Synopses & Reviews
Censored by the U.S. Army, Dorothea Lange's unseen photographs are the extraordinary photographic record of the Japanese American internment saga. This indelible work of visual and social history confirms Dorothea Lange's stature as one of the twentieth century's greatest American photographers. Presenting 119 images originally censored by the U.S. Army--the majority of which have never been published-- evokes the horror of a community uprooted in the early 1940s and the stark reality of the internment camps. With poignancy and sage insight, nationally known historians Linda Gordon and Gary Okihiro illuminate the saga of Japanese American internment: from life before Executive Order 9066 to the abrupt roundups and the marginal existence in the bleak, sandswept camps. In the tradition of Roman Vishniac's with the immediacy of its photographs, tells the story of the thousands of lives unalterably shattered by racial hatred brought on by the passions of war. A Best Book of 2006.
"Unflinchingly illustrates the reality of life during this extraordinary moment in American history."--Dinitia Smith,
Censored by the U.S. Army, Dorothea Lange's unseen photographs are the extraordinary photographic record of the Japanese American internment saga.
In these days of fear of the terrorist 'other', reading this measured, intelligent introduction to a time that is all-too possible to imagine recurring, and looking at Lange's photos... may be one of the most useful things one can do this Christmas.[The] images show Americans of Japanese extraction being relocated to 'assembly centers', labeled and processed like cattle and closeted away in dismal shacks for the duration of the war... No wonder her pictures were never used and disappeared for half a century.Through her discerning and sensitive eye, Lange's observations of the situation were too real and too critical for the government, and were consequently confiscated.[T]he bulk of the book is given over to Lange's photographs. Several of these are as powerful as her most stirring work, and the final image—of a grandfather in the desolate Manzanar Center looking down in anguish at the grandson between his knees—is worth the price of the book alone.
About the Author
Linda Gordon is the Florence Kelley Professor of History at New York University. She is the author of numerous books including Dorothea Lange and Impounded, and won the Bancroft Prize for The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction. She lives in New York.Gary Y. Okihiro is the author of Whispered Silences: Japanese Americans and World War II and Common Ground: Reimagining American History. He is a professor at Columbia University and lives in New York City.