- Paperback: 391 pages
- Publisher: Athena Pr; 1st edition (July 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0960273611
- ISBN-13: 978-0960273614
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Magic: The Untold Story of U.S. Intelligence and the Evacuation of Japanese Residents from the West Coast During Ww II 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
This work simultaneously makes an important contribution to the history of the WWII imprisonment of Japanese-Americans and highlights publishing's editing problems, especially for small presses. Lowman, who died in 1999, was a former National Security Agency officer involved in declassifying intelligence records, including sources from MAGIC, the decrypted Japanese diplomatic traffic. That material, much of it from late 1941 and early 1942 and reproduced here, describes systematic recruitment of Japanese residents, citizens and noncitizens into networks designed to provide information to Japan both before and after the outbreak of war. Without ascribing Executive Order 9066 for Japanese-American internment entirely to this information, Lowman makes a solid case that the intelligence community's faith in its credibility contributed significantly to the government's decision. But instead of directly rebutting charges that sheer racist hysteria contributed as well, Lowman digresses on one hand into a general history of the MAGIC decryptions, and on the other into a bitter critique of the 1988 decision to compensate the former prisoners. And too often Lowman's documents are left to speak for themselves, without a supporting analytical structure. Such problems were probably exacerbated by posthumous publication, but more disciplined editing might have produced a more persuasive line of argument. (Feb.)Forecast: Anyone interested in primary sources related to Japanese-American internment will find them more easily here than under the Freedom of Information Act, but low production values will keep this book out of many libraries.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From the Publisher
Magic provides the first comprehensive survey of U.S. Intelligence related to the evacuation of Japanese from the West Coast during WW II. It includes an analysis of the Magic intercepts dealing with espionage as well as the actual messages.
Over a hundred intercepts and reports are included. All but part of one of which were omitted, ignored, left out or unknown to the Commission on the Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians,
A reader need not agree with President Roosevelts decision to evacuate to realize that a serious security problem existed on the West Coast. Imperial Japan, notorious at the time for using overseas Japanese to secure its intelligence, by May 1941 had resident Japanese watching the Los Angeles Harbor and the Mexican Border; had Japanese Americans working in aircraft plants to gather intelligence and had made contacts with Japanese Americans in the U.S. Army for the same purpose. And this was just a small part of it five months before Pearl Harbor.
Lowman also critiques the operation of the CWRIC, the courts and the congress, all of which failed in their quest for the truth.
For those willing to review the material and come to their own judgment rather than blindly subscribing to the politically correct version of the event, this book is a real eye opener.
Magic tells it like it was. It reveals the real story behind what one historian claims to be the most lied about event in American history. No wonder Publishers Weekly thought it was poorly edited and not worth buying.
Top customer reviews
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99.999% of people today have no clue how weak our West Coast defenses were in 1941/42. Homer Lea had shown us decades earlier how easy it would be for the Japanese to take and hold the San Francisco Bay area, and we had done nothing about it. For example, our entire inventory of tanks, from the Canadian border to Mexico, was FIVE (5) !! Small arms ammunition inventory was woefully inadequate.. Transportation across the Rocky Mountains was just a few railroad links, easy to cut, preventing us from staging materiel for any sort of reinforcement, let alone a counterattack. Even the smallest action to enhance our security was imperative, and we did it as humanely as our logistics allowed. .
Moving the entire Japanese population out of the military area was a wise decision for another reason. .There was a violent racial backlash against them after Pearl Harbor, and mob action against them was already brewing up. The Army may well have saved many lives by getting them out if that cauldron.
Other books:"SHADOW DANCING" by Tony Matthews and "IN DEFENSE OF INTERNMENT" by Michelle Malkin are very important for anyone that wants to understand and SEE what today's rhetoric tries to change and hide.
THERE WERE JAPANESE and JAPANESE-AMERICAN SPIES ALONG THE WEST COAST.
It would have been impossible to prosecute them in a court of law without revealing that we were listening to diplomatic communications.
If the Japanese found this out and changed their codes, we would have been blinded to many events.
ANYONE interested in the Internment of Japanese and Japanese Americans during WWII should also look up the "NIHAU INCIDENT" right after the attack on Pearl Harbor... The incident DID have an influence on the decision for internment...
The fact that the CWRIC heard testimony on but did not read or even address the Magic intercepts in an indictment to the very integrity of the CWRIC. Magic was the main evidentiary basis behind Executive Order 9066, and every individual who (at the time) had read the intercepts supported the order.
Mr. Lowman did make himself available for the Honolulu hearings, he was not asked (or allowed - as some cynics might suggest) to testify. And given the reception he most likely would have received, it's probably just as well.
And it should be mentioned that during his testimony before the Japanese/American Relocation Commission Hearing on June 21, 1984 John McCloy did mention Magic, "Proof that the Commission did not conduct an investigation worthy of the name is demonstrated by the fact that it never identified the existence of "Magic" as evidence of Japanese intent to subvert the security of the country through disloyal residence here in the event of an attack by Japan."
Mr. McCloy then goes on to describe the hostile ("boos and catcalls") heaped upon any who dared to present the President's case.
I found Mr. Lowman's style just fine, he let's the evidence speak for itself. And the evidence paints a much different picture than you get from the CWRIC white wash.
Most recent customer reviews
David Lowman (d. 1999) was the National Security Agency executive responsible for the declassification of the MAGIC intercepts and the...Read more