Reflective Journal on Roger Daniels, “Prisoners without Trial”
ReflectiveJournal on Roger Daniels, “Prisoners without Trial”
RogerDaniel’s “Prisoners without Trial” is a revolutionarypresentation of well-established, concise introduction to one of themost reprehensible and inexcusable episodes of the American history.The book reviews the internment of almost 120,000 people of Japaneseorigin but were legal citizens of the United States during SecondWorld War (Daniels, 2). Roger Daniels`s modernized editionscrutinizes the tragic events that hit nations with rationalizedquestions. What happened? What could have culminated in this event?Are attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent declaration of waragainst Japan the only reason why incarceration occurred? Is therethe probability that such events will happen again? The bookaddresses these issues impartially and with excellent reference toother individuals’ views.
Theshort book identifies the main activities and details of experiencesin the camp in chronological order as well as the series of eventsthat eventually led to incarceration (Daniels, 26). Moreover, thebook assesses the court redress and subsequent reparations in recentyears. The masterpiece identifies the role or xenophobia and racismin continuing history mass hysteria including how it proliferated inthe nineteenth century (Daniels, 18). It entails an informative,quick outlook into the events as they unfolded and clearly provides acase study of the possibilities that people may be open to in case ofrivalry between two nations during times of war. Daniel utilizes anauthoritative, knowledgeable voice to present incarceration eventsthat took place between the years 1942-1946 in the American soil(Daniels, 3). There is also the issue of massive contradiction thatexisted in this crisis because there were Japanese soldiers thatfought abroad alongside the army of the United States during theSecond World War.
Japanesesoldiers were decidedly decorated and celebrated after the forty-twoInfantry Regiment fought bravely while their families wereincarcerated (Daniels, 46). The neat synthesis incorporating latestinformation on all the issues that surrounded this episode isdetailed in the way that the issues are satisfactorily articulated byone of the leading historian proficient in this subject. The eventsare presented in a balanced, unbiased and straightforward techniquebecause those sources have been refined for more than three decades.Meticulous and scrupulous research information is given fromreflection by the principal and proficient historian of the American-Japanese history (Daniels, 39). As such, the book is a valuableresource for research in this area because it illuminates accurateinformation in the backgrounds that have not been highlighted inother readings in this area.
RogerDaniel’s “Prisoners without Trial” evaluates the sequence ofprocedures leading to war and the undue influence of namedindividuals (Daniels, 73). For instance, the aftermath of the bombingof Pearl Harbor is a mixture of jingoism, nationalism, xenophobia andpatriotism permeated in the minds of the America people. Thesechanges culminated in the decision by the conservative Republicansresponsible for War Department, supported by expert commentators suchas Walter Lippmann (Daniels, 42). These individuals pressed PresidentRoosevelt to order incarceration in 1942 meant to intern Americans ofthe Japanese descent on the country’s West Coast. According toDaniels’ argument, the suspicions and spuriousness aspects arosefrom the postulation that Japanese-Americans posed a security threatto the interior parts of the United States (Daniels, 56). The bookalso demonstrates the fact that Japanese-Americans based in Hawaiiwere not interned.
Japanese-Americansbased in Hawaii were a significant source of labor to the governmentin its war effort against Japanese that resulted in attempteddestruction of the Pacific Fleet (Daniels, 9). In details, the bookcaptures the effort of the Supreme Court to uphold the decision toestablish dreary life, evacuation, construction of isolatedrelocation centers and intricate settling process of the individualsuprooted from their original homes, businesses and communities allaround United States (Daniels, 55). Daniels examines the resultantpolitical battles that ensued in the year 1989 that provided theopportunity for reparations amounting to $20,000 to all theindividuals that were incarcerated. Daniels also clears thepostulation that such an attempt was a mistake and defensive policyagainst Japanese invasion at Pearl Harbor (Daniels, 22).
Accordingto “Prisoners without Trial,” the process did not result fromerrors or mistakes in making the judgment but was calculated movethat later became costly to the citizens (Daniels, 1). Danielsevaluates and based his argument on the fact that there has been anextensive historical array of prejudices and preconceptions againstAsians immigrants. He postulates that such prejudices may havestarted right from the time the Chinese first reached Pacific Coastto provide labor for construction of the great transcontinentalrailroads (Daniels, 67). The immigrants, according to the Americanpeople were not racially white and thus posed a threat because ofissues of racial integrity and the fact that they brought with themforeign cultures (Daniels, 29). Their aggressiveness in agricultureand other areas in the economy was a risk because it may have led toshifting of the standard of living for Chinese and at the detrimentof the white American citizens (Daniels, 4). Since there was no cleardistinction between the Chinese and Japanese, the Japanese faced thesimilar threat that was waiting for the trigger to explode.
Consequently,the Pearl Harbor attack presented the opportunity which according toDaniel could not have been overlooked by the masters of prejudices(Daniels, 79). There is also the issue of anti-Japanese movement inCalifornia in 1909 based on matters such as land and labor whichculminated to the argument that the Japanese had driven out whitesfrom their lands that were fabricated by malicious individuals.(Daniels, 13). Further, the book explores injustices that had beenconducted before internment including the fact that Japanesebusinesspeople and successful farmers’ financial withdrawal frombanks had been restricted. Accordingly, detention must have beencaused by deeply rooted hostility against the Japanese and not theoutcomes of the bombing (Daniels, 16). The Executive Directive 9066was misplaced, and for that, American taxpayers suffered greatlyafter the Supreme Court approved reparations. In the final chapters,Daniels explores life after the camp and the challenges that Japanesepeople went through as they struggled to recollect themselves(Daniels, 104). Further, Daniel warns of such possible repercussionprimarily responding to the issue of the American invasion of Iraq inthe early 1990s.
Daniels,Roger, Prisonerswithout Trial: Japanese Americans and World War II, Hilland Wang, 2004.
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