Christmas 1941 came just weeks after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor dragged America into World War II. We talk to historian Stanley Weintraub about how America was getting ready for war while trying to celebrate the holiday season.
Stanley Weintraub, historian, author of Pearl Harbor Christmas: A World at War, December 1941
It’s getting cold outside, which means it’s time to cuddle up with some good books to pass the time. Or maybe you’re just on the prowl for some holiday gifts for the reader in your life. Either way, we have some options for what to read this winter.
Ellen Keith, author, The Dutch Wife
Andrew Shaffer, author, Hope Never Dies: An Obama/Biden Mystery
In light of the recent outrage over the ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy and the separation of families at the southern border, some people have made a comparison to the Japanese internment camps during World War II. Richard Cahan, photo historian, former Chicago Sun-Times editor, and author of Un-American: The Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II, discusses the history of these camps and what we should learn from them.
Cahan’s book is a photo history of the Japanese internment camps, showing the conditions of life as a prisoner of the camps and what came before and after. The internment of Japanese Americans is often brushed over in education and history, but the pictures and stories of this shameful event are both impossible to ignore and essential to our collective healing. Cahan emphasizes that this act was completely un-American, going against what America stands for. In this time, when it appears many Americans have a similar mindset to the Americans during the early days of World War II, Cahan says we should be especially vigilant not to repeat our past mistakes.
During World War II, 110,000 Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from their homes and settled in small, barrack-like dwellings with very basic facilities and no privacy. Eleven weeks after Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the army to decide what to do with Japanese Americans. Because the army’s first concern is security and not civil liberties, the camps were a direct result of this decision. Right before the Supreme Court ruled that the camps were illegal, FDR opened them, and the Japanese Americans had to start over and resettle.
Seeing the reality of what happened in these internment camps should strike a warning bell in people’s minds, Cahan says. He encourages us to take a good look at our past history and learn from it.
To learn more about Japanese internment camps or to purchase a copy of Cahan’s book, visit the links below.
Richard Cahan, photo historian, former Chicago Sun-Times editor, and author of Un-American: The Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II
American Detainment: Lessons to learn from America’s internment camp shame
It’s a topic that has been in the news lately: how our government detains groups of people. We look back at history to see what really happened in World War II Japanese internment camps, and how we can avoid similar shame now and in the future.
Maximizing Your Experience Traveling Internationally
Many of us have spent years dreaming of traveling the globe… but what should we do when we book the trip and are preparing to make the dream a reality? Journalist and author Andrew Soloman gives tips on how to get the most out of your trips, from embracing new cultures to establishing better connections.
Culture Crash: Music in a streaming world
As apps like Spotify and Pandora have taken over, musicians have been forced to make their new albums into an “event.” We look at how they do that, and how streaming music impacts us as listeners.
In the last year, two movies including Christopher Nolan’s latest blockbuster have introduced the story of Dunkirk to American audiences. We talk to Michael Korda, a historian and author, who explains some of the real history, including why Hitler and Churchill acted the way they did throughout the ordeal.
Michael Korda, author, Alone: Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk: Defeat into Victory
Japanese internment camps are something we’re aware of, but may not fully understand. Photo historian and author Richard Cahan talks about the history of the camps, what makes them so “un-American,” and why he says we shouldn’t look back at the camps as precedent or a blueprint, but as a black eye we should avoid repeating at all costs.
The late actor, Jimmy Stewart, gave us some very memorable characters during his time in Hollywood – many very funny; others endearing; and still others dark and villainous. Perhaps Stewart’s most dramatic role was the one that not many people know about, but that molded his life and his psyche – not to mention his acting – for most of his career: fighter pilot in World War II. We talk to an author who delved into Stewart’s war service about how flying missions over Europe and seeing his comrades die affected the actor and his choice of roles and acting style for the rest of his life.