the next president of the
United States. Non-interventionism was so universal that Franklin
Roosevelt himself had campaigned for his third term as president on
a promise to keep “American boys” out of European

By the start of 1942, says Shirley, the long tradition of
isolationism was over, never to be seen again. The nation that had
rejected the League of Nations after World War I helped create the
United Nations and America quickly became not simply a global
economic, political, and military power but the dominant player on
the globe.

The author of many books, including two biographies of Ronald
Reagan and a forthcoming book on Newt Gingrich, Shirley talks with
Reason’s Nick Gillespie about what was gained – and lost – in the
historical hinge point that was December 1941.

Approximately 8 minutes.

from Hit & Run

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