The photographs above appear in my book Discriminating Views: Documentary Photography and Japanese American Internment, published in January of 2016. Click here to order your copy now. This new work focuses on photographers hired by the War Relocation Authority (WRA) and shows how their images were shaped by the government’s need to explain and justify the evacuation, confinement and eventual resettlement of over 110,000 Japanese Americans. Read more about Discriminating Views.
Discriminating Views is available for sale.
Click here to order your copy now.
I firmly believe my book speaks to present day concerns about the treatment of ethnic and racial minorities in the United States. The more than seventy documentary photographs in the book offer graphic evidence of the federal government’s attempt to justify the mass incarceration of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. Approximately two thirds of the internees were American citizens
Early Praise for Discriminating Views
“To the controversial subject of the forced relocation of Japanese Americans during World War II, historian James C. Curtis brings an astute, experienced eye to the unique photographic archives that chronicle this ordeal. As in his earlier studies of Depression-eras photography, his re-reading of images made famous by photographers like Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams as well as the lesser known Japanese American Hikaru Iwasaki illuminates the frame of ideology and race that focused their work. The book obliges the reader/viewer to re-think the underlying values of America’s war against fascism.” Peter N. Carroll, author of From Guernica to Human Rights, Essays on the Spanish Civil War.
In its brief history, Discriminating Views has already reached a national audience.
The Museum Store of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles has recently ordered multiple copies of Discriminating Views to accompany two photographic exhibits that open in late February, one a which focuses on Ansel Adams’s images of Manzanar, a subject that I cover in some detail in the book. The store will continue to carry the book at the end of the exhibits and it will be available in their online catalog. Similar arrangements are in the works with the Museum Stores at two former Internment centers, Heart Mountain in Wyoming and Manzanar in California.