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Joe Rochefort's War


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About the Author

Elliot Carlson is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter, editor and staff writer for such newspapers and magazines as the Honolulu Advertiser, the Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. A graduate of the University of Oregon and Stanford University.


In Joe Rochefort's War, Elliot Carlson has successfully peeled back the decades of myth and misperceptions around the man, the analyst, and his role in the first year of the Pacific War. At home in naval intelligence, and an exceptional officer serving with the Chief, U.S. Fleet in the Pacific in the 1930s, Rochefort was, by the time he arrived at Pearl Harbor in mid-1941, in a position to transform the roles of both naval cryptology and intelligence. Carlson reveals, in detail, Rochefort's true role as an intelligence analyst who took the work of the code breakers and other cryptologists, turned it into usable intelligence, and reported it directly to Admiral Nimitz and his staff prior to the crucial battles of the Coral Sea and Midway. In a fast-moving narrative, Carlson demonstrates how Rochefort's considerable analytic skill and epic work habits made possible those pivotal victories; not some "magical" process. Rochefort was very much the model for the modern intelligence analysts who support commanders in the field. * Robert J. Hanyok, Pacific War historian and co-author of West Wind Clear *
Joe Rochefort's War is the book that all who are interested in the Battle of Midway have literally awaited for decades. Intelligence expert Joseph Rochefort was among a very few whose contributions to the victory were absolutely vital, yet his personal story has previously attracted only scant attention from historians. Elliot Carlson's fine new book reveals that amazing story in full, and it's one that everyone having a strong focus on World War II in the Pacific will want to know. * Ronald W. Russell, editor of The Battle of Midway Roundtable and author of No Right to Win: a Continuing Dialogue with Veterans of the Battle of Midway *
Elliot Carlson's Joe Rochefort's War is one of the most important books on the Pacific War to appear in many years. It is nothing less than a tour de force. Never before has the complicated story of U. S. naval codebreaking in the opening phase of the war been told so fully and so well, and in such a fair and judicious fashion. It is absolutely essential for a fuller understanding of the terrible surprise at Pearl Harbor and the rapid resurgence of the Pacific Fleet that culminated in the decisive victory at Midway. * John B. Lundstrom, author of Black Shoe Carrier Admiral: Frank Jack Fletcher at Coral Sea, Midway and Guadalcanal *
In Joe Rochefort's War Elliot Carlson has achieved a remarkable synthesis, a narrative that at once captures the atmosphere of the dawn of U.S. Navy codebreaking, the ethos of the Old Navy, and the towering contribution of this man, responsible in great measure for one of the most incredible victories in American naval history. Carlson sheds a bright light on an often-mentioned but little understood figure amid cataclysmic events. * John Prados, author of Combined Fleet Decoded *

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