Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History Paperback – Jun 1989
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From Library Journal
Although few serious historians believe that President Roosevelt enticed the Japanese to attack at Pearl Harbor, the hoary accusation still retains some pop ularity among laypersons. In this se quel to At Dawn We Slept ( LJ 11/1/81), Prange's successors address them selves to the question of blame for the attack and fire a heavy broadside against the historical revisionists and their high-level plots. Its relentless log ic and exhaustive detail will satisfy scholars and others intrigued by the controversy. Casual readers will find that this historiographical drama lacks the narrative structure and gripping prose style of Prange's earlier works. Literary Guild alternate; Military Book Club main selection. Raymond L. Puffer, U.S. Air Force History Prog., Los Angeles
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Mr. Prange has been called the 'dean of Pearl Harbor historians.' The accolade -- with appropriate credit to his associates -- is deserved". -- The Wall Street Journal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Almost before the echoes of Japanese engines had died away, some individuals in the United States declared that the American people must accept a portion of the blame for Pearl Harbor. Read the first page
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
Part of the problem is the title, which I hope Prange himself didn't have a hand in. As Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn sagely pointed out in 'Liberty or Equality,' the verdict of *history* and the verdict of *historians* are two (often very different) things. I would hope a historian of Prange's skill would not be so presumptuous as to claim to speak for all history. The opinions of talented historians are valuable. But relatively few judgments can ever be final (Henry Clausen's Pearl Harbor book has this problem in spades).
The larger issue seems to have been the release, after Prange's death, of John Toland's 'Infamy,' which breathed new life into the so-called 'revisionist' theory that Franklin Roosevelt knew of and/or deliberately provoked the attack. According to their introduction to this volume, Goldstein and Dillon deliberately expanded and refocused Prange's work in order to respond more thoroughly to the 'revisionist anti-Roosevelt thesis,' which they reject.
They concede that Roosevelt 'might have been ill-advised' or insufficiently 'dynamic' in his leadership. But their central thesis is the mainstream one that Pearl Harbor was due to sub-standard naval and military intelligence systems and failures by the on-scene commanders.Read more ›
What I found between the covers of "Verdict of History" was a thick skulled and fatuous account that, in a nutshell, said "this stuff just happens, and no one is to blame". As anyone who read "The Valor of Ignorance" (Homer Lea), "Strategy", by Lidell hart, the writings of Thucydides (a successful ancient Greek General) or other books on military strategy and the nature of warfare realized, the Japanese attack on the US Pacific Fleet was predictable -- and in fact was first discussed in military and political circles as a likely event in 1905.
The author of "Verdict of History" impressed me only with his staggering and colossal stupidity: evidenced in the book by his complete lack of analytical skills, and his obtuse lakc of comprehension when it comes to strategy. In fact, I think the author is probably a candidate for most inept debator of the century: he asserts that Roosevelt's administration was not derelict in exercising its duty or responsibility to defend the United States, and then he provides hundreds of pages of text that indicates that they were (At Dawn, They Slept..and in the afternoon and evening as well, apparently). Mr. Prange seems to have done a great deal of research but learned absolutely nothing from it ... regrettably, that's par for the course with academic writers.
Throw this one into the rubbish can of history.
Most recent customer reviews
I approached this book thinking that it would yield insights into how and why the United States was so poorly prepared for the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Read morePublished on Dec 3 2001 by 1.