Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II

Written by:
Daniel James Brown
Narrated by:
Louis Ozawa

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
May 2021
17 hours 40 minutes
One of NPR's 'Books We Love' of 2021
Longlisted for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography 

Winner of the Christopher Award 
“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.
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Lee W.

It's ok, not great. Given the subject, my expectations were pretty high.

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Malinda M.

A well researched, brilliantly told and enlightening story by a great story teller. Louis Ozawa's narration made the book come alive while I was on long walks and hikes. This book deserves to be listened to.

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Jack B.

Well researched by a great story teller. Americans abused and profiled by other Americans only because of birth. Yet they persevered and overcame to be the most decorated unit in all theaters of WW2. A story that needed to be told with pain, courage and humor.

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Bruce K.

After reading "The Boys in the Boat" I was excited to start "Facing the Mountain" but in this book, there are no heroes. Perhaps "Facing the Mountain" covers too many ideas and has too many characters and as a in all wars, the heroes are dead and the Japanese internment remains a blot on the pages of American history. There are stories of the first fortifications after Pearl Harbor in Hawaii being dug by Japanese boy scouts. There are cases of Japanese returning from the concentration camps to houses that are maintained as new and being handed bank deposit books with all the profits that their farms had made during the internment. These stories are not told here. The stories told here are the hateful racism and the waste of war. Anyone who has served during times of conflict knows these stories all too well but the reason for participating in any conflict is the small victories that each person achieves for themselves. The 442nd may have been the most decorated unit in World War II but even that was late, an congressional afterthought.

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David P.

Great book!

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