Chinese-American playwright and novelist Frank Chin has taken up the cause of Japanese-Americans imprisoned during the Second World War who protested the violation of their rights and were punished for it. The book starts out with somewhat random accounts of life on the West Coast for immigrants just before and after the turn of the 20th century, with the lyrics of racist pop songs and novels sprinkled in. In this it resembles a sort of scrapbook. But the book gathers focus and momentum as Chin gets to the crux of his story: the attempts of Japanese-Americans to stand up for their rights, centered in the Heart Mountain, Wyoming internment camp, and the efforts of fellow Japanese-Americans, mostly members of the fledgling Japanese American Citizens League, to inform on them to the FBI and help weed out the "troublemakers." Chin regards this behavior as an ongoing blot on the record of the JACL, and his highly advocatory account seeks redemption for those he regards as "true Americans" who stood up to their government rather than help it to pursue injustice.
This report prepared by David Loftus