Review by Choice Review
Briones (Univ. of Chicago) explores the meanings of race, democracy, and citizenship in the WW II era through the life and writings of Charles Kikuchi, a son of Japanese immigrants who was interned at Gila, Arizona, and relocated to Chicago's South Side. The author examines the 40-plus years of the Kikuchi diaries and revisits the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS) to document Kikuchi's growing awareness of the parallels between Nisei and African American situations and his development of a racially inclusive definition of Americanism and to investigate the home front's "unprecedented level of interracial interactions." Kikuchi was but one of many writers and thinkers in the study who attempted to fashion a multiethnic and multiracial democracy. Of significant value is how Briones "maps" the intellectual discourses about interracialism and multiculturalism in what he terms the "Common Ground School," which included, among others, Louis Adamic, Carlos Bulosan, Carey McWilliams, Nisei intellectuals, and African American progressives. The study reveals a "remarkable web of interconnections" among activists, social scientists, and journalists in the 1940s who, like Kikuchi, found great promise in "unity within diversity." Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. R. A. Batch Widener University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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