At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor

( 17 )


Fifty years after the attack that plunged America into World War II, At Dawn We Slept remains the greatest account of Pearl Harbor ever written.

This gripping study scrupulously reconstructs the Japanese attack, from its conception (less than a year before the actual raid) to its lightning execution; and it reveals the true reason for the American debacle: the insurmountable disbelief in the Japanese threat that kept America from heeding ...

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Fifty years after the attack that plunged America into World War II, At Dawn We Slept remains the greatest account of Pearl Harbor ever written.

This gripping study scrupulously reconstructs the Japanese attack, from its conception (less than a year before the actual raid) to its lightning execution; and it reveals the true reason for the American debacle: the insurmountable disbelief in the Japanese threat that kept America from heeding advance warnings and caused leaders to ignore evidence submitted by our own intelligence sources.

Based on thirty-seven years of intense research and countless interviews, and incorporating previously untranslated documents, At Dawn We Slept is history with the dramatic sweep of a martial epic.

The monumental history of Pearl Harbor that The New York Times called "impossible to forget"--now with a new chapter by Goldstein and Dillon. Based on 37 years of massive research and countless interviews, this is a landmark study written with the dramatic sweep of a martial epic. 16 pages of photographs.

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Editorial Reviews

Chicago Sun-Times
Diligent, thorough, and evenhanded...At Dawn We Slept is the definitive account of Pearl Harbor.
New York Times Book Review
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402814150
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/1/2001
  • Pages: 889

Meet the Author

Gordon W. Prange (1910-1980) served during World War II as an officer in the naval reserve and, during the occupation of Japan, served in the General Headquarters as a civilian. He was chief of General Douglas McArthur's G-2 Historical Section and director of the Military History Section. He taught history at the University of Maryland from 1937 until his death.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
Preface xv
Part I Prelude
1. "Cancer of the Pacific" 3
2. "On a Moonlight Night or at Dawn" 9
3. "Difficult but Not Impossible" 18
4. "No Credence in These Rumors" 30
5. "You Hurt the President's Feelings" 37
6. "That Must Henceforth Bear Responsibility" 49
7. "Our First Concern Is to Protect the Fleet" 55
8. "The Hotbed of Espionage" 70
9. "In Rather a Spot" 78
10. "The Most Likely and Dangerous Form of Attack" 89
11. "How Can Air Power Be Used Most Effectively?" 98
12. "The Real Power and Potentialities" 107
13. "With Guarded Approval" 114
14. "The Strongest Fortress in the World" 121
15. "Critical in the Atlantic" 127
16. "The Kiss of Death" 135
17. "Japan's Foreign Policy Will Not Be Changed" 142
18. "As If He Were Beyond Penalty" 148
19. "We Want Hustlers!" 157
20. "Plenty of Potential Dynamite" 165
21. "A Cunning Dragon Seemingly Asleep" 172
22. "Prophetic in Its Accuracy" 181
23. "Present Attitude and Plans" 189
24. "A Very Strong Fighting Spirit" 195
25. "Resolved to Go to War" 202
26. "Waves and Winds So Unsettled" 208
27. "A Serious Study" 215
28. "The War Games" 223
29. "Time Was Running Out" 232
30. "But What About the Pacific?" 239
31. "A Significant and Ominous Change" 248
32. "No Matter What the Cost" 258
33. "Now the Clouds Were Raised" 265
34. "The Power, the Purpose and the Plan" 274
35. "Pearl Harbor Will Be Attacked" 280
36. "We Should Be on Guard" 287
37. "As One with the Combined Fleet" 295
Part II Action
38. "Other Kind of People" 307
39. "Based on Deception" 313
40. "In the Hands of God" 320
41. "Complete War Preparations" 326
42. "Ringing Bells and Banging Drums" 334
43. "I Swear to Be Successful" 342
44. "A Situation Full of Dynamite" 353
45. "Things Are Automatically Going to Happen" 365
46. "Wherever It Might Be Found" 373
47. "Cleave the Enemy in Two!" 381
48. "A Match for Anything Afloat" 389
49. "That Was the Monkey Wrench" 396
50. "To Be Considered a War Warning" 402
51. "Our Diplomats Will Have to Be Sacrificed" 414
52. "The Vacant Sea" 422
53. "Glory or Oblivion" 430
54. "Great Unease in All of Our Minds" 439
55. "Sure Indication of War" 446
56. "Another Straw in the Wind" 453
57. "On a Keg of Dynamite" 464
58. "This Means War" 474
59. "The Japs Are Planning Some Deviltry" 483
60. "An Awful Urgency" 493
61. "Tora! Tora! Tora!" 499
62. "Sound General Quarters" 505
63. "They Caught Them Asleep, by God!" 517
64. "Oh, How Powerful Is the Imperial Navy!" 528
65. "The Chance of a Lifetime" 541
Part III Aftermath
66. "An Excitement Indeed" 553
67. "Our Flag Was Still There" 561
68. "Clouds over Mountains" 573
69. "Not on the Alert" 582
70. "Dereliction of Duty" 592
71. "The Ashes of a Bitter Past" 605
72. "Something Ought to Be Done" 614
73. "Full and Fair Disclosure" 623
74. "We Have a Job to Do" 636
75. "Errors of Judgment" 649
76. "We Want the Truth" 662
77. "A Partisan Matter" 675
78. "The Evidence Piles Up" 686
79. "A Fighting Chance" 699
80. "Fixing the Blame" 712
81. "The Verdict of History" 725
Afterword 739
Notes 757
Abbreviations Used in Text 813
Source Material 814
List of Major Personnel 836
The Pearl Harbor Investigations 841
Selected Bibliography 843
Revisionists Revisited 855
Index 869
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 17 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2003

    Knowledge is only power if used

    At Dawn We Slept tells the complete tale of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor from its inception through its completion, and the aftermath for both sides in this conflict. It examines the planning stages of the raid on the Japanese end and explains the point of view for each of the major players in this drama. An exceptional amount of time is given to the interrelationships of Admiral Yamamoto, General Tojo, the Emperor, and Japanese politics in the ultimate decision to proceed along the path to war. The author examines the role of such well-known figures as Admiral Kimmel, General Short, Secretary Hull, Ambassador Grew and President Roosevelt. He doesn't stop at this point, but instead follows up with reviews of personnel at all ranks and positions in the armed forces. Prange attempts to determine or stipulate who really was to blame? In this aspect, the War Department and the commanders, Kimmel and Short, are held responsible. Prange comes down hard on the War Department for failing to notify the commanders of the intercepted 'bomb plot' message. Kimmel and Short both grossly misinterpreted the 'War Warning' message dated November 27, 1941, sent to them by Washington. Kimmell, the naval commander, felt that the security of the base was all up to the Army (which was true), while Short, the commander of the Army felt that the Navy was supposed to provide the long range reconnaissance (which was also true). Both commanders kept asking Washington for more planes and personnel, all the while Kimmell was losing ships to the war in the Atlantic. Short only alerted his troops against possible sabotage and maintained his training schedule, which was so routine that few initially believed the attack was real. This is an excellent book that examines the background to the Pearl Harbor attack, and does not detail the attack itself. This book takes an in depth look at the men and the assumptions that made Pearl Harbor. But be warned, it is very wordy and a task in of itself to read. At over 800 pages all said and done, with more names than one can reasonably remember, it is highly recommended that you take notes on the key players for a reference while reading. In all, a must read historical account at what could easily repeat itself in today¿s world of terrorism and you will quickly recognize that the same flaws that led to this attack exist in every government agency today. An eye opener (once you¿re done reading it...) that anyone who works in security of our nation should read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2003

    Best war book ever

    This book is a wonderful overview of Pearl Harbor. It has great detail of incident and actually made me cry more than a few times. It really makes me think about what those people had to go through.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2003

    Great historical reading

    I found this 'historical novel' to be fascinating. I have seen several movies and several commentaries on the attack of Pearl harbor, but this read actually has taken these mediums to an all time high. The attack on American soil is by far the most incredible event I believe to have ever happened in the United States. It was the largest eye opener to Americans that we could easily fall victim to complacency. An event that will never be forgotten, the United States had everything we could have had for the prevention and sustainment of such a fight, but enemy speed and violence in attack would be our competitor and we were slow out of the gate. The Japanese sent us a message. I find it absolutely amazing that 50 plus years later we are still naive to the fact that we have to keep history from repeating itself. We cannot afford to make the same mistakes. Our intelligence drives our operations and the smallest of details cannot be overlooked. The authors were very lengthy in the details of each party, but the overall read was great.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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