five books on the japanese american internment

The Washington Post's "Short Stack" blog recently posted an entry naming five excellent books that document the Japanese American internment experience during World War II: Five Books on the Japanese American Internment. Here are the ones they listed:
1. Lost and Found: Reclaiming the Japanese American Incarceration by Karen L. Ishizuka. Curator of the Japanese American National Museum exhibition America's Concentration Camps: Remembering the Japanese American Experience, author Ishizuka presents a thoughtful, engaging blend of first person experiences from the relocation camps, historical perspective and artifacts, photographs, and broad analysis and reflection.

2. Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment, edited by Linda Gordon and Gary Y. Okihiro. Renowned as one of the great documentary photographers for her Depression photographs, Lange, who died in 1965, was commissioned by the federal government to photograph the internment. She was opposed to the internment, personal friends being among the incarcerated. Her photographs--97 percent of which were previously unpublished and all of which were suppressed for the duration of World War II--are presented as a collection for the first time.

3. Just Americans: How Japanese Americans Won a War at Home and Abroad: The Story of the 100th Battalion/442d Regimental Combat Team in World War II, by Robert Asahina. To prove their patriotism, thousands of Japanese American young men joined the Army to defend the country that denied them their constitutional rights as citizens. Asahina reconstructs the story of what Gen. George C. Marshall called "the most decorated unit in American military history for its size and length of service," through interviews with surviving veterans, exhaustive research, maps and photos.

4. Placing Memory: A Photographic Exploration of Japanese American Internment, by Todd Stewart. Color photographs of the ten relocation camps as they appear fifty years later are interspersed with black and white War Relocation Authority pictures. "We cannot tell you the damage done to our souls at the sight of the future facing us in those desolate desert surroundings," says John Tateishi, who was a child internee at Manzanar Relocation Center, in his afterword. "And thus, 'a picture is worth a thousand words.'"

5. Serving Our Country: Japanese American Women in the Military During World War II, by Brenda L. Moore. A valuable record of the contributions of Japanese American women who served in the military in the Women's Army Corps, and also as doctors and nurses in the Army Medical Corps, during World War II, based on first person interviews (supplemented with personal diaries), interviews conducted by the National Japanese American Historical Society, and extensive research of government, newspaper and museum records.
This is hardly a definitive or comprehensive list. There tons of great books out there on the internment experience, from narratives to oral histories to straight history texts. But this is a solid sample to get you started if you're interested in reading up on the topic.

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