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Shortly after Pearl Harbor, the military is clamoring to send all Japanese on the West Coast, citizens and non citizens, to concentration camps in the interior. The basis is military necessity but the true reason is racism and war hysteria. The legal system is tested and fails. The scene then shifts to France where the Jews are being persecuted by racist laws enacted by the Vichy government and enforced by both the French police and courts.
The story is told through the experiences of a French born American lawyer who is witness to the failure of both judicial systems. He risks his career and reputation to defend a Japanese American who is going to be sent to a concentration camp, and then his life when he enlists and returns to France as a spy. It is a story of survival and ultimately hope but it is also a cautionary tale that warns when national security is threatened, the constitution is just a scrap of paper.
WHAT YOU WILL FIND ON THIS WEBSITE
This web site provides more information about the actual events that are depicted in the novel. If you go to historical notes you will be able to click to YouTube videos of what it was like to live in Manzanar, a video on the notorious Klaus Barbie, a world war two training video on the “mole” the device that was used to blow up the trains in the novel, actual newsreel footage of the Rescue of the Lost Battalion, and a short video on the life of Wells Lewis.