Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Story Behind "At Dawn We Slept"

"At Dawn We Slept" is arguably one of the most well known books about the Pearl Harbor attack.

This month's Naval Institute Proceedings has an excellent article about how this book came to be. Gordon Prange, who died before "At Dawn We Slept" was published, lived in Japan for six years immediately after the war. Only a few of the Japanese officers who planned and executed the attack survived the war, and Dr. Prange interviewed any of those few that would talk to him.

He brought an amazing 450 crates of research back to America with him. This research was the basis for "At Dawn We Slept" as well as a number of lesser known works that have been published based on Dr. Prange's work and research. These include:

    "The Verdict of History" - The stories of the Pearl Harbor Commanders, Vice Admiral Kimmel and Major General Short as well as discussions of responsibility and accountability

    "December 7th 1941: The Day the Japanese Attacked Pearl Harbor" - Stories and Accounts of the attack

    "The Way it Was: Pearl Harbor - The Original Photographs"

Three more scholarly reference works have also been published from Dr. Prange's documents:

    "The Pearl Harbor Papers"

    "The Pacific War Papers"

    "Fading Victory: The Diary of Admiral Matome Ugaki"

The Proceedings article also revealed that the research used to produced these many books is now in the University of Pittsburgh archives and will be released for research in April, 2007.


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