Facing the Mountain

by Brown, Daniel James
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Brown, Daniel James Facing the Mountain
Brown, Daniel James - Facing the Mountain

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"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 "A masterwork of American history that will change the way we look at World War II."-Adam Makos, author of A Higher Call From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat, a gripping World War II saga of patriotism, highlighting the contributions and sacrifices that Japanese immigrants and their American-born children made for the sake of the nation: the courageous Japanese-American Army unit that overcame brutal odds in Europe; their families, incarcerated back home; and a young man who refused to surrender his constitutional rights, even if it meant imprisonment. They came from across the continent and Hawaii. Their parents taught them to embrace both their Japanese heritage and the ways of America. They faced bigotry, yet they believed in their bright futures as American citizens. But within days of Pearl Harbor, the FBI was ransacking their houses and locking up their fathers. And within months many would themselves be living behind barbed wire.Facing the Mountain is an unforgettable chronicle of war-time America and the battlefields of Europe. Based on Daniel James Brown's extensive interviews with the families of the protagonists as well as deep archival research, it portrays the kaleidoscopic journey of four Japanese-American families and their sons, who volunteered for 442nd Regimental Combat Team and were deployed to France, Germany, and Italy, where they were asked to do the near impossible.But this is more than a war story. Brown also tells the story of these soldiers' parents, immigrants who were forced to shutter the businesses, surrender their homes, and submit to life in concentration camps on U.S. soil. Woven throughout is the chronicle of a brave young man, 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.


Brown, Daniel James

Further information

Illustrations Note:
Biography Artist:
Daniel James Brown is the author of The Indifferent Stars Above and Under a Flaming Sky, which was a finalist for the B&N Discover Great New Writers Award, as well as The Boys in the Boat, a New York Times bestselling book that was awarded the ALA's Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. He has taught writing at San José State University and Stanford University. He lives outside Seattle.
One of Slate's "Father s Day Gifts for Even the Hardest-to-Buy-for Dad"

"The story of the fearless men of the 442nd Regiment feels especially relevant, with Asian Americans once again under attack." New York Post

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.org
Masterly An epic story of four Japanese-American families and their sons who volunteered for military service and displayed uncommon heroism and grit to serve their country... propulsive and gripping read it s a page-turner a testament to Mr. Brown s storytelling gifts. Wall Street Journal

Brown combines history with humanity in a tense, tender and well-researched study of the lives disrupted and disregarded by misperceptions and misinformation. Facing the Mountain is   not a story about victims, as Brown writes. Rather, It s a story of victors, of people striving, resisting, rising up, standing on principle, laying down their lives, enduring and prevailing. San Francisco Chronicle

Facing the Mountain promises the story of the legendary 442nd Infantry Regiment during World War II. It delivers much more Daniel James Brown shows us what America looks like to an immigrant or member of an ethnic minority .Brown s vivid narrative tells a more important story about heroism and sacrifice, one that should be read by anyone who hopes to understand more about the greatest generation and American history" Army Magazine

This is 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 a way of wrapping himself around a big and complicated subject with such subtlety and grace that we don t at first realize how fast the pages are turning, or how much fascinating material we've absorbed. In Facing the Mountain, all the skills of this master storyteller are once again on display, as he surely leads us to the emotional heart of a fraught and sprawling World War II story most of us knew nothing about." Hampton Sides, NYT bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and On Desperate Ground

The loyal and often heroic service of Japanese American soldiers is one of history s most inspiring responses to bigotry and oppression.  Daniel James Brown brilliantly pairs these events in an epic of courage and resistance. David Laskin, author of The Long Way Home

  Facing the Mountain proves that the savagery of war isn t restricted to foreign battlefields. Many went to war - those who remained incarcerated endured the wrath of their fellow countrymen.  It is said that to be an American we should strive to live life worthy of the sacrifices of those who came before us. Our bearing with each other is dependent on it.
Lt Col Michael J. Yaguchi, USAF (ret), Commander, Nisei Veterans Committee
"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

Brown chronicles in this this bravura account the experiences of Japanese American soldiers and their families during WWII. . . . The result is an illuminating and spirited portrait of courage under fire. Publishers Weekly, starred review
A deep and richly detailed examination of indelible decisions and events that tarnished the legacy of America's role in WWII, the internment of Japanese Americans. . . . A compelling and impressively redefining work on an often over-simplified and always consequential subject. . . . This should also be read by all who are pondering the true meaning of patriotism. Booklist, starred review
International edition
Just before dawn on the morning of October 18, Fred Shiosaki crawled out of a dank pup tent, strapped a mortar tube on his back, grabbed his rifle, and began to walk toward the battle. With the other two battalions still fighting for control of the hills around town, Colonel Pence had ordered the Third Battalion to make a frontal attack on the German forces in Bruyères, liberate the town, and then advance toward the village of Belmont to the northeast. George Montana Oiye hoisted a carbine and fell in alongside Fred. He d been temporarily assigned to K Company to serve as their forward observer in the event that they needed artillery support from the 522nd while making their assault.
As K Company spread out, moving through dense stands of pine, the sounds of the battle ahead of them were oddly muffled. A thick gray fog made it hard to see more than a dozen yards in any direction. Fred s breath issued forth in small white clouds. His footfall was nearly inaudible, softened by thick piles of wet moss on the forest floor. The moss worried Fred. He had been warned that the Germans had hidden hundreds of Bouncing Betty mines in the stuff, and he feared those almost as much as he feared the deadly 88-millimeter shells that he knew might come shrieking at them out of the fog at any minute.
But when K Company finally emerged from the woods and entered the
flatter, more open terrain immediately in front of the town, everything around them seemed to explode. The roar of the battle engulfed them. Fred stumbled forward over muddy furrows in an open field. Bullets whipped by on both sides of him. Incoming shells whistled over his head. Columns of black earth and fractured yellow stone erupted in front of him and behind him.  Wounded horses in a nearby barn screamed. Searing-hot shards of shrapnel flew in all directions, making weird fluttering sounds. The smell of explosives and diesel and mud and blood
filled the air.
Fred and the men near him dropped and began to crawl forward on their bellies as streams of machine gun fire poured from the windows of nearby farmhouses and machine-gun nests hidden behind stone garden walls. But returning the fire, lobbing mortars at the buildings, firing bazookas, and throwing hand grenades, K Company kept moving forward, assaulting each machine-gun nest in turn, concentrating their fire on it until it was silenced, then moving on to the next.
On the outskirts of town, they came across a wide bend in a road. Sergeant George Iwamoto, squad leader and one of Fred s closest friends a kotonk through and through, a kindred spirit from the east- ern side of Washington State raised his hand to pause his men and get their attention. He didn t like the looks of the place. He wanted them out of there as quickly as possible. He stood up, started waving his hands, bellowing, Come on, you guys, come on! urging them to cross the road quickly. Fred hunched over and ran for it. He made it across. They all did except one. Just as Iwamoto began to follow the last of his men across, a shell landed right behind him, hurling him forward a dozen feet, shattering his spine, paralyzing him from the waist down. Seeing his friend there, sprawled out on the road in the rain, bloodied, desperately trying to crawl forward, dragging his legs, helpless, Fred felt suddenly and overwhelmingly sick to his stomach. For a moment, he closed his eyes and slumped against a stone wall. Like everyone else, he wanted to turn and run from this place, from the horror. Like everyone else, he didn t. A medic dragged Iwamoto off the road. The rest of them got up
and moved on.
At the entrance to the town itself, they faced a barricade a road- block built of enormous logs, timbers, and boulders that the Germans had chained together and intertw
Number of Pages:
Media Type:
Penguin Random House

Master Data

Product Type:
Hardback book
Release date:
11 May 2021
Package Dimensions:
0.228 x 0.151 x 0.034 m; 0.7 kg
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