At Dawn We Slept: Untold Story of Pearl Harbor Paperback – 31 May 2001
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"Fast-paced and engrossing . . . if any book can be called 'definitive, ' At Dawn We Slept deserves that accolade". -- Los Angeles Herald Examiner
Prange''s exhaustive interviews of people on both sides enable him to tell the story in such personal terms that the reader is bound to feel its power....It is impossible to forget such an account. --The New York Times Book Review
Diligent, thorough, and evenhanded...At Dawn We Slept is the definitive account of Pearl Harbor. --Chicago Sun-Times
Prange's exhaustive interviews of people on both sides enable him to tell the story in such personal terms that the reader is bound to feel its power....It is impossible to forget such an account. --The New York Times Book Review
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 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Author
We believe that this remains the definitive work on Pearl H.
We have continued to research this subject. As of September 1998, our conclusions remain unchanged after eighteen years. We will continue to look at recently released documents from archives in Russia and England and update when necessary. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
It can get confusing as the time-line jumps back and forth between events, but is still THE work to use as a reference.
If books aren't your thing, then the docu/film "Tora Tora Tora" is to be watched as the author of this book was consulted extensively in the filming of it.
The authority of this monument of work lies in its detail. On the Japanese side is the reasoning behind the idea, the diligent preparation, the machinations in Tokyo and even an element of luck. The American fate sat on a wall of missed chances, inadequate communications and plain human disbelief that such a blow was realistic, and the post mortems followed. It is all minutely told with clarity and without predisposition.
The vastness of the text does not tire the reader. The detail is engaging; the portrayal of actors and the operation almost intimate, although at times you have to refer to an index of principals to keep abreast with scripts unfolding in Tokyo, Washington, Hawaii and the Pacific.
Prange’s perennial research was like a personal crusade; he was at pains to be openly, almost excessively even handed, eschewing jingoistic or patriotic bias. Two of his former students completed the equally weighty onus of turning it all to a readable work. On many subjects are there claims to the laurel ‘the definitive work’, but on Pearl Harbor, this epic probably earns it.
woven with the comprehensive facts he has collected, creating a captivating story that manages to teach us a little history...
Though lacking in certain maps, diagrams and pictures, Prange manages to present both sides of the story though detailed analysis of the events. To his credit, he backs his analysis with a large bibliography, allowing the reader to verify any fact.
Prange's Present toPosterity
History of Pearl Harbor Abroad November 22, 1997
Principia College, Elsah, IL, 62028
At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor, by Gordon W. Prange, manages to break new ground in history writing. Although the manuscript in this form was authored primarily by two of Prange's ex-students Dr. Donald Goldstein and CWO (USAF Ret.) Katherine V. Dillon, due to Prange's enormous contribution, At Dawn We Slept is truly his tale. Prange endeavored to write the most complete work on the subject extant, an inside look from both the Japanese and American points of view. In his own words, "I [Prange's italics] am the only individual who has come to grips with the entire Pearl Harbor problem and conducted extensive research and interviews on both sides of the Pacific." Prange, through his research and his use of both the Japanese and American perspectives, has succeeded brilliantly in writing this unbiased look at Japanese / American relations leading up to, and immediately following the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
Prange's story starts in Japan, New Year's Day, 1941, with its 2601st birthday, and ends in 1946, with the conclusion of the Joint Congressional Committee Investigation into the attack at Pearl Harbor. , , Even though At Dawn We Slept contains several historical references outside this timeframe; for instance, Commodore Mathew Perry's expedition in 1895 that normalized Japanese-American relations, they serve mainly as background information that support the main story. Similarly, although the book briefly mentions the Atlantic theatre and events in Washington, it does not try to expand its focus beyond its original purpose, the Pacific, from Japan to Pearl Harbor. What makes this book great are not the dry facts about who was involved, and where or when it happened, but rather how it tells the events. It is arranged much like two trains, one Japanese and one American, that stop every so often to trade passengers, but inexorably race on to a truculent collision on December 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor. The language of the book lets the reader look through the eyes of the characters, lets him feel their emotions, and gives him a first-hand look at the events. For instance, speaking of Japanese ships, "[Abukuma] led nine of the newest and best destroyers under the Rising Sun flag... Nagumo's trouble-shooters... could spring to battle at a moment's notice," and later:
On Nagumo's shoulders rested a responsibility and a burden such as few commanders had ever borne in the history of naval warfare. The venture ripped out all the pages of Japanese naval tradition, violated their basic rules of strategy, and tossed into the classified waste the plans which Japan had long formulated to fight the U. S. Navy. ,
The word pictures that At Dawn We Slept paint personalize the history, and make it more accessible and enjoyable. Furthermore, the pictures, although rather sparse, give a visual perspective that speaks out from the past, for instance Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's stately demeanor and Lt. Commander Shigekazu Shimazaki's smug confidence. As with any historical work, research forms its backbone and determines its credibility. The contribution of Prange's own history should not be forgotten, because his background determines the skills and opportunities that he brought to the investigation. Born in Iowa, on July 16, 1910, Prange taught history at the University of Maryland from 1937 to 1980, when he died. Beyond that, he was Douglas MacArthur's chief historian from 1946 to 1951, and had a chance to talk to the participants first-hand. How often are people in the right places at the right times that they are able to record the events of history for posterity? Prange was. Because he spent 37 years of his life gathering first- hand, eye-witness accounts for this book, Prange forces us not only to trust him, but to actually relive the events, as they happened. His hundreds of interviews consisted of individuals who actually participated in the history, from the lowest ranks of the military to the highest, and many of the civilians. The sheer magnitude of his work is an essential element in this book's appeal. For example, Prange met with Commander Minoru Genda -- the main author of the Japanese attack -- a total of 72 times, and Commander Mitsuo Fuchida, the flight leader, 50 times. , Prange's original plan was to write a book solely from the Japanese perspective. Consequently, a bias could have been introduced as Prange did not interview many of the American participants until much later. In one case, the commander of the Hawaiian Department, Lt. General Walter C. Short, whom the Inquiry Board found partially responsible for the attack, died on September 3, 1949, before Prange even had a chance to interrogate him. However, the magnitude of Prange's research and interviews enabled him to find the germane facts in people's otherwise embellished tellings. In this way, Prange minimized distortion of the actual events, and thereby minimized any bias introduced. This is not to say the book falls short of placing both blame and praise for the attack. Of Short, and Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, "Both Kimmel and Short exercised poor judgment in this crisis." And about Genda, and Commander Mitsuo Fuchida: From the moment Genda explained his assignment, Fuchida brought a new dimension to the Pearl Harbor picture. Henceforth he and Genda formed a unique team - Genda the creative genius supplying the original ideas, Fuchida the aggressive activist hammering them into reality.
At Dawn We Slept essentially becomes Prange's thesis about the how historical events leading up to Pearl Harbor occurred - on both sides of the Atlantic. However, the book does more: It goes beyond dates and places, and instead brings the history alive. This book, in doing so, becomes a model for its contemporaries and a benchmark for the future.
Gaddis Smith, "Remembering Pearl Harbor," The New York Times Book Review 29 November 1981: 3. Donald Goldstein, Telephone Interview, November 20, 1997. Goldstein Interview. Gordon W. Prange, Donald Goldstein and Katherine Dillon, ed. At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor (New York: Penguin, 1991) 814. Prange 3.
Prange 392. Prange 395.
Prange 1st Picture Set.
Goldstein Interview. Prange 821-825.
Prange 728-729. Prange 410. END
Tremendous value for money. Many thanks.
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