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Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II    by Daniel James Brown order for
Facing the Mountain
by Daniel James Brown
Order:  USA  Can
Viking, 2021 (2021)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

David Brown writes movingly of what happened to American Japanese on the West Coast and in Hawaii after Pearl Harbor. For many reasons - fear, instant prejudice, and perhaps also jealousy, families were uprooted and forced to move to internment camps. Yet from there came a cadre of American soldiers who were able to fight so well both individually and as a team that they were highly decorated for their service.

Brown documents the agony of the families as they tried to make a life for themselves in the camps while worrying about their sons and what was happening back where they used to live. He also follows four of the sons in detail as each tried to live through the war years and after.

There is much to learn from this book. The Japanese in Hawaii were highly suspect, particularly the first-generation men. Farmers in the western states were especially badly treated, perhaps because their hard work and detailed farming methods caused their harvests to be remarkably bountiful. But all Japanese workers had to deal with suspicion and outright antagonism.

The book covers so much, following the families in the U.S. as well as the movements of the soldiers in Europe, that it can get confusing. But what shines throughout is the spirit of patriotism of these young men for America, and their determination to succeed at all costs, while also honoring their Japanese heritage.

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