Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans during World War II by Martin Sandler

Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans during World War IIImprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans during World War II by Martin W. Sandler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Martin Sandler's book is the compelling story of the banishment over 120,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast of the United States. Japanese Americans were forced from their homes due to hysteria after the bombing of Perl Harbor. They had no notice and had to leave homes, businesses, pets, and possessions to move into internment camps for the duration of WWII. Sandler uses photographs, interviews, quotes, and sidebars (backed up with extensive research) to tell about this very dark part of American history. Each chapter consists of information with certain pages containing large font (to stand out)and within these chapters sections highlighted areas of importance, like Dorothea Dix and Ansel Adams photography to document the internment, but their differing viewpoints. Another section is Titled, Expressing Feelings Through Poetry and shares examples of children's poems from camp classrooms. Within the camps were the Isei and the Nisei, nurses, doctors, writers, teachers who work hard to end the isolation and depression many felt. Sports, like baseball, became an important way for the Japanese Americans to fight boredom. There were those who created gardens, made jewelry, and found other ways to beautify their substandard lives. The camps were harsh and crowded, hot during the day and very cold at night; there were long waits to for lunch, dinner and laundry of 2-3 hours. There were many Japanese Americans who served in the 442nd Regiment and Nisei who served as interpreters and translators and they had a very profound impact on the US's victory. The chapters on how the Japanese Americans fared after the war and as the years wet on were so interesting. Today the Japanese Americans are working hard to make sure this does not happen to anyone ever again. They are strong supporters of the Muslim communities in the aftermath of 9/11 because they look like the enemy and have experienced discrimination like the Japanese Americans.
The book ends with Place to Visit, Visiting the Sites of the Relocation Centers, Further Reading and Surfing, Websites, Sources and Bibliography.

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