"A spellbinding narrative that uses Chinese, Russian and Japanese sources to expand the story of the first American attack on Japan during World War II."
"When I grew up in the house of a fighter pilot, it was a religious tenet with my father that the Doolittle Raiders were the bravest pilots in the history of flight. James Scott's epic historical work, Target Tokyo, makes that opinion seem almost unassailable. Target Tokyo is one of the most incredible accounts of American military valor I've ever read."
"A beautifully told account of the legendary Doolittle Raid, one of the most daring strikes in US military history. Thrilling and brilliantly researched."
—Alex Kershaw, New York Times bestselling author of The Liberator and The Bedford Boys
"In Target Tokyo, James Scott has given us a superb new account of the Doolittle Raid, a daring and unprecendented gambit that altered the history of the Pacific War. Scott's narrative, which draws deeply on new archival sources, will certainly take its place as the definitive history of the Doolittle Raid. That alone would be reason enough to recommend it—but Target Tokyo is also a terrific story and a cracking good read."
—Ian Toll, author of Pacific Crucible, War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942
"In his glowing assessment of thebravery and innovation of the Doolittle raiders, historian Scott does not neglect to explore the ultimate horrendous cost of the mission in human lives... A spirited, comprehensive and highly readbale account of the tremendous wherewithal required for this extraordinary effort."
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Target Tokyo is an unfortgetable account of American ingenuity and courage in the dark days after Pearl Harbor. With his flair for characterization and vivid storytelling, James Scott reveals the many layers behind the historic Doolittle Raid in 1942—and its consequences. Using an array of fresh sources he allows us, at last, to see the mission both in its contemporary context and from today's perspective. Both sides of the saga are represented, American and Japanese; brave and tragic; noble and despicable. His account of Japanese barbarity—long whitewashed—is particularly affecting. This is a work destined to become a classic."
—Nigel Hamilton, National Book Award finalist and author of The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941-1942
"The Doolittle Raid on Tokyo was one of the most impossible, daring, and consequential missions ever taken by American military men, and James Scott brings it back to the reader with you-are-there immediacy and drama. Filled with great characters, great heroism, and great suffering, Target Tokyo is at once thorough, realisitic, and thrilling."
—Evan Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Sea of Thunder and Ike's Bluff
"The Doolittle Raid on Japan was the American 'tit' for the Japanese 'tat' at Pearl Harbor. The raid changed the complexion of the war—suddenly the Land of the Gods was vulnerable to American airpower. James Scott has uncovered American and Japanese records and photographs never published before. Go on a mission that many thought impossible and enjoy his gripping Target Tokyo."
—James Bradley, New York Times bestselling author of Flags of Our Fathers, Flyboys and The Imperial Cruise
"A lucid, highly readble story fleshed out with an exceptional variety of people at every level, from mechanics with grease under their fingernails to aircrew inbound to the enemy capital, to national leaders in the halls of power in Washington, Tokyo, and China. Target Tokyo is bound to remain the standard reference on the subject."
—Barrett Tillman, award-winning author of Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan 1942-1945 and The Forgotten Fifteenth: The Daring Airmen Who Crippled Hitler's War Machine
"James Scott's Target Tokyo is much more than another account of Jimmy Doolittle's famous air attack on Tokyo in April of 1942. It is a gripping tale of determination, tragedy, endurance, and redemption. Even those who think they know this story, will be absorbed by this vivid account of adventure and peril."
—Craig L. Symonds, author of The Battle of Midway and Neptune
"A superb writer and historian with a keen eye for detail, James Scott has created a meticulously researched account that undoubtedly will be considered the last—and best—word on the subject."
—Flint Whitlock, Editor, WWII Quarterly magazine
"The Doolittle Raid on Tokyo is a fabulous story of bold decision-making and combat heroism. With a perfect blend of extensive research and exemplary prose, James Scott's narrative shines."
—Bruce Gamble, author of The Rabaul Trilogy
"Marvelous... It is undoubtedly the most comprehensive account yet of the training of the crew, the modification of the planes, the air attack itself and the complex aftermath in Japan, the U.S. and China. In Scott's hands, the story, even at 480 pages (not inlcuding footnoates), remains a page-turner."
"Gripping, compulsively readable... Thanks to James Scott, we now have the definitive account of this undertaking."
—The Christian Science Monitor (named one of the 10 Best Books of April)
"Scott doesn't try to rebuild or tear down the legend, but to reshape it and provide the kind of clarity that emerges 73 years after the fact. He researched Target Tokyo in more than three dozen archives around the country and in Japan. He adds new depth to a story that many Americans think they already know, and he takes you into the airplanes, prison camps and Chinese villages where the crews sought refuge... The Doolittle Raid and its effects need to be remembered; Target Tokyo will make them hard to forget."
"In Target Tokyo, James M. Scott, an accomplished naval historian, vividly narrates the saga of Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle's audacious raid, undoubtedly one of the greatest exploits of World War II... The story has been covered many times before, but never so fully as here."
"Scott's tight prose and meticulous research provide a gripping and at times heartbreaking account of the raid."
"Target Tokyo is nothing short of brilliant, offering readers an in-depth look at the grand implications of the raid on the world stage as well as an intimate, human narrative of war."
"Powerful, meticulously researched... As deft as Scott's delineation of the planning and the execution of the raid clearly is, though, it's the depth and the rigor of his reporting and research into the raid's grisly aftermath that raises Target Tokyo above the vast majority of solid WWII histories... Like Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken, David Howarth's We Die Alone and other riveting war classics of heroism, grit and—yes—depravity, Target Tokyo brings to life an indelible era, and shines a fresh light on ordinary men and women who refuse to buckle under in extraordinarily perilous times. "
"In Target Tokyo, author James Scott offers a gripping work of history that tells the extraordinary tale of the Doolittle Raid and its aftermath. Scott is an agile writer who offers strong portraits of key figures such as Doolittle. And his immense amount of research enabled him to produce a book that appeals not just to military buffs, but to a much broader audience."
"Target Tokyo tells the story of that raid, but it's not just the story of a handful of heroes who flew off to Tokyo to tweak the noses of Emperor Hirohito and his military elite. One of the strengths of James M. Scott's book is that he gives credit to the many people who made the raid possible. Unlike many earlier accounts, he doesn't ignore or gloss over the horrific cost—the hundreds of thousands of Chinese who were killed by vengeful Japanese soliders afterward... Target Tokyo is a well-researched and very readable book."
"Brilliant... This story is too good to be fiction... The telling is fresh and packs a wallop that puts it up with the best of World War II combat stories."
"Vividly written and deeply researched... Target Tokyo tells a story that ought to be remembered, artfully combining a soaring account of Greatest Generation resourcefulness and bravery with scrupulous historical analysis."
"In Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor, Charlotte native James M. Scott brings his flair for storytelling and zest for research to describe in vivid detail an event that boosted U.S. morale during the darkest days of World War II... Relying on debriefing interviews, the raiders' personal accounts and other extensive research, Scott has written a tale as gripping as a popular thriller."
"Vivid... harrowing... Filled with acts of thrilling heroism and sacrifice, Target Tokyo is the definitive account of the amazing Doolittle Raid."
"James M. Scott's thorough, gripping and balanced retelling is a true epic."
"Target Tokyo is a gripping history filled with personal details of endurance, suffering, and determination. The author accessed a wide range of fresh archival data and firsthand accounts to breathe new life into his tale of a seemingly impossible mission that altered the course of the Pacific war... This rare gem on American valor is destined to become the defintive account of Doolittle's Tokyo raid."
—Stephen L. Moore, Proceedings
"James M. Scott has done justice to Doolittle—the famed stunt and race pilot who returned to the Army when war was declared—and the raiders by using declassified records from the U.S. and Japan to craft a suberb historical account."
—The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (five-star review)
"This daring act of reprisal for the December 7, 1941, sneak attack on Pearl Harbor has now been captured in luminous detail... [Scott's] meticulous research pairs well with his superior ability to craft a narrative. Togeher he has crafted a history that presents the full story of the raid to the popular level reader... This pervasive level of detail, this journalist's impulse to follow every lead, gives us a fantastic story, fantastically told."
"With this important book James M. Scott fills in the gaps, masterfully describing not just the raid itself but, importantly, the rest of the story... This book will fascinate those of us old enough to remember Doolittle's achievement, but younger readers will also find it a fascinating account of an important, if seldom understood, chapter in American history."
"[The] definitive account of the planning, training and execution of this raid... It is a book that will fascinate readers interested in that long-ago war in the Pacific and also serve as a textbook for high school and college history courses."
"Taking the reader from the pilots' seats to Washington and Tokyo and through Chinese rice paddies and villages, Scott populates his book with colorful, outsized personalities. The author amasses his facts well and tells a gripping narrative. For anyone who enjoys a tale of aviation and high adventure, it will be hard to surpass Target Tokyo."
"Mason Lecture: James Scott & Lt. Col. Dick Cole" — The National WWII Museum
"Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid that Avenged Pearl Harbor" — White House Chronicle (PBS)
"Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid that Avenged Pearl Harbor" — Book Nook (NPR)
"The Untold Story of the Vengeful Japanese Attack After the Doolittle Raid" — Smithsonian
"'I will go down in disgrace': Frankin Roosevelt's Pearl Harbor Nightmare" — Salon
"'Miraculous'" — The American Legion Magazine
"Q&A with James Scott About Latest Book, Target Tokyo" — The Post and Courier
"Valor in Dark Days of War: New Book Retells Story of Doolittle Raiders" — The State
"Author James Scott a Panelist for Hub City's Writing Show" — Spartanburg Herald-Journal
"James M. Scott discusses his book Target Tokyo at the Citadel" — The City Paper
PRESS AND PRAISE