Chapter

Introduction

in Concentration Camps on the Home Front

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780226354767
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226354774 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226354774.003.0001
Introduction

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This introductory chapter begins by considering the efforts of philanthropist Earl Finch on behalf of the victims of U.S. concentration camps—the 120,000 Japanese American citizens and longtime residents forced from their homes on the West Coast and indiscriminately incarcerated in the interior, particularly those locked up in the two camps in nearby Arkansas. The discussion covers Finch's personal history and speculates on his motives for helping Japanese Americans in particular. It suggests that examining Finch's angle, his incentive for stepping outside the bounds of race and gender privilege to help members of one persecuted minority—while apparently overlooking another, African Americans—can provide us with a new angle of vision on to Japanese American incarceration and twentieth-century racial formation: historical phenomena made increasingly visible in American cultural production, but from a persistently skewed perspective. The chapter then sets out the main objectives of the book and provides an overview of the subsequent chapters.

Keywords: Earl Finch; philanthropists; Japanese Americans; incarceration

Chapter.  8788 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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