Jim Tobin, A Friend Of Liberty (1945-2021)
May 2nd, 2022
By Dennis Constant
On January 1st 1982, Pulitzer Prize-winner John Toland published his ground-breaking book on Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor that blew wide open the treacherous activities of members of Pres. Franklin Roosevelt’s administration, who successfully goaded Japan into attacking the United States.
In his two previous books, “But Not In Shame” and “The Rising Sun,” Toland had discounted rumors that Roosevelt knew in advance that Japan was planning war against the U.S. But five years prior to the publication of “Infamy,” Toland started investigating these rumors in earnest. After finishing his research, Toland concluded the rumors were true.
Percy L. Greaves, Jr., a free-market economist for US News (the forerunner of US News and World Report) wrote in an article in The Institute for Historical Review that “The Toland book is a delight to read…. He has pursued a number of previously unexplored leads with numerous interviews and a wide reading of pertinent sources. As a result, he has uncovered or confirmed much that is helpful in putting the complex Pearl Harbor jigsaw puzzle together. The book is not perfect or all inclusive, but it is probably the best volume on the subject to date.”
Not all reviewers could stomach Toland’s conclusions. For example, a writer in Kirkus Reviews commented that “Those determined to believe as Toland does will not be deterred by the flimsiness of his case or the tawdriness of his methods.” Some reviewers who previously praised Toland now suddenly turned against the renowned author.
Toland uncovered a great deal of evidence, including that U.S. naval intelligence learned five days before the Pearl Harbor attack that Japanese carriers were sailing toward Hawaii, but that this knowledge was never transmitted to the two commanders at Pearl. While Toland found no “smoking gun” regarding Roosevelt, he concluded, “I believe that FDR knew the Japanese were coming and allowed them to attack.” Toland traced knowledge of the impending attack very close to the president.
In a more recent book, “Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor,” author Robert B. Stinnett gets closer to the smoking gun. Stinnett, a respected journalist and historian, confirms Toland’s thesis that U.S. government leaders at the highest level not only knew that a Japanese attack was imminent, but that they had deliberately engaged in policies intended to provoke the attack, to draw a reluctant, peace-loving American public into World War II.
A review on HistoryNet by Michael D. Hull states that “Highly detailed, reasoned and literate, Stinnett’s book is a triumph of historical scholarship and a valuable contribution to the record of World War II.”
To say that revisionist studies of the Pearl Harbor attack are controversial is to put it mildly. It is gut-wrenching to learn that individuals in the Roosevelt administration literally planned and carried out actions that ultimately forced Japan to attack the U.S. The attacks of some reviewers were somewhat reminiscent of the savage attacks of the mainstream press on the movie JFK. Even today, writers who dare to expose the mainstream press’s sacred cows get snide comments from authors and media reporters.
Our foundation experienced similar attacks first-hand by members of the mainstream media in reaction to our publications in 2001 and 2011 dealing with Pearl Harbor, and our various articles on the economic causes of Civil War and Pres. Lincoln’s role.
But truth has a way of surviving. Kenneth C. Davis, an American historian who has lectured at the Smithsonian Museum and the American Museum of Natural History, and has been a contributor to The New York Times, Newsday and other publications, published his best-selling book, Don’t Know Much About History, which spent 35 consecutive weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and sold nearly 1.5 million copies. Under “Must Read,” Davis states that Stinnett’s book is “an exhaustive collection of the information American intelligence had collected about the impending attack.”
As the years pass, Americans who care about—or even heard about—Pearl Harbor are gradually being replaced by Americans who have studied little or no history and whose interests are far from this topic. While we can’t prevent this incident from receding into the forgotten past, as all do, it is important to keep the truth alive so future historians, writing for future Americans, can explain to them how important it is to view politicians of any party with good old Yankee skepticism.
Constant, Dennis. 60th ANNIVERSARY OF ROOSEVELT’S PEARL HARBOR TREASON.
Taxpayer Education Foundation, 2001.
Constant, Dennis. 70th ANNIVERSARY OF ROOSEVELT’S PEARL HARBOR TREASON.
Taxpayer Education Foundation, 2011.
Davis, Kenneth C. Don’t Know Much About History. HarperCollins, 2011.
Greaves, Jr., Percy L. Three Assessments of the Infamy of December 7, 1941. Institute for Historical Review, February 09, 2012
Hull, Michael D. Day of Deceit rewrites the history leading to the Pearl Harbor attack. HistoryNet, August 12, 2001.
Kirkus Reviews, Day of Deceit. March 26th, 1982.
Stinnett, Robert B. Day of Deceit: the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor. Touchstone, 2001.
Toland, John. Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath. Doubleday, 1982.