Introduction to the American entry into World War II. Tells us about the four towns mentioned that Burns selected for its wartime experiences and of the residents of those places. By this time, they have already known of the early initial conflicts of World War II in Europe through newspapers and newsreels, but it was only through the Pearl Harbor Attack that roused an isolationist, unprepared country into mobilization to war. But setbacks arose: The Philippines fell and with it the internment of Americans at Santo Tomas in Manila and the Bataan Death March. American shipping became easy prey for German U-boats along the American coast and in the Atlantic. But America succeeds in stopping the Japanese advances at Midway and Guadalcanal.