Gulf Coast Reads The Train to Crystal City by Jan Jarboe Russell

Gulf Coast Reads starts October 1. There will be special events, author visits, and, of course, lively discussions all across southeast Texas.

Gulf Coast Reads Events Calendar 
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Jan Jarboe has written a

Jan Jarboe has written a masterfully structured and exhaustively researched book on a little-known program during World War 2: the internment of Japanese and German legal aliens and their American citizen children in camps across the US. These prisoners later became part of an exchange program with Japan and Germany, whether they wanted to or not. Jarboe doesn't just evoke what life was like in the Crystal City camps, she recreates it. You are lining up for roll call each morning. You feel the summer heat that only South Texas can produce. You rejoice at every little concession the camp manager makes to help the people interred. The story of the people involved, from President Roosevelt on down the chain of command to the camp manager to the internees themselves. Russell writes from carefully researched archives as well as interviews with camp survivors. And they are survivors. The instant they entered the internment system, they lost everything they had worked so hard to acquire in the US. They had to start over, whether they were lucky enough to remain in the US or were shipped back to their war-torn country of origin. Many did not recover. Some did but were irrevocably scarred, mentally, physically, and financially. Their American-born children never forgot the lessons they learned from their experience. The people, places, and policies described in Jan Jarboe Russell's book will stay with you long after you finish the book. It is well worth riding on The Train to Crystal City.

Well said! We hope you will

Well said! We hope you will make a point to attend a GCR book discussion!

I really enjoyed listening to

I really enjoyed listening to this book. It was very eye opening, things I never learned in school.

Great! We hope you'll be able

Great! We hope you'll be able to attend one of Jan Jarboe Russell's appearances. There is so much she learned in interviews and research that she just couldn't fit in the book.


I love history, and Crystal

I love history, and Crystal City Internment was something I didn't know about. I was excited when I started reading to learn more. But, I found the book to be tedious, jumping backward and forward in dates and detailing information that didn't seem to have much to do with Crystal City. Disappointed.