I was introduced to Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War through the 1983 miniseries of the same name. I already knew that one day I would serve my country in uniform and was drawn to books, movies, and television programs with military themes. I still remember watching The Winds of War with my parents and asking them all sorts of questions about World War II. I had a solid base knowing my grandfather had been killed in the waning days of the war in the Pacific. He flew the F4U Corsair and was the earliest influence on the path my life would take.
Today it is hard to fathom that at the time of its airing, we were not yet forty years removed from the end of that conflict. A few years later I would read Herman Wouk’s novel for the first time. It remains one of my top five recommended novels of all time. I’d read it while backpacking through Europe, visiting many of the places described in its pages. Historical fiction is a fantastic way to pass on the lessons of history, and The Winds of War is among the very best. If you have not read this captivating novel that follows the Henry Family from 1939 up to the attack on Pearl Harbor, I highly recommend you stop reading this and get to know them through the events that would pull the United States into the Second World War.