Historian Sandler presents a cogent survey of Executive Order 9066 and its aftermath.
The order authorized the U.S. military to relocate over 100,000 Japanese-Americans––many were U.S. citizens––from their homes in Washington, Oregon and California to detention camps. Everything was left behind. Neither the temporary holding centers nor the 10 internment camps were ready to house, feed and care for the evacuees. Whole families were housed in one small room, with meals in mess halls and humiliatingly public sanitary facilities. A few government officials did object to the order, questioning its constitutionality. Still, as the book’s subtitle conveys, the disgrace and shame of the U.S. government’s treatment of these innocent people remains a smear on the nation. Sandler opens with a history of the Japanese in the U.S. before moving on to a discussion of the people, camps, conditions, Japanese-Americans in U.S. military service and their lives after internment. (Irony of irony, it was the most decorated unit in U.S. Army history—the Japanese-American 442nd––that liberated Dachau.) Many, many photographs add to general knowledge, although captions lack dates—a nicety that would set a time frame.
It is a good summary of a bad time, perhaps leading readers to question whether such events can reoccur in theirs. (places to visit, sources, further reading including websites, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)