Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyIn this unusual and engrossing family history, Boston Globe reporter Montgomery ( In Search of L. L. Bean , etc.) traces the life and attempts to penetrate the heart of his late father, a civil engineer, whose self-reliance, reticence and aloofness precluded intimacy between them--a lack typical, the author believes, of many American father/child relationships. Concurrently he writes with admiration for the father of his Japanese wife, of whose race his own family disapproved. A fine doctor and scholar, his father-in-law was spared internment in the U.S. during WW II to teach Japanese in the Navy's language programs; later, he administered to the medical needs of the San Jose, Calif., Japanese-American community. Montgomery provides almost excessive data on the careers of the two fathers. His quest for his own father led him to a Missouri dam he helped build and to Scotland, where he worked on what his son describes as ``redundant naval bases,'' part of the controversial Lend-Lease program. At war's end, Captain Maurice Richard Montgomery returned home and remained a virtual stranger to his son. Illustrations not seen by PW. (May)
Library Journal - Library JournalBoston Globe journalist Montgomery began a research odyssey in the archives of Fort Peck Dam in Montana (seen on the cover of the first issue of Life ) to find evidence of his engineer father's career in World War II (and parenthetically his Japanese father-in-law's), and discovered something of his own life as well. Montgomery is an author to whom everything is interesting; much of this work is a rambling discourse on such things as the treacherous nature of soils in dam building, the politics of Lend-Lease, how Harvard failed in a program to teach Japanese to the Navy, the several invasions of Borneo in 1945, the bleak landscape of Montana, and how it came to be populated. How Montgomery responded to discoveries about his father generate many personal, and poignant, observations in this earnest and affecting memoir. Good literature, and frequent insights into World War II.-- Mel D. Lane, Sacramento, Cal.
- Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1st ed
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