YEARS OF INFAMY: The Untold Story off America's Concentration Camps by Michi Weglyn

YEARS OF INFAMY: The Untold Story off America's Concentration Camps

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This is certainly the most thoroughly documented account of WW II Japanese-American internment yet to appear. Weglyn, herself involved as a teenager in the evacuation, eschews personal melodrama to concentrate on the formation of the policy under which some 110,000 people--two-thirds of them citizens--were herded into remote detention centers. That this roundup took place with hardly a murmur of protest is the more remarkable in that, a month prior to Pearl Harbor, a State Department report by Curtis B. Munson found overwhelming loyalty and patriotism among America's Japanese minority; indeed, most showed ""a pathetic eagerness to be Americans."" Weglyn singles out Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox as the moving force behind internment and Col. Karl R. Bendetsen as the man who wrested the entire ""Japanese problem"" away from Justice and troublesome ""constitutional questions."" Henry Stimson, Abe Fortas, Milton Eisenhower (National Director of the War Relocation Authority), Hugo Black, and Earl Warren were enthusiastic supporters. Behind the claim of ""military necessity"" Weglyn points to the US desire for a ""barter reserve""--i.e., hostages of war. Also discussed are the little-known facts that Japanese nationals from Mexico, Paraguay, and other Latin American countries were exported to the US, and, remarkably, that the Japanese in front-line Hawaii were left largely unmolested because they were economically indispensable. Weglyn's voluminous evidence is amassed from government sources including the complete archives of the WRA, the press, various oral history collections, and personal testaments. Formidable.

Pub Date: April 27th, 1976
Publisher: Morrow