At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor

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Overview

At 7:53 a.m., December 7, 1941, America's national consciousness and confidence were rocked as the first wave of Japanese warplanes took aim at the U.S. Naval fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor. As intense and absorbing as a suspense novel, At Dawn We Slept is the unparalleled and exhaustive account of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. It is widely regarded as the definitive assessment of the events surrounding one of the most daring and brilliant naval operations of all time. Through extensive research and ...

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Overview

At 7:53 a.m., December 7, 1941, America's national consciousness and confidence were rocked as the first wave of Japanese warplanes took aim at the U.S. Naval fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor. As intense and absorbing as a suspense novel, At Dawn We Slept is the unparalleled and exhaustive account of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. It is widely regarded as the definitive assessment of the events surrounding one of the most daring and brilliant naval operations of all time. Through extensive research and interviews with American and Japanese leaders, Gordon W. Prange has written a remarkable historical account of the assault that-sixty years later-America cannot forget.

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: 9780140157345
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2001
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 60
  • Pages: 912
  • Sales rank: 146,650
  • Product dimensions: 6.19 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.53 (d)

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 Preface
Part I: Prelude
1. "Cancer of the Pacific"
2. "On a Moonlight Night or at Dawn"
3. "Difficult But Not Impossible"
4. "No Credence in These Rumors"
5. "You Hurt the President's Feelings"
6. "That Must Henceforth Bear Responsibility"
7. "Our First Concern Is to Protect the Fleet"
8. "The Hotbed of Espionage"
9. "In Rather a Spot"
10. "The Most Likely and Dangerous Form of Attack"
11. "How Can Air Power Be Used Most Effectively?"
12. "The Real Power and Potentialities"
13. "With Guarded Approval"
14. "The Strongest Fortress in the World"
15. "Critical in the Atlantic"
16. "The Kiss of Death"
17. "Japan's Foreign Policy Will Not Be Changed"
18. "As If He Were Beyond Penalty"
19. "We Want Hustlers!"
20. "Plenty of Potential Dynamite"
21. "A Cunning Dragon Seemingly Asleep"
22. "Prophetic in Its Accuracy"
23. "Present Attitude and Plans"
24. "A Very Strong Fighting Spirit"
25. "Resolved to Go to War"
26. "Waves and Winds So Unsettled"
27. "A Serious Study"
28. "The War Games"
29. "Time Was Running Out"
30. "But What About the Pacific?"
31. "A Significant and Ominous Change"
32. "No Matter What the Cost"
33. "Now the Clouds Were Raised"
34. "The Power, the Purpose and the Plan"
35. "Pearl Harbor Will Be Attacked"
36. "We Should Be on Guard"
37. "As One with the Combined Fleet"
Part II: Action
38. "Other Kind of People"
39. "Based on Deception"
40. "In the Hands of God"
41. "Complete War Preparations"
42. "Ringing Bells and Banging Drums"
43. "I Swear to Be Successful"
44. "A Situation Full of Dynamite"
45. "Things Are Automatically Going to Happen"
46. "Wherever It Might Be Found"
47. "Cleave the Enemy in Two!"
48. "A Match for Anything Afloat"
49. "That Was the Monkey Wrench"
50. "To Be Considered a War Warning"
51. "Our Diplomats Will Have to Be Sacrificed"
52. "The Vacant Sea"
53. "Glory or Oblivion"
54. "Great Unease in All of Our Minds"
55. "Sure Indication of War"
56. "Another Straw in the Wind"
57. "On a Keg of Dynamite"
58. "This Means War"
59. "The Japs Are Planning Some Deviltry"
60. "An Awful Urgency"
61. "Tora! Tora! Tora!"
62. "Sound General Quarters"
63. "They Caught Them Asleep, by God!"
64. "Oh, How Powerful Is the Imperial Navy!"
65. "The Chance of a Lifetime"
Part III: Aftermath
66. "An Excitement Indeed"
67. "Our Flag Was Still There"
68. "Clouds Over Mountains"
69. "Not on the Alert"
70. "Dereliction of Duty"
71. "The Ashes of a Bitter Past"
72. "Something Ought to Be Done"
73. "Full and Fair Disclosure"
74. "We Have a Job to Do"
75. "Errors of Judgment"
76. "We Want the Truth"
77. "A Partisan Matter"
78. "The Evidence Piles Up"
79. "A Fighting Chance"
80. "Fixing the Blame"
81. "The Verdict of History"
Afterword
Appendix
Notes Abbreviations Used in Text Source Material List of Major Personnel The Pearl Harbor Investigations Selected Bibliography Revisionists Revisited Index

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 17 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 17 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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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    EPIC!

    My 12 year old son was born a war history buff. His favorite being WWII. This came hightly recommended by a co-worker so I got it for my son for Christmas. He sleeps with it and reads it a little bit each night before bed. It is a lot... but priceless!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2008

    Detail, Detail, Detail

    Almost mind boggling the amount of detail this piece of work presents about Pearl Harbor and the events surrounding the attack. A must read for those interested in learning about the attack that officially drew the United States into WWII.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2006

    A Can┬┐t Miss Book

    At Dawn we Slept is one of the best histories I have read in a long time. Twenty-five years has not dimmed its brilliance. The cat and mouse game between American and Japanese intelligence reads like a thriller. The actual attack is given about 50 pages of the book. The author was focused on finding out the deeper truths and lessons of Pearl Harbor. Gordon W. Prange spent decades researching the book and interviewed most of the survivors on both sides. He was fair and balanced in his judgments and conclusions. He died before the book was published but his analysis is sobering to read in a time when the US faces dangers on many fronts. I wonder how many members of the Bush Administration have seen and understood this book. Iraq leads me to suspect not many have.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2003

    Probably the best WWII History text

    I promise that you will never find another WWII history text as well researched and level headed as this one. The detail is comprehensive - if anything of importance happened with respect to the Pearl harbor attack, I guarantee you that it's in this book. It makes most other accounts seem thoroughly amateurish.

    1 out of 1 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2003

    Great reading

    This is probably the finest book written about the attack at Pearl Harbor. Gordon Prange's intense research, aided ably by Donald Goldstien and Katherin Dillon, brings the attack to life in a way few authors can. I would recommend this book to any student of history to see how a book like this SHOULD be written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2001

    A Time for Courage and Brotherhood

    This novel, written by the peerless authority of Anglo-Japanese conflict in the pacific, is riviting and thorough. Mr. Prange tells the complete story of the most momentous day in American history of the twentieth century. So complete was Mr. Prange's knowledge that he was hired as the script and on set advisor of the motion picture,'Tora, Tora, Tora.' This is a must read for anyone who loves military history, American history, or history in general.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2001

    NON-STOP READING

    This had to be the best book I know of about Pearl Harbor! Hard to put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2001

    This book renders all other works as fiction!

    The complete account of Pearl Harbor, from both sides of the Pacific Ocean. I have read this account three times since 1993, and each time was better than the previous.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2001

    GREAT HISTORY

    Fact upon fact portrayed in in a well-written story. A must for the history buff.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2001

    Very thorough and well written

    This is an excellent history book about Pearl Harbor. It gives details upon details about events prior to, during, and after the attack. I give it my highest recommendation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 1999

    Definitive account

    Anyone who might wish to write a book or article about Pearl Harbor should read this book ... and then give up the notion that they can add anything of significance.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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