The latest furious round of publication and onsuing controversy about PearlHarbor erupted at the end of 1981. and has not simmered down yet. Theopening shot was the release in November that year of Gordon W. Prange'smnssivct At Dawn
Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor. Prnnge hadbeen working on the book for more than thirty years: his first missed deadlinefor publication by McGraw-I~lillwas in 1951. and theronfter he continuod toperiodically promise completion of the manuscript and never came through,all the while adding more to
and using up advances.
finally got to the pointwhereMcGraw-Hill decided to cut its losses and refuse any further communi-cntion with the indefatigable. eccentric author. But two of Prange's formerstudents, Donald Goldstein and Katherine
Dillon, took up the task ofreducing and shaping Prange's thousands of manuscript pages and notes intopublishable form, the result of which was At Dawn We Slept. Prange had diedin May 1980. The book was promoted byhlcGrow-Hill as the definitive work onthe subject. full of new information. Without question
did contain more inthe way of details from Japanese sources about the military genesis, planning,execution, and follow-up of the attack than any other work, details gleaned ininterviews conducted by Prange in the late '40s and early '50s while he wasserving in Japan as Chief of the Historicnl Section under General MncArthur,and which were indeed "nerv"-back then. The book's strength and valuewas as a military history of the Japanese side; when it ventured afield intopainting the diplomatic and intelligence pictures. assigning responsibility andblame on the American side. its inadequacies were apparent. Prange'scol-lnhoralnrs Gnldstein and Dillon wnra dntermined to produce nn account thntwould not only stand up as a general history, but in fact deal the final,crippling blow to the revisionists interlopers. They ~ddedn appendix called"Revisionists Revisited." a precis of chapters 139-43 in the fourth volume ofPrange's original manuscript, in which they attempted a refutation of allrevisionist theories and evidences, and concluded that "in a thorough searchof more than 30 years, including
publications released up to May
1903,we have not discovered one document or one word of sworn testimony thatsubstantia'tes the revisionist position on Roosevelt and Pearl Harbor." (Em-phasis added.) It was clear that the book wns meant to supplant RobertaWohlstetter's Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision (1962) as the fundamentalEstablishment. preRoosevelt account, which would constituto the final wordon Pearl Harbor and effectively end revisionism on the subject for all time.
was not to be. No sooner had At Dawn
Slept appoared than it becameclear just how much recent important evidence Goldstein and Dillon in factignored. Their statement that they had searched through all publications"released up to May1. 1983" was simply not the truth-ns later admitted byGoidstein, who explained that he and Dillon had relied for this statement onthe assurances of another historian, Ronald Lewin, that none of the volumi-nous National Archives Records Service (NARS) and other date released in1980-81 supported a revisionist view. Even
Lewin was right. which hewasn't.
was n refloction of Goldstein and Dillons' lovel of scholarly integritythat they would make
sweeping nssertion of uptedato accuracy and com-prehensiveness on o claim of personal familiarity which was false.