Author Richard Reeves and and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge A. Wallace Tashima will hold a conversation on the Japanese American internment on Thursday, May 21, at 7 p.m. at Chevalier’s Books, 126 N. Larchmont Blvd., Hancock Park.
The discussion will be moderated by attorney Carolyn Kubota, a former federal prosecutor and a senior litigation partner at the international law firm of O’Melveny and Myers.
Reeves’ latest book is “Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II.” The internees included Judge Tashima and his wife and Kubota’s father.
Reeves portrays vividly the saga of the Japanese Americans, the Caucasians who imprisoned and exploited them financially, and the political leaders and “wise men” who advocated the policy. Seventy years after the fact, the danger of history repeating itself because the tragedy is often forgotten makes this topic required reading.
At the heart of the book are the poignant stories of those who endured years of imprisonment, many of whom suffered this grave injustice with dignity and grace. Among the Americans responsible for these events were men usually considered heroes — President Franklin D. Roosevelt, California Gov. Earl Warren, and an array of journalists and opinion-makers, including Walter Lippman and Edward R. Morrow.
Readers also learn of some 30,000 internees who served in the Army, many in the all-Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Europe, which fought across Italy and France and became, per capita, the most decorated unit in Army history. Six thousand more served secretly as combat interpreters and translators in the Pacific, heroically saving tens of thousands of American lives.
Racism, greed, and war hysteria led to one of the darkest episodes of American history, but, by recovering the past, “Infamy” has given voice to those who ultimately helped the nation better understand the true meaning of patriotism.
Reeves is a senior lecturer at the Annenberg School for Communication at USC, an author and a syndicated columnist whose column has appeared in more than 100 newspapers since 1979. He has received dozens of awards for his work in print, television and film. He has published more than 20 books, translated into more than a dozen languages, including Chinese and Thai.
Tashima was interned with his family at the Poston War Relocation Center in Arizona. He is the first Japanese American to be appointed as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals. He currently serves as a senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
For more information, call (323) 465-1334 or visit http://chevaliersbooks.com/.