On American Soil: How Justice Became a Casualty of World War II

Paperback | March 5, 2007

byJack Hamann

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During the night of August 14, 1944, an Italian prisoner of war was lynched on the Fort Lawton army base in Seattle--a murder that shocked the nation and the international community. It was a time of deep segregation in the army, and the War Department was quick to charge three African American soldiers with first-degree murder, although there was no evidence linking them to the crime. Forty other black soldiers faced lesser charges over the incident, launching one of the largest and longest army trials of World War II.

In this harrowing story of race, privilege, and power, Jack Hamann explores the most overlooked civil rights event in American history. On American Soil raises important questions about how justice is carried out when a country is at war, offering vital lessons on the tensions between national security and individual rights.

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During the night of August 14, 1944, an Italian prisoner of war was lynched on the Fort Lawton army base in Seattle--a murder that shocked the nation and the international community. It was a time of deep segregation in the army, and the War Department was quick to charge three African American soldiers with first-degree murder, althou...

From the Jacket

In describing the World War II murder charge of three African American soldiers in the lynching of an Italian prisoner of war, Harmann tells a harrowing story of race, privelege, and power. On American Soil raises important questions about how justice is carried out when a country is at war, offering vital lessons on the tensions betw...

Jack Hamann has been a news reporter, network correspondent, and documentary producer for more than two decades and has served most recently as Seattle bureau chief for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. He has won ten Emmy Awards for his work. On American Soil won the 2005 Investigative Reporters and Editors Book Award; previous winners i...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.29 × 5.94 × 0.87 inPublished:March 5, 2007Publisher:University Of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295987057

ISBN - 13:9780295987057

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Table of Contents

Preface to the 2007 EditionAuthor's NoteU.S. Army Ranks during World War IIPrologue: August 15, 19441. Camp Florence: June 19442. Fort Lawton: June 19443. Mollycoddling: July 19444. The Life of Reilly: Early August 19445. Riot: August, 14, 19446. Bad Press: Late August 19447. Cookie: September 19448. Jaworski: October 19449. Beeks: Early November 194410. Prosecution: Late November 194411. Defense: Early December 194412. Verdict: Late December 1944EpilogueNotes of SourcesBibliographyAcknowledgmentsIndex

Editorial Reviews

During the night of August 14, 1944, an Italian prisoner of war was lynched on the Fort Lawton army base in Seattle--a murder that shocked the nation and the international community. It was a time of deep segregation in the army, and the War Department was quick to charge three African American soldiers with first-degree murder, although there was no evidence linking them to the crime. Forty other black soldiers faced lesser charges over the incident, launching one of the largest and longest army trials of World War II.In this harrowing story of race, privilege, and power, Jack Hamann explores the most overlooked civil rights event in American history. On American Soil raises important questions about how justice is carried out when a country is at war, offering vital lessons on the tensions between national security and individual rights.Rarely has a book inspired legislation in the U.S. Congress, but that is exactly what happened with Jack Hamann's On American Soil. I had barely finished reading it before I instructed my staff to introduce legislation directing the Secretary of the Army to re—open the cases of the African American soldiers, find the truth, and correct any injustice found. This is an important book, and I hope many more people have the opportunity to read it. - Congressman Jim McDermott