Zero Fighter, Praeger Publishers, Westport, Conn., 1996, $19.95
This book was originally written for the Japanese market, where it sold more than 300,000 copies. As a result, this translation into English is the more interesting historically because it reflects the Japanese point of view on both the primary subject—the development and combat accomplishments of the famed Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter—and that country’s perceptions about other aspects of WWII. The Zero’s exploits have been well documented, but this book adds a you-are-there quality to the plane’s birth by providing the viewpoints of those who were closest to it. The book’s outlook seems rather nationalistic at times, which is natural considering that it was written for home consumption, but it offers a valuable insight into the minds of those we called enemy in the early 1940s.