In This Review
Surprise Attack: The Victim's Perspective

Surprise Attack: The Victim's Perspective

By Ephraim Kam

Harvard University Press, 1988, 266 pp.

Surprise attacks often succeed: so concludes Kam, echoing Roberta Wohlstetter's classic work on Pearl Harbor. His book is also reminiscent of hers in emphasizing that victims of surprise collude, albeit unwittingly, in their deception. Kam's 11 case studies since 1940 provide rich detail; he usefully summarizes existing literature on surprise, and his experience inside government-as an Israeli defense analyst-gives his account the texture of reality.