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Large Archive of Documents on Japanese Internment from the War Relocation Authority

Large Archive of Documents on Japanese Internment from the War Relocation Authority

Large Archive of Documents on Japanese Internment from the War Relocation Authority

by The War Relocation Authority

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About This Item

[Various Places]: The War Relocation Authority, 1956. A substantial archive of over 300 individual documents, plus a few duplicates,
relating to Japanese internment during WWII,
forming a very thorough view of the federal agency that directed their imprisonment, The War Relocation Authority. Such a sizeable collection of WRA documents is extremely rare in commerce.

All the major facets of the dark, disturbing episode of Japanese internment are represented in this archive: its basic legal and historical outlines, the WRA's publicity and propaganda and its reception
in the US, the WRA's groundbreaking use of social sciences in service of repressive American policies, life and death in the camps, and the ending of internment.

The essential history of internment can be said to begin with Franklin D. Roosevelt's Executive Order 9102 establishing the War Relocation Authority, included in mimeograph format. Around that time and later an Index-Digest of Opinions by the Office of the Solicitor compiles legal opinions about
internment with commentary by regional attorneys.

Additionally included are many of the WRA's
quarterly and semi-annual reports, as well as a
nearly 300-page contemporary history of the
agency by an unknown author, untitled and likely written in late 1944.

The publicity campaigns of the agency are reflected in collections of the propaganda leaflets the WRA issued, a near-complete run of the abstracts the WRA prepared on press coverage it faced, mimeographed speeches presented by WRA head Dillon S. Myer and other agency figures, and a file of documents relating to the WRA's investigation by
the House Committee on Un-American Activities
(HUAC), which would become famous under
Joseph McCarthy in the early 1950s. The WRA's sensitivity to criticism is readily apparent, especially in their robust reaction to HUAC's critiques.

One of the most controversial sections of the WRA, the Community Analysis Section, is heavily represented in this archive by near-complete runs of their Community Analysis and Project Analysis Reports. The Community Analysis Section was largely composed of social scientists, primarily anthropologists, who studied life in America's WWII concentration camps. Their aim was to aid Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration in running the camps with as little resistance as possible by applying lessons learned in the disciplines of Japan studies
and the human sciences. Although some
Community Analysts voiced objections within
restricted internal communications, few brought
these objections before the American public.
Throughout the next six decades anthropologists, psychologists, and sociologists would become increasingly integral in US military operations and counterinsurgency campaigns, leading to controversy with the revelation of their complicity in acts of torture by the American military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Life and death in the camps is revealed in the previously mentioned reports of the Community Analysis Section, as well as in detailed reports of Americans of Japanese ancestry who died in the camps and in military service Cumulative
Casualties by Center, documents about Tule
Lake and a death there. The thoroughness of
these reports is undoubtedly of use to future
historians looking into various rebellions within
the camps and the repression which followed,
as well as deaths of Nissei in WWII.
A smaller collection of documents outlines the
closing of the camps and attempts to transition
their residents back to normal life.

Most are stapled mimeographed documents; a
few are carbon copy typescripts,as indicated in
their descriptions. Very Good condition overall.
Around ten of the documents are ex-library
copies with their stamps and "discard" written on
them. Occasional holograph notations for
routing in the WRA bureaucracy. Some
documents marked "Confidential" and "Do Not
Publish." Manuscript annotations to some

A remarkable collection of documents that
reveal not only what the WRA did, but how its
bureaucrats perceived it and themselves. There
is a strange but quintessentially American
mixture of professionalism, media savviness,
cruelty, optimism, and racism for historians and
researchers to study here, and, hopefully, for us
all to learn from.



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Burnside Rare Books, ABAA US (US)
Seller's Inventory #
Large Archive of Documents on Japanese Internment from the War Relocation Authority
The War Relocation Authority
Book Condition
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The War Relocation Authority
Place of Publication
[Various Places]
Date Published
War Relocation Authority, FDR, World War 2, WWII, Japanese internment, concentration camps, Dillon S. Myer, Milton Eisenhower, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Rohwer, Tule Lake, Manzanar, Minidoka, imprisonment, Japan, racism, WRA, documents, document, co

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About the Seller

Burnside Rare Books, ABAA

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2010
Portland, Oregon
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About Burnside Rare Books, ABAA

Burnside Rare Books specializes in literary first editions and works of cultural and historic significance. We are located in Portland, Oregon and welcome visitors by appointment.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

Very generally, "leaves" refers to the pages of a book, as in the common phrase, "loose-leaf pages." A leaf is a single sheet...

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