Just Americans: How Japanese Americans Won a War at Home and Abroad

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Penguin Group USA, 2007 - History - 339 pages
3 Reviews
Selected by the Washington Post Book World as Best Nonfiction of 2006. The moving tale of the most decorated (for its size and length of service) and least known U.S. Army unit of World War II the Japanese American 442d Regimental Combat Team.

Within months after Pearl Harbor, 110,000 Japanese Americans were forcibly "evacuated" from the West Coast, losing their jobs, their property, and their homes. In less than a year, they were "relocated" and incarcerated in desolate camps throughout the West, Southwest and South. Yet, incredibly, thousands of young men from the camps joined the Army, to defend the country that had denied them their rights.

This is the dramatic story of the segregated Japanese American 100th Battalion/442d Regimental Combat Team and what its soldiers did to affirm their full citizenship. During the fall of 1944, the combat team made headlines when it rescued the "lost battalion" of the 36th "Texas" Division. And while the soldiers of the 100th/442d were sacrificing their lives in Europe, the Roosevelt administration was debating whether to close the camps, and whether military necessity had truly justified the "relocation." Just Americans tells the story of soldiers in combat who were fighting a greater battle at home. As Gen. Jacob L. Devers put it, in World War II the soldiers of the 100th/442d had "more than earned the right to be called just Americans, not Japanese Americans."

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Review: Just Americans: How Japanese Americans Won a War at Home and Abroad

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

A fascinating (and often horrifying) story of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the treatment of their friends and relatives in internment camps back home. Not the best writing in the world; it was often overly grand in terms of the prose, but still a very readable and interesting book. Read full review

Review: Just Americans: How Japanese Americans Won a War at Home and Abroad

User Review  - David - Goodreads

The author is angry for us. I think he could have let the facts speak for themselves more. If you don't get that these acts were despicable then telling you won't likely help. Read full review


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About the author (2007)

Robert Asahina is a third generation Japanese American, whose father and uncle served in the 442d, a segregated unit of Japanese-American soldiers who fought in WWII. He has been an editor at George, Harper s, The New York Times Book Review, GEO, and The Public Interest. His articles and reviews have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Art International, Yale Theater, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Washington Post Book World, and other periodicals. He is a former Senior Vice President, Deputy Publisher, and Editor in Chief of Broadway Books.

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