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The Colonel and the Pacifist: Karl Bendetsen, Perry Saito and the Incarceration of the Japanese Americans during World War I

by Klancy Clark de Nevers

The Colonel and the Pacifist tells the story of two men, Karl Bendetsen and Perry Saito, caught up in one of the most infamous episodes in American history: the forced internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War.

In weaving together their contrasting stories, Klancy Clark de Nevers not only exposes unknown or little known aspects of World War II history, she also explores larger issues of racism and war that resonate through the years and ring eerily familiar to our post-9/11 ears.

The Colonel and the Pacifist shows what can go wrong when a country is beset by war hysteria and the civilian heads of the military are swayed by a persuasive officer to set up a program that trampled the rights of a whole ethnic group. No charges of subversion or sabotage were ever filed against any of the 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry who were forcibly removed from the West Coast and incarcerated "for the duration" in makeshift camps. (There were arrests for violating the exclusion order and later for refusing to be drafted from an internment camp, or for disruptive behavior within camps.)

 

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Cohassett Beach Chronicles: World War II in the Pacific Northwest  

edited by Klancy Clark de Nevers & Lucy Hart

AFTER THREE FAILED MARRIAGES, fifty-year-old Kathy Hogan was banished by her father to live at Cohassett Beach on the Washington coast. She lived frugally in a small cottage, cultivating her garden and writing for a weekly newspaper. With World War II as a backdrop, Hogan turned everyday incidents into entertaining articles for a column called "The Kitchen Critic," published weekly in Aberdeen's Grays Harbor Post.

In this collection of newspaper columns from December 1941 to August 1945, Hogan writes about the home front--sugar shortages, rationing, civil defense meetings, President and Eleanor Roosevelt, victory gardens, her neighbors' fear of being invaded, the Japanese, the soldiers stationed on the beach, and fishermen and cranberry growers.

Hogan's columns as presented in Cohassett Beach Chronicles offer a remarkable social history of the war at home. The attack on Pearl Harbor brought U.S. troops to Cohassett Beach and to towns up and down the West Coast. With wit and perception, Hogan writes of civilians valiantly coping with this friendly occupation and wartime scarcity.