At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor Anniversary 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
“Fast-paced and engrossing . . . if any book can be called ‘definitive,’ At Dawn We Slept deserves the accolade.”—Los Angeles Herald Examiner
“It will be the single, essential work on the subject from now on.”—Houston Chronicle
“An unparalleled historical achievement . . . the account reads with the intensity of a suspense novel.”—Milwaukee Journal
“From first to last—responsible, intelligent, absorbing . . . the book is most outstanding.” —Kirkus Reviews
- Publisher : Penguin Books; Anniversary Edition (December 1, 1982)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 912 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0140157344
- ISBN-13 : 978-0140157345
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Grade level : 12 and up
- Item Weight : 2.28 pounds
- Dimensions : 9.1 x 6 x 1.7 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #76,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This remarkable book is an achievement because it contains both all of the detail you would expect from such a well-researched project and great writing: the author really brings out the personalities in a great piece of storytelling.
What really stands out is the way he simultaneously tracks developments in Japan and the US throughout 1941, moving back and forth from the Japanese officers and politicians to their American counterparts. As Yamamoto and a small circle of colleagues start to get serious about the seemingly impossible dream of a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the Americans keep pondering what the Japanese would do if negotiations broke down. Again and again the idea of some sort of attack on Pearl Harbor is brought up and then forgotten. The frustration a typical American reader is likely to feel cannot be overstated. Epic frustration.
The detailed examination of the Japanese planning is good not only for those who want to learn about this operation but also, to be coolly objective, it's simply a good case study of people turning over a problem (or opportunity) and looking at it from almost every angle. The contrast between the Japanese and the Americans could not be more stark.
To demonstrate how thorough this book is: I bought it on the off chance that I would find an answer to my own question, which was, did the Japanese not realize that it was possible that sunken ships would simply be hauled out, repaired, and sent out to fight the Japanese again? This is the cost of trying to sink ships in the shallow waters of a harbor (with all those repair facilities right there) instead of out in the (for all intents and purposes) bottomless ocean. Anyway, I was sure Yamamoto had considered this (especially since the shallow harbor presented a problem for the Japanese torpedoes).
The author did not disappoint. He shows in a couple of places in his narrative how this issue vexed one of the Japanese officers in particular, who was hoping that some of the ships would be parked in a much deeper harbor not too far away. The other harbor was included in the planning, but he was to be disappointed that morning when reconnaissance discovered nothing there. But they did plan for this disappointment: because of the shallow water at Pearl, their mission was not merely to sink the battleships, but to destroy them beyond all hope of repair. An important distinction affecting the detailed instructions given to the pilots.
Even so, when one reads the Japanese side, there is a frustration that mirrors the one you might feel while reading the American side of the story: even Yamamoto acknowledged, explicitly, that an operation against Pearl could only be a delaying tactic in a war that America would certainly win. This is something that the Japanese worried about but seemed to have no answer for. The answer might have been in Washington, where Japanese diplomats seemed to be honestly trying to keep the peace, and voiced their frustration with their own government and military for an insistence on imperialist adventures.
Kimmel and Short followed their orders implicitly as written but were scapegoated for the disaster by those responsible. The primary fault used by Prange or whoever was the lack of searches to the north. In fact, the enemy carriers made their approach timed such that any search would have missed them. The booked went to print about the time a volumnus amount of classified material was released to the public including documents that refute Prange's accusations against the Hawaiian commanders. Since that initial release there have been subsequent releases that document the facts that Japan was maneuvered into the war and that the powers that were knew it would be Pearl Harbor with sufficient time to warn the fleet.
I have looked for evidence of who funded this book but didn't find anything. There were books funded by the government ruling party to revise history in order to cover for those in the government who were responsible for Pearl Harbor, ie, Morrison, Whohlstetter, and am still looking for who financed this book.
I would not recommend this book to the casual reader of war history as it distorts the facts and will distort the view of the reader who has not read many books on the subject. For Japanese planning and actions prior to the the attack it is useful as a reference.
I had to read it before I pass away so I picked it up and promised to challenge the book's massive volume of information and theories, as well as the narratives of the witnesses and informants.
The book arrived in good condition, as advertised appearing new and never read, but possibly old (pages are slightly yellowed around the perimeter of three sides) but I have no problem with that. The book smells the way a good history book is supposed to smell! I love the smell of book paper. The spine is in excellent [As New] condition and the glue not dried and cracking as my father's copy was. Both covers were pristine on arrival. Since my father's copy was falling apart and thumb-worn, I needed my own copy and am happy to have this book on my desk right now. Thanks to the seller for this in great [new condition] book. It makes a difference.
Even so, it is an excellent read for anyone serious interested in the attack. I would reccommend "A Matter of Honor" after reading this book for a really full view of events leading up to the attack.
Top reviews from other countries
Altamente recomendado para satisfacer el gusanillo y matar clichés y tópicos sin fundamento.