The impeccably researched, deeply moving, never-before-told tale about a World War II incarceration camp in Wyoming and its extraordinary high-school football team--for fans of The Boys in the Boat and The Storm on Our Shores.s.
Although the Heart Mountain Eagles are at the figurative center of this book, sports fans seeking football history will find themselves searching for even the mention of a ball within the first half. Contrary to what the title implies, the football team is a secondary focus. However, when the sports writing does pop up, it is nothing short of glorious ... Using meticulous research and a whole lot of heart, Pearson gives a devastatingly powerful history of Japanese American internment and demonstrates its absurdity with the tale of an undeniably all-American football team ... Though there is not as much football as the title seems to promise, this is an inspired and necessary work of history.
... an engrossing and accomplished debut work of nonfiction ... Bradford Pearson shines light on a little-known chapter of World War II resistance on the homefront. He sets the stage by confronting the inaccurate vocabulary used to describe the forcible relocation of 120,000 people of Japanese descent in the 1940s, rejecting the commonly used 'internment' in favor of the more accurate term 'incarceration.' ... Based on meticulous archival research and interviews with surviving family members, Pearson’s narrative provides the political context for the incarceration of Japanese civilians while bringing readers into the lives of several of the teens who came of age in the camp ... Pearson’s tale goes beyond a simple feel-good sports story to encompass the complex political and racial justice issues of the time ... an inspiring exploration of resistance and a timely examination of how the policy of Japanese incarceration impacted the lives of young people and their families.
Pearson tells the moving story of the Heart Mountain Eagles, a high school football team organized at the camp. In telling the story of the team and the internment camp itself, Pearson describes ongoing fear, racism, and discrimination, especially as surrounding rural, white communities in Wyoming refused to play against the team ... This well-written and researched book will strongly appeal to those interested in U.S. history and civil rights.