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Nisei Linguists: Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service During World War II Paperback – March 1, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James C. McNaughton is command historian for U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany. He previously served as command historian for U.S. Army Pacific and the Defense Language Institute. He received a doctorate in modern European history from The Johns Hopkins University and is retired from the U.S. Army Reserve with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 532 pages
  • Publisher: Military Bookshop (March 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780390432
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780390437
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #708,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By lordhoot on July 18, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nisei Linguists by James C. McNaughton is a story that is long overdue in telling. While many books have been written about the two Japanese American combat regimental teams who fought so well in Europe, their Pacific counterparts have only received very small portion of coverage by comparison. This book moves to correct that and it does an excellent job in portraying how the Nisei linguists who not only served the United States but all other allied nations who fought against Imperial Japan.

The book traced the beginning of the Nisei based Military Intelligence Service and its language schools it founded. Of course along the way, they had to fight against many racial prejudices that limited their promotions, limited their duty assignments and often disregarded initially due to their appearances. It is amazing to note that so contrary to the classical stereotype, many Japanese Americans had no working knowledge of the Japanese language, much as many German Americans for example, had no working knowledge of German language. But those who did laid the foundation that will go a long way in winning the war in the Pacific.

It is no doubt by what is written in this book that these Nisei linguists aided in helping the war against Japan. Without them, many white combat troops who came home at the end of the war from the Pacific, may not have made it back in one piece. Author is pretty sure that these Nisei linguists helped gain intelligence information that saved the lives of many white combat troops, helped shorten the war and made the occupation of Japan more easier for the Americans. In reflection, they also saved lives of many Japanese soldiers and civilians who may otherwise, killed themselves either in despair or avoiding capture.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ohta on September 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
This was great reading for me because it discussed how my brother received his Silver Stars. I knew about one of them, but didn't realize he actually received two. I also found it interesting how some of the men that served under him won their Distinguished Service Metal, Silver Stars, and Bronze Stars. The book also described the various campaigns and the dates. I never really understood the campaigns and the various breakdown of where the MIS served. I also bought books for my sisters, son, and daughter so they could read about his heroism. Always have been very proud of him!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Lee Johnson on September 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Make no mistake, this is an excellent book, probably the best one on the topic. However the Kindle edition is not worth the $2.99 price. It is the worst formatted book I have ever read (actually TRIED to read) on my Kindle. I first thought that the book had merely been scanned page by page into the e-reader format because the footnotes are hopelessly intermingled with the text and since the footnotes contain a great deal of worthwhile information (beyond mere source citations) it is virtually impossible to tell where text ends and footnotes begin. However this cannot explain the ridiculous capitalization about which the only consistent thing seems to be that the beginning of paragraphs are NOT capitalized. I may be wrong about this since some paragraphs seem to begin in the middle of a sentence and (I guess) would be properly capitalized. Anyway, after struggling through about a quarter of the book I am collecting up my Amazon points and buying the paper edition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By p47dude on July 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Nisei Linguists" is well documented and thorough in bringing to the public's eye the patriotism exhibited by Nisei during and immediately after WWII. There were some startling facts in it, such as several Nisei were as part of the US Army MIS and serving as linguists were amongst the Marines at Iwo Jima. This book also provided much more information than my dad (91) recalls as he was also part of the MIS but only during the Occupation of Japan.

Highly recommended.
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By Gromer on November 22, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you care about Nisei Japanese you need to read this fantastically detailed book. It's very well-written and readable: obviously a labor of love for the author. Most revelatory of all - the actual breadth and depth of nisei contribution to WWII is much more than you ever thought possible. Lots of details only came to light recently, so please, educate yourself. Contains lots of photos and poignant stories that should be made into Oscar-worthy WWII movies. I mean, just look at the photo on the cover. Can you tell, at first glance, which is the Japanese POW and which is the Japanese-American interrogator? If you flipped your assumptions, what else does that say about the subject? A picture speaks a thousand words.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Although the content of this book is excellent, the kindle version appears to have been rendered by TERRIBLE software. See amazon customer's review below. I intend to bite the bullet and buy the print version.
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