Friday, July 24, 2009

Greg Robinson

From an interview with Greg Robinson, author of A Tragedy of Democracy: Japanese Confinement in North America:

Q: Is there any need for a new book on Japanese Americans and World War II? Many have already been written, including one by you. Hasn’t everything important already been said about Executive Order 9066 and the camps?

Greg Robinson: Actually, this book contains a great deal of recently discovered material about Japanese Americans. Part of it is that new documents have been released on the wartime events, and books have not studied the period before and after World War II as an integral part of them. It changes your view of official policy toward Japanese Americans, for example, if you consider that the Army and Justice Department were already preparing to hold masses of enemy aliens—and building a set of what they called “concentration camps” for them—months before the United States entered the war. But what is even more new and vital about the book, I think, is that it is the first transnational study of the subject. It covers the removal and confinement of Japanese not just in the United States but in Canada and Mexico as well and also tells the story of the Japanese Latin Americans who were sent to the United States and placed in camps.

Q: Why should we care about the treatment of ethnic Japanese in other countries?

GR: What happened to Japanese Americans is...[read on]
Read more about A Tragedy of Democracy: Japanese Confinement in North America at the publisher's website, and visit Greg Robinson's faculty webpage at l'Université du Québec à Montréal.

Writers Read: Greg Robinson.

--Marshal Zeringue