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Just Americans: How Japanese Americans Won a War at Home and Abroad Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 18, 2006


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Hardcover, Bargain Price, May 18, 2006
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham (May 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592401988
  • ASIN: B000NA1Y02
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,922,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This excellent volume on Japanese Americans' participation in World War II focuses on the combat units. The independent 100th Battalion was raised in Hawaii, the 442d Regimental Combat Team on the mainland and largely from the detention camps, and the two units' different backgrounds and experiences made for a good deal of rivalry and ill feeling at first. In time they merged and, exhibiting formidable mastery of infantry combat, compiled a combat record in Italy and France that it would be an understatement to call distinguished. Although Asahina doesn't cover the intelligence work of Japanese Americans in the Pacific, that is compensated for by detailed description of the behind-the-scenes politics involved in organizing the units and procuring amnesty for their members' relatives, and of the pro-Japanese stand of soldier-journalist S. L. A. Marshall. A valuable volume of new material on Japanese Americans in WWII that is likely, unfortunately, to be one of the last published while many Japanese American veterans are still alive. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Asahina's wonderful book more than does justice to the history of the 442d.... I hope it becomes required reading in high school and college history courses." ---Lucian K. Truscott IV, author of Dress Gray and Heart of War --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

More About the Author

Robert Asahina is the author of Just Americans (Gotham Books/Penguin, 2006), named by the Washington Post Book World as among the best nonfiction/history books of 2006. He is the co-founder, with Robert Wallace, of Asahina & Wallace, a Los Angeles-based independent publisher.

He has edited best sellers by Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind), William Bennett (The Book of Virtues), Stephen R. Covey (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), Maria Shriver (What's Heaven?), Susan Powter (Stop the Insanity!), and Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero), as well as critically acclaimed books by Walter Berns, Edward Jay Epstein, George Gilder, Samuel P. Huntington, Edward Luttwak, Jim Miller, Marvin Minsky, Ben Wattenberg, and James Q. Wilson and Richard J. Herrnstein.

He was a Deputy Managing Editor of The New York Sun, responsible for the arts section, which earned the following praise:

"Extraordinary critics.... For every New Yorker who cares about museums, it has become essential reading." -- Philippe de Montebello, Former Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and co-host of Channel 13's "Sunday Arts"

"The cultural section of the paper has become one of the most important and informed sources of information about the arts in the City." -- Glenn Lowry, Director of the Museum of Modern Art

"There is no paper that has an arts section that goes anywhere near on a daily basis what the Sun has. I would bet that in America, there may be no other daily paper in American journalistic history that has an art section like The New York Sun." -- Nat Hentoff, Village Voice

He has been Senior Vice President, Deputy Publisher, and Editor in Chief of Broadway Books; President and Publisher of the Adult Publishing Group of Golden Books; and a Vice President and Senior Editor at Simon & Schuster. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program at New York University; an editor at George, Harper's, The New York Times Book Review, GEO, and The Public Interest; a film critic for The New Leader and The American Spectator, and a theater critic for The Hudson Review. His articles and reviews have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Art International, Yale Theater, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Washington Post Book World, and other periodicals.

He has also been a consultant on enterprise data management and strategy at Freddie Mac and editor of the 4% Growth Project Web site.

Customer Reviews

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As a long time WWII history buff I can recommend this book without reservation.
The Man
The author does an excellent job detailing the exploits of the unit and also skillfully ties in the human element.
Brian E. Yamamoto DDS
The book is at its best when extolling the virtues of these proud, courageous fighting men.
John E. Nevola

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By DaMacGuy on June 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
Robert Asahina's book on the 100th Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team is one of the best I've ever read on these brave men and their families. It has very compelling and personal descriptions of the battles these men fought, but what makes it stand out is the linking to the exile of Japanese Americans to internment camps, the political environment and decision-making regarding the treatment of Japanese Americans, and the huge personal, social, and economic costs borne by these loyal Americans during this period.

It is also well-researched, thoroughly sourced and cited, and brings the history up to current levels, including the awarding of the long overdue Medals of Honor to the AJA soldiers. It also discusses the analogies drawn with the post 9/11 environment in the US.

It doesn't cover all of the AJA experience in detail, primarily focusing on the European Theater and the US mainland, but I'd recommend it highly as a first book for anyone interested in this subject. It cites many books and reference materials for interested readers that you can follow up.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By George Sala on July 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I wouldn't have thought there was much new to say about the Japanese-American experience in WWII -- the internment at home, ad in particular incredible heroism of the soldiers in the famous "Go For Broke" 442d Regimental Combat Team and the "Lost Batallion". But Asahina fills out the story with interviews, maps, and pictures that brought it to life for me and made it relevant to modern issues about "racial profiling." I'm not of Japanese-American ancestry but I found this a terrific read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The Man on March 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a long time WWII history buff I can recommend this book without reservation. The author has researched this book very well and presents the facts in a compelling fashion. I was expecting certain passages to regarding how the Japanese-American population at home was treated to be one of finger-pointing, over-sentimentalization and playing the victim to gain sympathy. Boy was I wrong. Negative aspects of "exclusion", internment, and racism, are on the page but so are the bravery and resolve of these people to overcome them. The removal of the Japanese-American population from the west coast of the mainland while leaving the population of Japanese-Americans in Hawaii intact is spelled out in a way for the reader to discover the idiocy in it. For instance the reason given to the "evacuation" was the proximity of Japanese-Americans to military bases and facilities. Yet one of the future members of the 442d worked at Pearl Harbor helping to repair the facilities in the weeks and months after the attack! This book brings to light a story that should be read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read many books about the 442 and 100 Div and the imprisonment of Japanese-American citizens over the years. Mostly because I grew up with kids who parents went through this tragedy. The fathers who fought never talked about their experiences, like most veterans and the mothers didn't talk about the camps either. What I felt as a child when I learned about this part of American history was anger. An anger that has never abated. This book provides a complete picture of individuals who suffered during this sad period of American History. Read this book and be awed, as I have been at the courage of the Japanese-Americans. Read this book and be forever sceptical about politicians and what they say to citizens. It was Roosevelt that issued the Executive Order that resulted in these CITIZENS to be imprisoned simply because of their heritage. It was American Citizens that stole these peoples homes, businesses and then to add insult to injury, shunned the veterans of the 442/100 Div when they returned home. Be angry that as late as a few years ago, there was a road in Texas called "Jap Road" and the citizens there didn't want to change the name and accused the Japanese-Americans who did, of being racists. I am still angry about this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carlton F. Schwan on March 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I learned a great deal from this book. I knew much about the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II--I learned much more. I also knew a lot about WWII combat in Europe--I learned much more. I did not know much about the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. It should not be a surprise that I learned much about it, but, as I said, I learned many other things too. I doubted some of the facts presented, but I checked the most important one and found that it is true--21 Japanese-Americans were awarded Medals of Honor from World War II action. Because that fact was correct, I did not check most of the others. I am an old artilleryman. I had never before read of units being resupplied with critical supplies (morphine and other drugs, small arms ammo) via artillery fire. I am still amazed by this, but until I can disprove it, I must believe (and admire) it.
I did not give a five star rating because of the long description at the end of the book where the author brings in many different ways to prove the incompetence of government and military leaders in creating the internments. Some of this was interesting and worthy, but most had been well-demonstrated by that point in the book.
I am a better person for having read this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brian E. Yamamoto DDS on May 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is about the fifth book I have read on the 100/442. The author does an excellent job detailing the exploits of the unit and also skillfully ties in the human element. I would highly recommend this book to all.

Brian E Yamamoto
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