AT DAWN WE SLEPT: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor by Gordon W. with Donald M. Goldstein & Katherine V. Dillon Prange
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AT DAWN WE SLEPT: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A massive history--but not outscale: the late Professor Prange, chief of military history in occupied Japan, has looked into every aspect of the attack on Pearl Harbor--starting with the Japanese side of the story--and leaves no doubt that (as his collaborators and posthumous editors write) ""Tokyo, not Washington, established Japan's foreign policy; the individual responsible for the attack was Isoruko Yamamoto, not Franklin Delano Roosevelt."" There is much new material--on such usually neglected matters, too, as: the Japanese war games used to refine the attack plan; the development of special bombs and torpedoes for use in the attack; Japanese intelligence operations in Hawaii--and American counterintelligence; the nature and function of the overlapping American commands in Hawaii. But Prange also presents the well-known material incisively: the historic March 1941 Bellinger-Martin report--a plan for joint Army/Navy action in the event of an attack on Oahu or fleet units in Hawaiian waters--is wrapped up with the observation that they ""could not have done a better job of mind reading had they actually looked over the shoulders of Yamamoto."" The controversy surrounding what happened thereafter (or didn't happen) engendered eight separate American postwar investigations--and it is in treating these that the book is most outstanding. Prange goes into the nature of each panel, and evaluates its members, procedures, and conclusions; most, he points out, illustrate ""hindsight at its hindmost."" In an interesting appendix, Goldstein and Dillon summarize Prange's criticisms of the revisionist, Roosevelt-blaming histories of the attack. From first to last--responsible, intelligent, absorbing. (Prange, some will recall, was the author of the story on which the film Tora! Tora! Tora! was based.)

Pub Date: Nov. 22nd, 1981
ISBN: 0140157344
Publisher: McGraw-Hill