THE GREAT BETRAYAL: The Evacuation of the Japanese-Americans During World War II by Audrie & Anne Loftis Girdner

THE GREAT BETRAYAL: The Evacuation of the Japanese-Americans During World War II

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Black, black, black is the color of tiffs page of our country's history, and here is a carefully researched and richly detailed expose of how popular fears and shortsighted leadership resulted in the forced evacuation of the West Coast Japanese in 1942 and their internment in the interior, a betrayal of America's traditions and its constitutional guarantees, that even the Supreme Court would not overturn. The authors prefer to bring history down to street level, recording individual people's reactions to and experiences of the large-scale upheavals that intruded upon their everyday existences. Thus we get a real sense of how it felt to be a Japanese-American on the streets immediately after Pearl Harbor, what life was like at the assembly and relocation centers. Particular attention is paid to the gap in attitudes and actions between the first-generation Issei and the second-generation Nisei. The book leaves few loose ends hanging, tracing both the earlier origins of anti-Japanese feeling on the West Coast and following up on developments in the Japanese community to the present. This unsavory episode is well worth investigating--""As a departure from American principles that was endorsed by the highest tribunal of the land, it will stand as an aberration and a warning""--but the treatment here may be a bit too thorough for the average reader's taste.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1969
Publisher: Macmillan