Berry Craig celebrates publication of newest book

Bruce Maples (

Forward Kentucky contributor Berry Craig has just published his latest book, Kentuckians and Pearl Harbor: Stories from the Day of Infamy. It was published by the University Press of Kentucky, and is available now.

From the publisher’s web site:

When the air raid alarm sounded around 7:55 a.m. on December 7, 1941, Gunner’s Mate Second Class James Allard Vessels of Paducah was preparing to participate in morning colors aboard the USS Arizona. In the scramble for battle stations, Vessels quickly climbed to a machine gun platform high atop the mainmast as others descended below decks to help pass ammunition up to gunners. At 8:06, a bomb exploded and the Arizona sank. Vessels’s lofty perch saved his life, but most of his shipmates were not so lucky.

In Kentuckians and Pearl Harbor, Berry Craig employs an impressive array of newspapers, unpublished memoirs, oral histories, and official military records to offer a ground-up look at the day that Franklin D. Roosevelt said would “live in infamy,” and its aftermath in the Bluegrass State. In a series of vignettes, Craig uncovers the untold, forgotten, or little-known stories of ordinary people — military and civilian — on the most extraordinary day of their lives. Craig concludes by exploring the home front reaction to this pivotal event in American history.

Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor swept away any illusions Kentuckians had about being able to stay out of World War II. From Paducah to Pikeville, people sprang to action. Their voices emerge and come back to life in this engaging and timely history.

This is the ninth book published by Berry Craig, for three different publishers:

The History Press, now Arcadia Press

  • True Tales of Old Time Kentucky Politics: Bombast, Bourbon, and Burgoo
  • Hidden History of Kentucky in the Civil War
  • Hidden History of Kentucky Soldiers
  • Hidden History of Western Kentucky

The University Press of Kentucky

  • Kentucky Confederates: Secession, Civil War, and the Jackson Purchase
  • Kentucky’s Rebel Press: Pro-Confederate Media and the Secession Crisis
  • Kentuckians and Pearl Harbor: Stories from the Day of Infamy (on UPK’s Limestone Press)

McFarland Press

Co-authored with Dieter Ullrich

  • Unconditional Unionist: The Hazardous Life of Lucian Anderson, Kentucky Congressman
  • General E. A. Paine in Western Kentucky: Assessing the “Reign of Terror” of the Summer of 1864

Berry Craig holding a copy of his latest book, "Kentuckians and Pearl Harbor: Stories from the Day of Infamy"
Berry Craig holding a copy of his latest book, “Kentuckians and Pearl Harbor: Stories from the Day of Infamy”

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