From 1942 to 1948, thousands of foreign-born American civilians were sent to an internment camp in Crystal City, Texas, where they were sometimes exchanged for other American POWs in Japan and Germany. Drawing upon government archives and interviews with surviving detainees, Jan Jarboe Russell's 2015 history is a portrait of a place of sorrow and injustice that nonetheless became a thriving community. Focusing her story on two teenage girls who were interned, Russell re-creates daily life in the camp, while exploring how the definition of American citizenship changed under the pressure of war.
"Jan Jarboe Russell has exposed a corner of American history that few knew existed, one that is at once bitter and transformative. The glory of this book is in the many human details so skillfully sketched, which add another chapter to the unending tally of war."óLawrence Wright