Chevalier’s Books is proud to host a conversation with acclaimed historian Richard Reeves and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge A. Wallace Tashima, moderated by Attorney Carolyn Kubota on the evening of Thursday, May 21, at 7pm.
Richard Reeves and Judge A. Wallace Tashima will discuss Reeves’ important new book, INFAMY: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II, the story of the evacuation and incarceration of 120,000 Japanese-Americans and Japanese aliens living on the West Coast during World War II. The internees included Judge Tashima and his wife and Ms. Kubota’s father.
Reeves portrays vividly the saga of the American Japanese, the Caucasians who imprisoned and exploited them financially and the political leaders and “wise men” who advocated the policy. Seventy years after the fact, the danger of history repeating itself because the tragedy is often forgotten, makes this topic required reading.
At the heart of the book are the poignant stories of those who endured years of imprisonment, many of whom suffered this grave injustice with dignity and grace. Among the Americans responsible for these events were men we usually consider heroes—President Roosevelt, Governor Earl Warren of California, and an array of journalists and opinion makers, including Walter Lippman and Edward R. Morrow. We also learn of some 30,000 internees who served in the army, some in the all-Nisei (first generation Japanese American) 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Europe, which fought across Italy and France and became, per capita, the most decorated unit in army history. Six thousand more served secretly as combat interpreters and translators in the Pacific, heroically saving tens of thousands of American lives.
Racism, greed, and war hysteria led to one of the darkest episodes of American history, but, by recovering the past, INFAMY has given voice to those who ultimately helped the nation better understand the true meaning of patriotism.
Judge A. Wallace Tashima, a Nisei (2nd generation) Japanese American, was interned with his family during WWII at the Poston War Relocation Center in Arizona, an internment camp for Japanese Americans. He is the first Japanese American to be appointed as a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals. He currently serves as a senior Judge on the U.S .Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.