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Download Danger’s Hour: The Story of the USS Bunker Hill and the Kamikaze Pilot Who Crippled Her Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Danger’s Hour: The Story of the USS Bunker Hill and the Kamikaze Pilot Who Crippled Her, by Maxwell Taylor Kennedy Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (71 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maxwell Taylor Kennedy Narrator: Michael Prichard Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the closing months of World War II, Americans found themselves facing a new and terrifying weapon: kamikazes—the first men to use airplanes as suicide weapons.

By the beginning of 1945, American pilots were shooting down Japanese planes more than ten to one. The Japanese had so few metals left that the military had begun using wooden coins and clay pots for hand grenades. For the first time in eight hundred years, Japan faced imminent invasion. As Germany faltered, the combined strength of every warring nation gathered at Japan’s door. Desperate, Japan turned to its most idealistic young men—the best and brightest college students—and demanded of them the greatest sacrifice.

On the morning of May 11, 1945, days after the Nazi surrender, the USS Bunker Hill—a magnificent vessel that held thousands of crewmen and the most sophisticated naval technology available—was holding at the Pacific Theater, seventy miles off the coast of Okinawa. The attack on the Bunker Hill killed 393 Americans and was the worst suicide attack against America until September 11. Juxtaposing Kiyoshi’s story with the stories of untold heroism of the men aboard the Bunker Hill, Maxwell Taylor Kennedy details how American sailors and airmen worked together, risking their own lives to save their fellows and ultimately triumphing in their efforts to save their ship.

Drawing on years of research and firsthand interviews with both American and Japanese survivors, Maxwell Taylor Kennedy draws a gripping portrait of men bravely serving their countries in war and the advent of a terrifying new weapon, suicide bombing, that nearly halted the most powerful nation in the world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The author combines extensive archival research with interviews of American and Japanese participants in a spellbinding account showing that much more than geopolitics was at stake in the Pacific war.

    Publishers Weekly

  • Kennedy’s text covers the struggle to save the ship, succor her injured, and bury her dead. Solid in the disaster-at-sea department, Kennedy’s book, with its original slant on Ogawa, will be of particular interest to the WWII readership.


  • “This is a riveting, thought-provoking, superbly written history that unfolds and surprises like a novel. What we are permitted to participate in is nothing short of hell: a glimpse into the most asymmetrical warfare we Americans have ever faced—the kamikaze pilot.”

    Ken Burns, director, producer, and author of The Roosevelts

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Catriona Buhayar | 2/16/2013

    " I truly enjoyed this history book about the US Navy, particularly aircraft carriers, and the Japanese Navy and Kamikaze pilots during WWII. Definitely recommend to fans of war history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Shawn | 12/19/2012

    " Meticulously researched and excellent read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Janice Russell | 10/17/2011

    " I don't usually read non-fiction about World War II, but this one was of special interest because my father served on the Bunker Hill. His cousin, Bob Stock, was also on the carrier and against all rules, kept a journal. I have a copy and I followed Kennedy's account with what Bob wrote. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Damon Hall | 7/5/2011

    " Good idea, not badly written but poorly fact-checked/edited. Too many little errors that were hard to ignore and took away from a story that needed to be told. "

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About the Author

Maxwell Taylor Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy, is a professor at Boston College and the bestselling author of Make Gentle the Life of This World. He graduated from Harvard University, where he majored in American history, and he served for three years as assistant district attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.