Foreword Reviews

They Called Us Enemy

They Call Us Enemy cover


A stirring call to learn from history we do not wish to repeat, George Takei’s graphic memoir They Called Us Enemy relays a story not easily forgotten, but too often ignored. The soft lines and subtle gray textures of the black-and-white illustrations sit at odds with the harrowing details they convey as Takei recounts his childhood spent as one of the 120,000 Japanese Americans held in American concentration camps during World War II. These American citizens were stripped of all but what they could carry, their homes and additional belongings seized and their assets frozen as they were marched at gunpoint away from the lives they had built and into the shadows of guard towers. Takei—only four years old when his family was first imprisoned—recounts these years through the eyes of the child he was, setting the stage for how these experiences impacted his young adulthood, university years, and eventual Hollywood success. A cogent reminder that liberty and justice is not always for all, They Called Us Enemy explores a dark episode of America’s past as it dives into the heart of a pop culture icon.

They Called Us Enemy, George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, authors; Harmony Becker, illustrator, Top Shelf Productions, Softcover $19.99 (208pp), 978-1-60309-450-4

Danielle Ballantyne

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