Richard Cahan and Michael Williams. Un-American: The Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Chicago, CityFiles Press (2016).
This remarkable book includes “beautiful” images by Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, and other government photographers. “Beautiful” is in quotes, of course, because the project that is portrayed is one that we look back on with horror and deep regret. Seeing the images some seventy-five years later raises many questions that the authors address with sensitivity and insight. Why were these photographs taken in the first place? That question evokes thoughts about how different those events apparently were seen by many at the time compared with the way we see them today. It is particularly welcome that the authors interviewed survivors, who addressed not only the events themselves, but the impact on their lives and the lives of their families.
In his Author! Author! blog series, Museum president Gary T. Johnson highlights works that draw on our collection.