Manzanar

Ansel Adams, Author, Ansel Adams, Photographer, John Armor, With Crown Publishers $27.5 (167p) ISBN 978-0-8129-1727-7
Hersey calls it ``the bitterest shame of the Second World War for the sweet land of liberty'': the mass incarceration, on racial grounds and false evidence of military necessity, of an entire class of American citizens. Adams, then already an internationally known photographer, was invited by the camp director in 1943 to make a pictorial record of Manzanar, one of the two ``relocation centers'' in California where Japanese Americans were held throughout the war. The 100 photos reproduced here, his sole venture into the documentary field, are memorable for their straightforward depiction of the conditions under which the detainees lived out their spartan existence in stoic dignity. Written by Armor, an attorney, and Associate Press photo-editor Wright, the text, a brief but eloquent account of an unprecedented American social crime, includes the later stories of individuals who served time at Manzanar: a Cub Scout who went on to become a member of congress, another boy who would become a disabled U.S. Navy veteran, a young woman who became a doctor. On August 10, 1988, President Reagan signed legislation offering $20,000 in reparations to each survivor of the camps: ``We gather here today to right a grave wrong.'' First serial to the New York Times; BOMC alternate. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
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