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Some citizens were deemed loyal and were freed, but one in four was declared disloyal to America and condemned to repressive segregation in the camps or barred from war-related jobs. Using cultural and religious affiliations as indicators of Americans' loyalties, the far-reaching bureaucratic decisions often reflected the agendas of the agencies that performed them rather than the actual allegiances or threats posed by the citizens being judged, Muller explains.
American Inquisition is the only study of the Japanese American internment to examine the complex inner workings of the most draconian system of loyalty screening that the American government has ever deployed against its own citizens. At a time when our nation again finds itself beset by worries about an "enemy within" considered identifiable by race or religion, this volume offers crucial lessons from a recent and disastrous history.
"[A] clearly written history. . . . A close and nuanced reading of the hunt for Japanese American disloyalty during World War II. . . . Points to new areas of profitable research for historians of Japanese America."
— Journal of American Ethnic History
"Muller once again does an exemplary job of unearthing new archival materials and shedding a substantial amount of light on a well-studied topic. . . . Fascinating."
-American Historical Review
"An excellent study of the mid-level agencies' messy job at evaluating the loyalty of Japanese Americans, and concludes by contextualizing this case within past and present governmental evaluations of loyalty."
— Western Historical Quarterly
"The author places this work within the broader context of history and ties into the development of subsequent loyalty programs to ferret out communists during the Cold War. . . . Recommended."
— Arkansas Historical Quarterly
"[A] good book on an unexplored dimension of a sorry chapter in American history."
— Journal of American History
Combining intensive archival research and brilliant analysis, Eric Muller gives us another example of bad news from the good war.
—Roger Daniels, University of Cincinnati, Emeritus, and author of Prisoners Without Trial: Japanese Americans in World War II
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Japanese Americans before the War
Chapter 3. Presumed Loyal, Presumed Disloyal
Chapter 4. Pressures on the Presumption of Disloyalty
Chapter 5. The Loyalty Questionnaires of 1943
Chapter 6. Processing Loyalty at the Japanese American Joint Board
Chapter 7. Processing Loyalty at the Provost Marshal General's Office
Chapter 8. Processing Loyalty at the War Relocation Authority
Chapter 9. Processing Loyalty at the Western Defense Command
Chapter 10. Defending (and Distorting) Loyalty Adjudication in Court
Chapter 11. Conclusion 000 Notes
Posted February 7, 2011
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