Minidoka: An American Concentration Camp

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9780870045738: Minidoka: An American Concentration Camp
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Distributed by the University of Nebraska Press for Caxton Press

On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing U.S. Armed Forces to remove citizens and noncitizens from “military areas.” The result was the abrupt dislocation and imprisonment of 120,000 Japanese and Japanese American citizens in the western United States.

In Minidoka: An American Concentration Camp, Teresa Tamura documents one of ten such camps, the Minidoka War Relocation Center in Jerome County, Idaho. Her documentation includes artifacts made in the camp as well as the story of its survivors, uprooted from their homes in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California. The essays are supplemented by 180 black-and-white photographs and interviews that fuse present and past.

Tamura began her project after President Bill Clinton designated part of the Minidoka site as the 385th unit of the National Park Service. Her work furthers the tradition of socially inspired documentary photojournalism, illuminating the cultural, sociological, and political significance of Minidoka. Ultimately, her book reminds us of what happens when fear, hysteria, and racial prejudice subvert human rights and shatter human lives.

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About the Author:

Photographer and photojournalist Teresa Tamura is a third-generation Japanese American born and raised in Idaho. She received an MFA in photography from the University of Washington and taught photojournalism in the School of Journalism at the University of Montana from 2002 to 2007.

Review:

"This book would make a useful addition to courses on World War II, photography, memory, ethnic studies, and oral history." --Samuel J. Redman, Oral History Review

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