Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-x

I was born during the later years of the most destructive war in human history, and I have long been fascinated by its origins. Especially intriguing to me were the folly of Anglo-French appeasement of Hitler, culminating in the sacrifice of democratic Czechoslovakia at the infamous...

Chronology of events

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xiii

Map: East Asia and the Central Pacific, 1941

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. xiv

Map: The Japanese Advance into Southeast Asia, December 1941

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xv-xvi

read more

1. Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-14

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor continues to perplex. Just weeks after the attack, Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared to a Joint Session of Congress that the attack was “an irrational act” irreconcilable “with prudence or even with sanity.”1 The American naval historian...

read more

2. Sources of Japanese-American Tension

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 15-44

U.S.-Japanese relations foundered during the 1930s on numerous shoals as Japan moved toward dictatorship and war after a decade of flirtation with democracy and internationalism. Long-standing contentious issues included: American racism and immigration policies, the Open...

read more

3. Japanese Aggression and U.S. Policy Responses, 1937–1941

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 45-62

The Japanese decision for war against the United States was the product of offended honor, fatalism, racial arrogance, cultural incomprehension, economic desperation, and strategic miscalculation. “Japan’s long-range dreams of expansion, of access to raw materials to relieve the pressure...

read more

4. Japanese Assumptions and Decision Making

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 63-96

During the 1930s and early 1940s Japanese foreign policy was dedicated to the establishment by force of an empire encompassing all of East Asia. The Japanese viewed international relations in Social Darwinian terms—i.e., as a pitiless struggle for power in which only the fittest survived...

read more

5. Failed Deterrence

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 97-114

In the fall of 1941, as Nazi armored forces raced toward Moscow, Roosevelt had a lucid sense of where America stood, what it had to do, and the order in which to do it:
By now—two years into the European war, four years into the Asian war—Roosevelt could see quite clearly where he thought the...

read more

6. Was the Pacific War Inevitable?

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 115-120

Japan’s imperial ambitions in East Asia inexorably collided with Western interests in the region, and Japan’s alliance with Nazi Germany, though of little operational significance, further alienated the Western powers. The Pacific War arose out of Japan’s aggression in Southeast Asia, which...

read more

7. The Enduring Lessons of 1941

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 121-132

The Japanese-American interaction of 1941 that led to war yields several enduring lessons of particular relevance to today’s national security decision makers.
First, fear and honor, “rational” or not, can motivate as much as interest. The “realist” explanation of international politics as the struggle for...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 133-148

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 149-158

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 159-166

read more

About the Author

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 167-168

Well-known defense policy critic Jeffrey Record teaches strategy at the U.S. Air Force’s Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama. He received his doctorate at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and is the author of eight books and a dozen monographs, including...