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The Pearl Harbor Papers: Inside the Japanese Plans

The Pearl Harbor Papers: Inside the Japanese Plans

by Donald M. Goldstein

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These are the original Japanese documents on Pearl Harbor, collected and annotated by the best-selling coauthors of At Dawn We Slept and Miracle at Midway.


These are the original Japanese documents on Pearl Harbor, collected and annotated by the best-selling coauthors of At Dawn We Slept and Miracle at Midway.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Edited by the coauthors of At Dawn We Slept (with the late Gordon Prange), this is an invaluable collection of Japanese primary source material pertaining to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Included are monographs by Commander Minoru Genda, the tactical genius behind the attack; letters of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who conceived the operation and pushed it through to acceptance; plus detailed war diaries that cover shipboard activities throughout the voyage to Hawaii, the December 7, 1941, attack itself, and the return voyage home. Perhaps the most remarkable document is an extended report titled ``An Intimate Look at the Japanese Navy,'' in which ``official'' Japanese historian Masataka Chihaya reviews the imperial Navy's successes and failures, assesses tactics and weapons used in the war and concludes with a devastating critique of leadership blunders. The volume sets to rest the argument that FDR knew of an imminent attack because American code-breakers monitored the task force's messages; the documents establish unequivocally that radio silence was maintained. A veritable treasure trove for scholars and Pacific War buffs, this collection also includes the after-action map prepared for Emperor Hirohito, which has only recently been recovered. (Nov.)
Library Journal
The appearance of two enticing sets of historical documents will be a feast for historians, World War II buffs, and anyone else seeking insight into that momentous era. Lay readers can now read the behind-the-scenes facts and opinions upon which the history books are built. These two collections complement each other brilliantly. The Worth book offers close views of American and Japanese espionage in 1941, the clandestine code-breaking activities, the radar fiasco, and numerous other ramifications of the great attack. All the niggling questions about submarine nets, sabotage, and battle damage are discussed in satisfying detail. Goldstein and Dillon, coeditors of At Dawn We Slept ( LJ 11/1/81), ably present the Japanese side of the raid. Academic and military collections will want to acquire these books as a pair. Public libraries considering only one title face a difficult choice but will probably prefer Goldstein and Dillon's work because the Japanese perspective is less well know in this country.-- Raymond L. Puffer, U.S. Air Force History Prog., Los Angeles
Most of the documents presented here are not available elsewhere; many have never before been available in English, and few have been published in Japanese. Drawn from the collection of Gordon W. Prange (General MacArthur's historian), they include secret plans, unit war diaries, and letters and diaries of key Japanese figures, thus giving new access to the Japanese experience and point of view. Each selection is introduced by the editors. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

Potomac Books, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.01(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.13(d)

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