Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Broken Seal” as Want to Read:
The Broken Seal
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Broken Seal

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  43 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Was there a conspiracy in the White House to maneuver the Japanese into war? Were the commanders in Hawaii derelict in their duty? Exactly how much did the United States know about Japanese intentions on the eve of Pearl Harbor? Here for the first time is the whole secret history of Japanese and American code-breaking operations between 1921 and 1941--a fascinating progres ...more
paperback, 464 pages
Published July 1968 by Bantam Books (first published 1967)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Broken Seal, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Broken Seal

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-51
Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  43 ratings  ·  12 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Broken Seal
Erik Graff
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: espionage/WWII fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
Dad was an army cryptanalyst during WWII, serving on shipboard during the actions in N. Africa, Sicily and the Philippines, all instances involving army troops transported from navy ships. At the same time author Farago was with Naval Intelligence as chief of research and planning. Dad's involvement in this aspect of the war has led me to read many books on the topic, several of them by Farago.

This particular, rather well written book details the decipherment of Japanese cyphers and codes from 1
Karl Jorgenson
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Flawless, detailed research and solid, near-narrative writing. Farago brings this story alive. After WW I, by chance and by curiosity, some clever people broke some Japanese codes, enabling them to keep track of Japanese intentions. Fast forward to the late 1930s. Teams of code breakers have beaten the unbreakable Japanese diplomatic codes and are able to read all the communications between the Tokyo government and its embassies, including the consulate in Hawaii.
Late 1941. Will the Japanese bac
Jennifer Morefield
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting read. It explores the events leading up to Pearl Harbor. I found this compilation to be interesting and pretty disturbing. I was shocked to learn that warnings could have been given prior to the events on that fateful day, but because of bureaucratic ineptitude, warnings were not issued. I thought it was a great opportunity to learn more about the day that went down in infamy. A very worthy read. I learned a lot.
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tora! Tora! Tora! Written by Gordon Prange, Ladislas Farago, Akira Kurosawa and three other screen writers

Akira Kurosawa has worked on the script of Tora! Tora! Tora!

Furthermore, Tora! Tora! Tora! Has won an Academy Award

Having said that, one must add that:
One: Akira Kurosawa must have had a small contribution, for he was initially not listed on the writers list.

Second: the Academy Award was for technical achievement: Special Effects.
Moreover, it is a remarkable achievement, the film has been
I read this book in a Reader's Digest Condensed Books version from 1967, and I have not read many of their condensed books. I do not ordinarily read books about war, but I thought a book about code-breaking would be interesting.
I found it difficult to keep track of all the people mentioned in the book. One paragraph mentioned a president of another country, and in a later sentence mentioned The President, and I wasn't sure whether the reference was to the president of the United States or the
Brian Meadows
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in World War II
I had a special interest in this book that has been on our bookshelf for some time. William Friedman, who broke the Japanese code PURPLE, was my wife's great uncle, and my father-in-law, Evans R. (Sam) Thomas, was aboard the U.S.S. Utah when it was torpedoed and sunk at the attack on Pearl Harbor. I never had the privilege to meet either as both were deceased before I met Lynne, my wife. It was very fascinating to read this book on the various events that led up to Pearl Harbor. The book was nec ...more
Ginny Thurston
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very frustrating to read all the chances we had to either
stop Pearl Harbor or to at least save many lives. The lack of communication between branches of the military foiled many of the chances of getting decoded messages that made it clear the Japanese were heading towards Pearl Harbor. I wish I could say all this red tape, bureaucracy, and lack of coordination has been remedied, but with our warring Congress, it probably has not been repaired. It is a book that all military people and politicia
Robert Snow
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In 1941 there were two code names in American Naval Intelligence for the Japanese diplomatic and Naval codes. They were Purple and Magic, this book takes you into the days leading up to December 7, 1941 and the rush to break the codes. It also brought up some interesting insights about moving the Pacific Fleet from San Francisco to Pearl Harbor in 1940 which was a direct threat to Imperial Japan. Much of the movie "Tora Tora Tora" is based on this book, if you know very little about the Pearl Ha ...more
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read how the ASA, the Army Security Agency, known as the SIS, Signal Intelligence Service, in World War II, solved the Japanese diplomatic code and designed a machine to decipher it.

" 'the basic trouble was,' Admiral Ernest J. King, Stark's successor as CNO, told Admiral Zacharias, 'that the Navy failed to appreciate what the Japanese could and did do.' " (page 368)
Michael Spires
Jun 21, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Dated in places, and a little too inclined toward the point of view that the Roosevelt administration let the attack on Pearl Harbor happen for my taste. But overall, a good read and made some valuable contributions to the chronology especially.
Diane Wachter
The Broken Seal: The Story of Peration Macig and the Pearl Harbor Disaster. RDC-B, @ 1967, 9/70. Was there a conspiracy in the White House to maneuver the Japanese into war? Interesting book.
rated it liked it
Mar 04, 2019
Jose Recaman
rated it it was ok
Sep 17, 2018
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
loved the detail.
Alan Fleischer
rated it really liked it
Aug 11, 2012
Jeff Greason
rated it really liked it
Jun 11, 2021
Willa Frizzell
rated it really liked it
Nov 25, 2018
rated it really liked it
Jun 01, 2018
rated it really liked it
Oct 01, 2010
Cliff Verge
rated it really liked it
Oct 25, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Sep 30, 2016
Garrett Olinde
rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2016
Susan MacNeal
rated it really liked it
Nov 15, 2012
Pam Wiedenbeck
rated it it was amazing
Nov 04, 2015
Mike Bohler
rated it really liked it
Mar 11, 2018
rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2013
Cliff Verge
rated it really liked it
Apr 07, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Oct 28, 2018
ronald sadler
rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2014
added it
Nov 23, 2007
added it
May 15, 2009
Scott MacAdams
marked it as to-read
Nov 16, 2010
marked it as to-read
Dec 28, 2011
added it
May 29, 2012
Ron Noble
marked it as to-read
Sep 14, 2012
Liza Turner
marked it as to-read
Nov 15, 2012
Dorien Olaerts
marked it as to-read
Mar 23, 2013
added it
Jun 24, 2013
Peter Centorcelli
marked it as to-read
Oct 29, 2013
Ed Terrell
marked it as to-read
Dec 29, 2013
marked it as to-read
Mar 19, 2014
added it
May 02, 2014
Itai Goldman
marked it as to-read
May 11, 2014
Paulo Muller
marked it as to-read
May 19, 2014
marked it as to-read
Jun 02, 2014
Scott Wood
marked it as to-read
Jun 07, 2014
Paul Van
marked it as to-read
Oct 04, 2014
Aleem Najak
marked it as to-read
Oct 04, 2014
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Brother: The Untold Story of Atomic Spy David Greenglass and How He Sent His Sister, Ethel Rosenberg, to the Electric Chair
  • Mission Critical (Gray Man #8)
  • The Guns of Empire (The Shadow Campaigns, #4)
  • God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian
  • Thrawn: Treason (Star Wars: Thrawn, #3)
  • Race Matters
  • The X-Craft Raid
  • Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History
  • Specter of the Past (Star Wars: The Hand of Thrawn Duology, #1)
  • The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World
  • Newton's Madness: Further Tales Of Clinical Neurology
  • Black on Red: My 44 Years Inside the Soviet Union: An Autobiography
  • The Passing of the Night: My Seven Years as a Prisoner of the North Vietnamese
  • Living the Good Life: How to Live Sanely and Simply in a Troubled World
  • Bismarck
  • My Forty Years with Ford
  • Thinner
  • All New Square Foot Gardening
See similar books…
Ladislas Farago was a military historian and journalist who published a number of best-selling books on history and espionage, especially concerning the World War II era.

He was the author of Patton: Ordeal and Triumph, the biography of General George Patton that formed the basis for the film "Patton" and wrote The Broken Seal, one of the books that formed the basis for the movie ''Tora! Tora! Tora

News & Interviews

  Jordan Morris is a comedy writer and podcaster whose credits include @Midnight, Unikitty! and Earth to Ned.  The sci-fi comedy Bubble is his...
29 likes · 8 comments