Facing The Mountain
Daniel James Brown
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat comes the gripping untold story of one of the most heroic units that fought in World War II
On December 7th 1941, the Japanese Navy bombed Pearl Harbor. For many Americans, the surprise attack was a call to arms – but for the soldier sons of Japanese-American immigrant parents, it brought prejudice and scrutiny over where their loyalties lay.
In Facing the Mountain, Daniel James Brown tells the unforgettable story of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Japanese-American heroes who displayed incredible courage on the brutal battlefields of Europe. Achieving the impossible in often near-suicidal missions, including rescuing a ‘lost battalion’ surrounded by Nazis in the French mountains, the 442nd went on to become one of the most decorated units in history. Yet at the same time, their parents were put in camps and stripped of their livelihoods, and an equally brave battle was being fought in the courtroom back home.
A cinematic tour de force, Facing the Mountain puts a real-life band of brothers in the history books where they belong and reminds us that victory is rarely as simple as we think.
'My favourite kind of history book: grippingly written, full of incredible drama, and focussing on individuals rather than numbers and statistics. The 442nd Nisei Regiment who fought so brilliantly up through Italy really were forgotten heroes of a forgotten campaign, but through painstaking research and brilliant story-telling, Daniel James Brown has put the flesh back onto these men. Facing the Mountain is a terrific book' -- James Holland Masterful and beautifully written. Facing the Mountain is truly revelatory - secret history at its very best. Daniel James Brown's book tells of untold courage and sacrifice that should celebrated and never forgotten -- Damien Lewis 'Extraordinary ... the author is to be congratulated for bringing to life the story of these "forgotten heroes" of the Second World War. I can see the movie already' -- Saul David * The Times * 'This is the campaign diary of the one of the most forgotten, and important, minorities in the Allied Forces in the Second World War. Japanese-American soldiers and units fought across the Mediterranean, Western Europe and South East Asia, though more than 120,000 of their kin were detained as enemy aliens back home in the States. The book evokes the setting for desperate fighting with a terrific sense of location, and there are stories of heroism, danger, desperation and little deeds of common humanity - extraordinary actions by ordinary people, in the web of extraordinary times. The book is a wonderful testament to them all' -- Robert Fox, author of We Were There 'A masterwork of American history that will change the way we look at World War II. You don't just read a Daniel James Brown story - you go there. Facing the Mountain is lump-in-the-throat territory, page after page' -- Adam Makos, author of A Higher Call 'Daniel James Brown has done it again. A must-read contribution to the history of the 20th century. I'll never look at the World War II story in the same light' -- Timothy Egan 'Facing the Mountain arrives at the perfect time, to remind us of the true meaning of patriotism. In Daniel James Brown's gifted hands, these overlooked American heroes are getting the glory they deserve. Read this book and know their stories' -- Mitchell Zukoff, author of Lost in Shangri-La 'Riveting. Facing the Mountain is book that is as much about the present as it is about the past. In it are vital lessons about courage, truth, justice, and an abiding love of country. Drawing on impeccable historic research, the narrative movingly shines the light of history on prejudice and discrimination and the unfinished struggle for a more just future' -- Ann Burroughs, President & CEO, Japanese American National Museum 'This virtuoso history weaves together the experiences of Japanese-American soldiers fighting in Europe and their interned families back in the U.S. to create an illuminating and spirited portrait of courage under fire' (Starred Review) * Publishers Weekly * 'A must-read. You will not be able to put it down' -- Scott Oki 'A deft and ambitious storyteller' * New York Times Book Review * 'Daniel James Brown tackles this important story with the same impressive narrative talent and research that made The Boys in the Boat, an enduring bestseller ... The centerpieces of Facing the Mountain are the wrenching, on-the-ground descriptions of battles fought by the 442nd in Europe... every reader will admire the resilience that allowed these soldiers to create communities within the internment camps and to play such a pivotal role in the defeat of the Nazis' * BookPage * 'Facing the Mountain is more than just the story of a group of young men whose valor helped save a country that spurned them, it's a fascinating, expertly written look at selfless heroes who emerged from one of the darkest periods of American history - soldiers the likes of which this country may never see again' * NPR * 'Brown combines history with humanity in a tense, tender and well-researched study of the lives disrupted and disregarded by misperceptions and misinformation. Ain't no mountain high enough to keep young men such as Rudy Tokiwa of Salinas; 'Kats" Miho of Kahului, Hawaii; Fred Shiosaki of Spokane, Wash.; and Gordon Hirabayashi of Seattle from doing what is morally right' * San Francisco Chronicle * 'Rich storytelling and deep historical research about the Japanese American experience are the essence of Facing the Mountain. Although the book graphically describes the horrors of battle, it spotlights stories of heroism and endurance' * Christian Science Monitor *
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