First published in 1963, Prelude to Pearl Harbor was the first of three books on naval topics for which Prof. Gerald E. Wheeler is remembered today.
"During the years 1921 to 1931 American naval leaders faced a problem in some ways similar to the situation after 1947. They were convinced that the United States had a national enemy in Japan. But the United States Congress, like the public that elected it during the 1920's, was less than impressed; in fact it was positively hostile to any suggestion that America might again go to war. The President and his executive departmentssave perhaps the War Departmentwere also reluctant to accept the Navy's conclusions or its premises. How the United States Navy solved its problem of preparing for war in an unsympathetic climate of opinion is the story here presented."Prof. Wheeler, Preface