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At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor 60th Anniversary Edition Edition
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From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Diligent, thorough, and evenhanded...At Dawn We Slept is the definitive account of Pearl Harbor. —Chicago Sun-Times
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Top Customer Reviews
While there have been many books and theories proposed about why and how the debacle at Pearl Harbor took place, Prange's approach is well documented, and includes details of the pre-attack politics of the USA and of Japan. His book also includes detailed information about the attack itself, gleaned from interviews with those on both sides who actually participated in the event. But, even with that level of detail, I must admit that the most compelling part of the book for me is the section that follows the actual attack -- when the US government and the military were trying to figure out what actually happened, and who was to blame.
The final series of chapters of the book provide insight into the thoughts and tactics of Adm. Kimmell (CincPAC) and Gen Short (Commanding General of army at Hawaii), the two primary "interested parties" in the event.
Before reading the book, I had a tendency to believe that there may have been something of a conspiracy by the Roosevelt administration to get us into WWII, but after reading this account of Pearl Harbor, I am more likely to believe that the great success, including complete surprise by Japanese naval aviation was the result of a series of ill-advised decisions by the commanders at Hawaii rather than by any entity in Wash DC.Read more ›
After more than 30 years researching, writing, and fine-tuning his opus, Prange died more than a year before this massive yet much-edited book finally saw light in 1981 with help from two former colleagues. Buttressed by hundreds of interviews, his narrative of the planning and attack on U.S. forces at Pearl Harbor and Oahu by the Japanese Navy is compelling, yet also repetitive and unwieldy.
Prange's narrative hops between the U.S. forces in Hawaii, maddeningly inert, and the Japanese attack plan, which he describes as a daring gambit brilliantly led by Admiral Yamamoto rather than a sneaky atrocity performed under cover of peace. So committed was Yamamoto to his plan that one point he dramatically threatened to resign if he was not allowed to carry out the attack.
Prange seems to share the hero worship for Yamamoto of his Japanese sources. But at the same time he writes of Yamamoto having "no hope" of winning a war with the United States. There are even questions raised about the attack's necessity. The Japanese wanted the whole of the southern Pacific, then carved up by numerous western powers including the United States. So why go north and attack Hawaii? Yamamoto feared the American fleet there, Prange writes, but then reveals this as a false premise, quoting a U.S. congressional report after the war that noted the fleet "did not present a formidable deterrent to anything Japan desired to do in the Far East." The fleet's pathetically winnowed and outdated condition was in full display to Japanese spies in Oahu, and Yamamoto got regular activity reports. So why attack a paper tiger and risk the wrath of a real one?Read more ›
At Dawn We Slept covers nearly the entire 12-month period leading up to the "day of infamy" that marked America's entry into World War II. It provides amazing insights into both the Japanese and American mindsets, and, most important, explodes the revisionists' myth that Japan's attack succeeded because President Franklin D. Roosevelt withheld critical information from Army and Navy commanders in Hawaii.
Prange researched the Pearl Harbor affair for 37 years until his death in 1980, and his posthumous books paint a tragic picture of two great Pacific nations reluctantly yet inexorably moving in a collision course. Japan doesn't necessarily hate the United States, yet since the 1920s sees it as its main rival for supremacy in the Pacific. Japan's war in China causes the rift between it and America to grow, and U.S. economic sanctions intended to end Japanese aggression against its neighbors have exactly the opposite effect on the military-dominated government in Tokyo. What once was just an abstract idea in Japan's military academies -- a transoceanic war with Britain and America -- slowly but surely comes closer to reality after Tokyo joins the Axis in 1940.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A riveting read. The detailed planning and engineering of Japanese Admiral Yamamoto based on Britain's successful torpedo attack on the Italian port of Taranto. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Malcolm Gorman
This is the one definitive account of the events leading up to and following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Extremely well written and thoroughly documented.Published 2 months ago by windbag
A MUSTHAVE BOOK FOR ANYONE STILL INTERESTED IN THE EVENTS THAT LED TO THE ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOUR. THIS BOOK SHOWS THE READER HOW THE EVENTS, THE PEOPLE,THE SHIPS AND AIRCRAFT ALL... Read morePublished 4 months ago by IAN SAKURA 7
I learned some things that are not commonly told in History books :)Published 4 months ago by Arold De Los Reyes
Very detailed and sometimes hard to read but gives a better view of what was going on on both sides of the battle and how nieve the US was to what was happening in the world at... Read morePublished 5 months ago by clp
A Classic. Written from a certain view point for the times. Important foundational read.Published 5 months ago by Sis Steele