The Eagles of Heart Mountain: A True Story of Football, Incarceration, and Resistance in World War II America

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The Eagles of Heart Mountain tells the story of one of the darkest times in American history. In the spring of 1942, 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced from their homes and their lives and relocated into concentration camps. By August of the same year, 14,000 found themselves in northwest Wyoming at the base of Heart Mountain. In their new homes, the “incarcerees” faced harsh winters and an even harsher racist and xenophobic political climate, all while trying to recreate any sense of comfort. In the fall of 1943, the camp’s high school fielded its first football team, the Eagles. For the next two seasons, the Eagles crush the competition against the predominantly white nearby high schools.

Bradford Pearson doesn’t skim over the events and controversies leading up to EO 9066, which was grounded in anti-Asian racist hysteria. The Eagles of Heart Mountain is a great read because it centers on the Japanese American story and illustrates the texture of everyday life in and out of the camps. Against the backdrop of ostracism and hatred, Japanese American families made the best out of a tragic situation. Pearson highlights inspiring stories of triumph and resilience in this well-researched book. Young Japanese American boys found camaraderie and healthy competition in sports to help them survive the pain of exclusion that treats Asians as perpetual foreigners.


Reviewed By:

Author Bradford Pearson
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 400 pages
Publisher Atria Books
Publish Date 2021-Jan-05
ISBN 9781982107031
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2021
Category History
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