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Less than three months after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and inflamed the nation, President Roosevelt signed an executive order declaring parts of four western states to be a war zone operating under military rule. The US Army immediately began rounding up thousands of Japanese-Americans, sometimes giving them less than 24 hours to vacate their houses and farms. For the rest of the war, these victims of war hysteria were imprisoned in primitive camps.
In Infamy, the story of this appalling chapter in American history is told more powerfully than ever before. Acclaimed historian Richard Reeves has interviewed survivors, read numerous private letters and memoirs, and combed through archives to deliver a sweeping narrative of this atrocity. Men we usually consider heroes - FDR, Earl Warren, Edward R. Murrow - were in this case villains, but we also learn of many Americans who took great risks to defend the rights of the internees. Most especially, we hear the poignant stories of those who spent years in "war relocation camps", many of whom suffered this terrible injustice with remarkable grace.
Racism, greed, xenophobia, and a thirst for revenge: a dark strand in the American character underlies this story of one of the most shameful episodes in our history. But by recovering the past, Infamy has given voice to those who ultimately helped the nation better understand the true meaning of patriotism.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Mark on 05-02-15
important book poorly narrated
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
It is important to understand the excesses which follow attacks. I was reminded that the 9/11 attack on the U.S. led to passage of the Patriot Act, not one of the finest moments in U.S. history just as the internment, of Japanese is a blot on our history.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Infamy?
The entire story is fascinating. Reeves personalized this lingering national embarrassment, taking it from the abstract and making and making it real.
What didn’t you like about James Yaegashi’s performance?
By telling the story through the those who were imprisoned, Reeves puts the reader in their shoes. It is hard to imagine the level of hatred for the Japanese, but then again, the antI -Muslim sentiment in this country since 9/11 was unimaginable until it happened.
Do you think Infamy needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
The narrator demonstrated no emotion in a book full of emotional highs and lows. Scott Brick, who narrated the similarly constructed "Dead Wake" would have been a much better choice
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Triple A on 05-22-15
Disjointed, disconnected narrative
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
A more articulate narrator would have made this a better listening experience. He pronounced "February" and "secretary" as if the first 'r' was missing.
What was most disappointing about Richard Reeves’s story?
There was no real flow to the book. The book proceeded somewhat chronologically, but Reeves jumped about from experience to experience. The book flowed as if he had not quite organized his notes.
How could the performance have been better?
What character would you cut from Infamy?
There were too many to keep track of. Cutting one would have made no difference. On the other hand, a more detailed following of just a few characters or a few families may have caused the book to flow better.
Any additional comments?
I'll avoid this narrator in the future.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful