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Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision
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Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  31 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
It would be reassuring to believe that Pearl Harbor was just a colossal and extraordinary blunder. What is disquieting is that it was a supremely ordinary blunder. In fact, 'blunder' is too specific; our stupendous unreadiness at Pearl Harbor was neither a Sunday-morning, nor a Hawaiian, phenomenon. It was just a dramatic failure of a remarkably well-informed government to ...more
Paperback, 428 pages
Published June 1st 1962 by Stanford University Press
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Andrew
Mar 13, 2013 Andrew rated it really liked it
This is a policy wonk's book: it takes a surprise attack and attempts to decipher whether or not there were adequate warnings about it. Roberta Wohlstetter wrote it in 1962 in part because her husband, a nuclear strategist with the U.S. government, was worried about different scenarios involving nuclear attack during the Cold War.

A modern reader is likely to read the introduction and ask the same questions that the author does -- but concerning the 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center.
...more
Billy
May 14, 2008 Billy rated it liked it
Shelves: 20th-century-u-s
Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision is an extremely well-written historical snapshot that utilizes the available secondary sources on one of the most devastating attacks in U.S. history. Wohlstetter utilizes a remarkable amount of available sources to comprise a look back on the Pearl Harbor attack only twenty years after its occurrence. She concludes that the pieces available to those in positions to anticipate or deter an attack were too decentralized for any administrative body to make a coher ...more
Samantha
Apr 22, 2015 Samantha rated it liked it
great historical account. not the right book for the start of my Hawaiian vacation but sure informed my trip to Pearl Harbor later in the week!
B. Factor
Dec 05, 2014 B. Factor rated it it was amazing
Outstanding account of why the US was surprised by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and a consideration of the implications for our ability to defend against a surprise nuclear attack. Her prescient conclusion, "If the study of Pearl Harbor has anything to offer the future, it is this: We have to accept the fact of uncertainty and learn to live with it. No magic, in code or otherwise, will provide certainty. Our plans must work without it." Really, I cannot imagine a more reasoned and insigh ...more
Paul
Feb 28, 2016 Paul rated it it was amazing
As I remember it, the book is a classic. Far from weaving conspiracy theories, the author portrays the inability to break through the "noise" of the knowledge that we did have.
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