One of NPR's Books We Love of 2021
"Masterly. An epic story of four Japanese-American families and their sons who volunteered for military service and displayed uncommon heroism... Propulsive and gripping, in part because of Mr. Brown's ability to make us care deeply about the fates of these individual soldiers...a page-turner." - Wall Street Journal
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat, a gripping World War II saga of patriotism and resistance, focusing on four Japanese American men and their families, and the contributions and sacrifices that they made for the sake of the nation.
In the days and months after Pearl Harbor, the lives of Japanese Americans across the continent and Hawaii were changed forever. In this unforgettable chronicle of war-time America and the battlefields of Europe, Daniel James Brown portrays the journey of Rudy Tokiwa, Fred Shiosaki, and Kats Miho, who volunteered for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and were deployed to France, Germany, and Italy, where they were asked to do the near impossible. Brown also tells the story of these soldiers' parents, immigrants who were forced to submit to life in concentration camps on U.S. soil. Woven throughout is the chronicle of Gordon Hirabayashi, one of a cadre of patriotic resisters who stood up against their government in defense of their own rights. Whether fighting on battlefields or in courtrooms, these were Americans under unprecedented strain, doing what Americans do best--striving, resisting, pushing back, rising up, standing on principle, laying down their lives, and enduring.
Daniel James Brown has done it again. HIs rich, nuanced recreation of the dark years when thousands of our fellow citizens were incarcerated because of their ancestry is a must-read contribution to the history of the 20th century. It's also uplifting. I'll never look at the World War II story in the same light. --Timothy Egan, author of The Worst Hard Time
"A must-read. You will not be able to put it down." --Scott Oki, former VP Microsoft, Founder, Densho
"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 Zuckoff, author of Lost in Shangri-La"Daniel James Brown brings to life the gripping true story of Japanese Americans whose steely heroism fought Nazism abroad and racism at home. Bound by Japanese values of filial piety, giri (social obligation) and gaman (endurance) and forged in the crucible of brutal combat, the soldiers served the very country that locked their families in American concentration camps for no crime other than looking like the enemy while camp resisters fought for justice denied." --Lori L. Matsukawa, News anchor, KING TV, Seattle
"This book's breadth and depth are unparalleled as it poignantly traces the Japanese American thread in the rich fabric of America. We meet compelling individuals, witness war's horrors and celebrate moments of triumph of the human spirit. The author vividly describes communities confronting prejudice with resilience and patriotism, surviving and ultimately having the opportunity to thrive." --Terry Shima, T/4, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
"Riveting. Facing the Mountain is a 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