D 769.8 .A6 R43 2015
“Bestselling author Richard Reeves delivers a stunning account of one of the darkest moments in American history: the forced imprisonment of more than 120,000 Japanese American during World War II.
Less than three months after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and inflamed the nation, President Roosevelt signed an executive order declaring parts of four western states to be a war zone operating under military rule. The U.S. Army immediately began rounding up thousands of Japanese Americans, sometimes giving them less than twenty-four hours to vacate their houses and farms. For the rest of the war, the Japanese Americans, citizens and aliens alike, were imprisoned behind barbed wire and guard towers in concentration camps in barren deserts and remote swamps.
In Infamy, the story of this appalling chapter in American history is told more powerfully than ever before. Acclaimed historian Richard Reeves has interviewed survivors, read numerous private letters and memoirs, and combed through archives to deliver a sweeping narrative of this atrocity. Men we usually consider heroes – FDR, Earl Warren, Edward R. Murrow – were in this case villains, but we also learn of many Americans who took great risks to defend the rights of the internees. Most especially, we hear the poignant stories of those who spent years in the relocation camps, many of whom suffered this terrible injustice with remarkable grace.
Racism, greed, xenophobia, and a thirst for revenge: a dark strand in the American character underlies this story of one of the most shameful episodes in our history. But, by recovering the past, Infamy has given voice to those who ultimately helped the nation better understand the true meaning of patriotism.”
– publisher description