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The Spoilage. Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement.

Thomas, Dorothy Swaine & Richard S. Nishimoto

  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Published: 1946 , Berkeley and Los Angeles
Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1946. Octavo. Original red cloth, titles to spine and upper board gilt. With the dust jacket. 2 photographic plates, charts and diagrams within the text. Damp spots to the faded spine, partial fading of the boards, contents toned. A very good copy in the rubbed and partially toned jacket with three vertical creases from folding. First edition, first printing of this important work on the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War. Presentation copy inscribed by Thomas on the front free endpaper, "With deep appreciation and sincere regard — Dorothy Swaine Thomas" and also signed by co-author Richard S. Nishimoto. Rare in the dust jacket and signed. Almost as soon as Japanese internment was begun "a group of University of California social scientists, sensing the enormity of the outrage, organized in 1942 to record and analyze the causes, legal and social consequences, and long-term effects of the detention program. The Spoilage, one of a series of books which resulted, analyzes the experiences of that part of the detained group-some 18,000 in total-whose response was to renounce America as a homeland; it shows the steps by which these "disloyal" citizens were inexorably pushed toward the disaster of denationalization. Essentially the result of years of research by participant observers of Japanese ancestry, it is a factual record of enduring value to the student of America's troubled ethnic relations" (University of California Press). Co-author Dorothy Swaine Thomas (1899-1977) was a respected sociologist who attended Columbia University and the London School of Economics, then spent much of her career at Yale, where she became director of research in social science, and the University of Pennsylvania. "Her research interests were social demography, population change and economics development, and migration studies" (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 1280). Richard Shigeaki Nishimoto (1904-56) was born in Japan in 1904 and immigrated to the US with his parents at age 17. He earned an engineering degree at Stanford in 1929, but struggled to find work due to anti-Japanese prejudice. Nishimoto was "probably the most cited Issei author who wrote on the camps in English—specifically on the WRA camp known as Tule Lake. Educated in both Japan and the USA, Nishimoto distinguished himself as the only Issei to be employed full-time as a researcher for the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS). He was also the only Japanese American co-author of any of the JERS publications, authoring The Spoilage (1946) with JERS director Dorothy S. Thomas. Besides being an Issei, Nishimoto was atypical of JERS researchers in that he was an active community leader in Poston, and thus drew from a unique point of view as both an 'insider,' and an 'analytic' observer" (Densho Encyclopedia).

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