Click on the links to read the full reviews.

(Link to OregonLive review by Katie Schneider July 2013 no longer available)

Review by Ronald Wilper Boise, ID, March 2013
“As the nephew of one of the civilian contractors taken prisoner, enslaved and eventually murdered on Wake Island during World War II, I read Bonnie Gilbert’s Building for War hoping to learn something about the Uncle I never met. This book greatly exceeded my expectations. It is meticulously documented, delightfully well written, and intimately personal.”

“Building for War” review by Richard P. Hallion, Ph.D., February 26, 2013
“Building for War is meticulously documented in primary sources and archival collections, but never suffers from the pedantic style all-too-commonly found in academic treatises. Indeed, the book is by turns intriguing, informative, gripping, and at times very moving. The defenders, civil and military, who fought on Wake are well-memorialized in this highly recommended and definitive study.”

Review by Robert Hanyok, Pacific War Historian, February 2013
“. . . Building for War is a fine addition to the literature of the pre-war Pacific, giving an insight into the relative late and haphazard preparations by the United States to fortify and upgrade its island possessions. But it adds an important human element – the story of the civilian contractors trapped on an island in a war for which they never signed up.”

Review by James Bair, “English Plus Language Blog” February 2013
“Gilbert is a good story teller. She uses many quotations from news sources, letters, and diaries to project what it was really like on this bare coral atoll–wind-blown magnolias and morning-glory vines, no palm trees. We can say now that the story of the Wake Island construction workers has been told.”