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Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II

by Martin W. Sandler

Published by Walker/Bloomsbury, 2013
176 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8027-2277

Ages 11-14

A striking juxtaposition opens this history of the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II: Japanese American soldiers liberating prisoners at the Dachau concentration camp in Germany while “tens of thousands of their relative and friends back home … were being held against their will.” Author Martin Sandler then provides background information on the Japanese coming to America starting at the turn of the twentieth century—the racism they faced as well as the roots they established, especially in California agricultural communities. The detailed accounting of what happened following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor is enriched by vignettes about and stories from individual Japanese Americans who were held captive by their government. Discussion of the political climate and response documents the few courageous enough to speak out against the imprisonment, like the governor of Colorado at the time, and the many who jumped on the bandwagon of hysteria. Sandler draws on many oral histories and a wide range of other source material, all clearly documented, in this standout history that concludes with a chapter that looks at efforts of Japanese Americans to reach out to Muslims in America following 9/11.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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