'From Truman to Trump: Presidents’ Use and Abuse of the Incarceration of Japanese Americans'
In 1942, Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 and 120,000 individuals of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated as “enemy aliens” despite over half being American citizens, a policy based solely on race. After the Second World War, successive presidents, both Republican and Democrat, have progressively recognized the great injustice suffered by Japanese Americans and offered apologies and restitution, including the 1988 Civil Liberties Act signed by Ronald Reagan.
This article discusses this contested history and examines how President Trump’s regime is at odds with the progress made to recognize that Japanese American incarceration was morally wrong and should never be repeated.
To be published June 2021
Internment During the Second World War:
A Comparative Study of Great Britain and the USA
In the first comparative history of internment in Britain and the USA, memoirs, letters, and oral testimony help to put a human face on the suffering incurred during the turbulent early years of the war and serve as a reminder of what can happen to vulnerable groups during times of conflict. Internment during the Second World War also considers how these 'tragedies of democracy' have been remembered over time, and how the need for the memorialisation of former sites of internment is essential if society is not to repeat the same injustices.
'As the first volume to compare at length the official confinement of civilians in Great Britain and the United States, this book not only breaks new ground but propels readers into reflections on prejudice, citizenship, and ethnicity.'
Greg Robinson, Professor of History at the Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
'The internment of 'enemy aliens' (those of German, Italian and Japanese origin) in Britain and America during the Second World War remains little known. In this superbly researched account, Rachel Pistol provides the first comparative study explaining why such illiberal policies were implemented. This books allows understanding of the processes, experiences and memories of internment with disturbing relevance to the twenty first century and the world of Donald Trump and Brexit.'
Tony Kushner, Marcus Sieff Professor of the History of Jewish/non Jewish Relations, University of Southampton
TV & RADIO
Shinzo Abe's visit to Pearl Harbor
December 26, 2016
1988 Civil Liberties Act
BBC World Service History Hour
First broadcast December 12, 2018
Excluded and Interned
American History Too
December 17, 2017
Discover more about the so-called ‘Yellow Peril’, Japanese Internment during World War II, and why these issues are still relevant to modern day America.