Race, Rights, and Reparation book cover

The second edition of the seminal book Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment has been published by Aspen Publishers. The book was coauthored by University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law’s Eric K. Yamamoto, Seattle University School of Law’s Margaret Chon, University of California, Los Angeles’ Jerry Kang and University of California Hastings College of Law’s Carol Izumi and Frank H. Wu.

The first book of its kind dedicated to the legal history of Asian-American civil liberties, it provides in-depth analysis of the legal battles that Asian Americans have faced over the 20th century. In doing so, the new edition incorporates discussion of contemporary issues of national security, civil liberties and redress for historic injustice in a post 9/11 global environment.

“Key among the many strengths of this book is how it uses deep understanding of the Asian-American experience to illuminate crucial civil liberties and civil rights matters that affect us all,” said Avi Soifer, dean of the School of Law. “In fact, this book does even more through its innovative insights concerning the crucial issue of how we might remedy past wrongs.”

The book's publication comes on the heels of the recent creation of the Civil Liberties and the Constitution Day of Observance by the Hawai'i State Legislature, which was inspired by the journey of Japanese Americans who fought against forced internment during World War II. Yamamoto worked on the 1980s coram nobis reopening of the case of Fred Korematsu, one of several American citizens incarcerated for fighting internment.

“As a member of the team that worked on the Korematsu coram nobis writ, and now a civil rights law professor, I've brought to the project both an insider’s ‘political lawyering’ insights and a scholar’s theoretical assessments about the internment cases’ impact,” said Yamamoto. “Indeed, those cases influence both the tenor of national security/civil liberties tensions in post 9/11 America and the shape of present-day redress/reconciliation initiatives in the U.S. and beyond.”

The breadth of experience between the coauthors results in a diverse set of analytical viewpoints, each of which supports the rigorous standard of scholarship present in Race, Rights and Reparation. The outcome is a text with insights that are widely applicable to different legal and scholarly arenas.

Two chapters of the book are available for free download.

Read the UH Mānoa news release for more about Race, Rights and Reparation.

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