A War It Was Always Going to Lose: Why Japan Attacked America in 1941. By Jeffrey Record. Sterling, Va.: Potomac Books, Inc., 2011. Maps. Notes. Bibliography. Index.Pp. xiii, 167. $24.95. ISBN: 978-1-59797-534-6
A War It Was Always Going to Lose is a careful analysis of why Imperial Japan chose to attack the United States in 1941 despite all indications it could not win. Written by prolific author Jeffrey Record, a professor of strategy at the Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, whose doctorate is from Johns Hopkins University, the book is one of several he has published in the past decade investigating the causes of war from World War II to Vietnam to Iraq in 2003.
Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, was the culmination of years of increasing tension between Imperial Japan and the United States over Japan's war in China, alliance with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, and move to secure natural resources in Southeast Asia. By 1941 Japan believed war with the United States and her allies (including Great Britain) was inevitable. Why Japan took that fateful step, knowing it could not realistically defeat the United States and likely would be destroyed in the process, has perplexed historians since World War II.
Record first discusses the foreign policy interaction between Imperial Japan and the United States, reviewing the historical sources of tension between the two countries...