The Schooling of Japanese American Children at Relocation Centers During World War II
Miss Mabel Jamison and Her Teaching of Art at Rohwer, Arkansas. Studies in American History No. 57
The general story of education of Japanese Americans imprisoned in camps in this country during World War II has long been known. Little has been written, however, about the individual teachers who agreed to live and work with the students in the camps during the period of incarceration. The story of "Miss Jamison" and the education program in the prison camps at Rohwer and Jerome in Arkansas provides a fresh new view of a Caucasian teacher who came to work with a "strange" group of students, but who was herself educated in the process. Through evidence from Jamison's papers, contemporary documents, historical accounts, interviews with survivors and even from the students' art work Miss Jamison preserved, Ziegler creates a perceptive account of the wartime ordeal of the more than 110,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of them American citizens, from a unique point of view. This book is a moving and significant expansion of our knowledge of the human dimensions of a wartime tragedy, ranking with Thomas James's Exile Within and Karen L. Riley's Schools Behind Barbed Wire in the top tier of books on camp education.
As far as the literature pertaining to the Arkansas camps in general, Ziegler's book is in a class by itself. "Provides us with a new and fresh view of an American concentration camp, the view of a teacher who was herself educated by the experience."
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"Jan Ziegler's moving study of Mabel Rose Jamison Vogel, a southern white woman who chose to teach in one of the two camps for incarcerated Japanese Americans exiled from California and Hawaii during World War II, adds a new dimension to what was, until recently, a forgotten story.... Of the dozens of books written about the Japanese American experience, this is the only one about a teacher in the camps and one of the few written from the point of view of one of the Caucasian staff. This new and fresh view of a teacher who was herself educated by her teaching, is a moving and significant expansion of our knowledge of the human dimensions of a wartime tragedy." - Roger Daniels, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Cincinnati "Thanks to the remarkable "Life Interrupted" project, co-sponsored by the Public History program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and the Japanese American national Museum and funded by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, public knowledge of the two Japanese American concentration camps in World War II Arkansas and the education offered the 4,000 plus school-age children incarcerated there has been greatly enriched.... Jan Ziegler's stunning volume will be especially appealing to scholarly and lay readers alike. It ranks with Thomas James's Exile Within and Karen L. Riley's Schools Behind Barbed Wire in the top tier of books on camp education and is in a class by itself on the literature pertaining to the Arkansas camps in general." - Arthur A. Hansen, Director, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton"