Farewell to Manzanar

The following quote comes from the book jacket of Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston & James D. Houston:

Farewell to Manzanar is the true story of one spirited Japanese American family’s attempt to survive the indignities of forced detention…and of a native-born American child who discovered what it was like to grow up behind barbed wire in the United States.”

In addition, the following quote was found on the dedication page of this same book:

“It is sobering to recall that though the Japanese relocation program, carried through at such incalculable cost in misery and tragedy, was justified on the ground that the Japanese were potentially disloyal, the record does not disclose a single case of Japanese disloyalty or sabotage during the whole war…”

Henry Steele Commager
Harper’s Magazine, 1947

I found this book compelling because, in addition to documenting one family’s internment experiences during World War II, it very eloquently conveys the emotional currents they had to navigate during and after their confinement. The emotional consequences for many internees have lasted for a life time.


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