A Tragedy of Democracy: Japanese Confinement in North America [NOOK Book]

Overview

The confinement of some 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II, often called the Japanese American internment, has been described as the worst official civil rights violation of modern U. S. history. Greg Robinson not only offers a bold new und

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A Tragedy of Democracy: Japanese Confinement in North America

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Overview

The confinement of some 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II, often called the Japanese American internment, has been described as the worst official civil rights violation of modern U. S. history. Greg Robinson not only offers a bold new und

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Besides Updike, big names contributing include Norman Mailer, Cynthia Ozick, and Arthur Schlesinger. Their approach is not so much institutional history as a cascade of anecdotes illustrating how the US intelligentsia conduct themselves when they think the hoi poloi are not watching. Among the tales are a feud between brothers over which one was worthier, the struggle against modernism in the 1930s that resulted in F. Scott Fitzgerald and H.L. Mencken failing to be nominated, and Gore Vidal declining membership on the grounds that he already belonged to the Diners Club. Lists of past and present members are appended. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Kirkus Reviews
A surprisingly dull collection of essays commemorating Americaþs preeminent institution of arts and letters on its centennial. Editor Updike, in his confusing foreword and his chapter covering the years 1938þ47, sets the tone, managing to make this venerable, stodgy old institution seem stodgy but venerable. Arranged chronologically, the essays are by historians and literary figures such as Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Cynthia Ozick, Norman Mailer, Louis Auchincloss, and Hortense Calisher, artists (Wolf Kahn and Richard Lippold), and the composer Jack Beeson. Founded in 1898, the National Institute was modeled on the Institut de France and its literary chamber, the Acad‚mie fran‡aise. There would be confusion and in-fighting over the rules, domain, and membership status between the Institute and the Academy (an exalted, and much smaller, body within the Institute) until they were þunifiedþ in 1993. The bookþs liveliest passages have to do with the barring of such figures as H.L. Mencken and Theodore Dreiser, and with some pronounced rivalries: William James refused membership in the academy because his þyounger and shallower and vainer brotherþ (Henry) was already in. Interesting and indicative of the character of the Academy-Institute is its decades-long battle against modernism, waged primarily by Robert Underwood Johnson, the secretary, who along with Grace Vanamee, the þpermanent deputy,þ would maintain a staunchly conservative tone. Leave it to Mailer to add a little zest to the proceedings. His chapter, þRounding Camelot,þ covers the period from 1958 to 1967. He laments that even at that late date theAcademy-Institute was þall but wholly incapable of any kind of effective social or political action.þ The organization would loosen up a little, eventually electing writers and artists Johnson would have abhorred. And its gold medals and grants remain highly sought after. Useful, but insufficiently edited. Nearly every entry re-explains who Johnson and Vanamee were or rehashes the early scandals. (85 photos, not seen)
The Japan Times
A superb history about one of the more shameful chapters in U.S. history.

— Jeff Kingston

Times Literary Supplement
[A] memorable... revealing book.

— Jonathan Mirsky

Choice Magazine

Robinson has clearly mastered his subject, and this book provides a clear, comprehensive account, including facts both well known and obscure.... Highly recommended.

Choice

Robinson has clearly mastered his subject, and this book provides a clear, comprehensive account, including facts both well known and obscure.... Highly recommended.

Reviews in History
A Tragedy of Democracy serves as a timely reminder of how badly things can get out of control in times of war.

— Rachel Pistol

Journal of American Ethnic History
In examining the mistreatment of ethnic Japanese Americans and Canadians as a tragedy of democracy, Greg Robinson has produced a triumph of narrative synthesis, one that will stand as the definitive work of its generation.

— Daryl J. Maeda

Nichi Bei Times - Wayne Maeda

Robinson deftly merges the Pacific Rim experience into one coherent magnum opus.

The Japan Times - Jeff Kingston

A superb history about one of the more shameful chapters in U.S. history.

Times Literary Supplement - Jonathan Mirsky

[A] memorable... revealing book.

Reviews in History - Rachel Pistol

A Tragedy of Democracy serves as a timely reminder of how badly things can get out of control in times of war.

Journal of American Ethnic History - Daryl J. Maeda

In examining the mistreatment of ethnic Japanese Americans and Canadians as a tragedy of democracy, Greg Robinson has produced a triumph of narrative synthesis, one that will stand as the definitive work of its generation.

Choice

Robinson has clearly mastered his subject, and this book provides a clear, comprehensive account, including facts both well known and obscure.... Highly recommended.

Canadian Journal of History

A Tragedy of Democracy is a remarkably well-written, extensively researched, and innovatively reasoned history of internment… One wishes that this important book would appear on the shelves of every Justice Department and military lawyer.

Nichi Bei Times

tour de force

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231520126
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 408
  • File size: 17 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Greg Robinson, a native of New York City, is associate professor of history at l'Université du Québec à Montréal and author of By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
1898-1907: The Founders' Story 1
1908-1917: Idealism and Patriotism 28
1918-1927: Against Modernity - Annals of the Temple 47
1928-1937: The Infiltration of Modernity 86
1938-1947: Decade of the Row 105
1948-1957: The Testimony of Two Artists 136
1958-1967: Rounding Camelot 156
1968-1977: Housekeeping in a Messy World 198
1978-1987: Holding the High Ground 238
1988-1997: Decade of Reunion 264
App Academy Members, Past and Present 293
Index 327
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