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The Train to Crystal City Audiobook

The Train to Crystal City: FDR's Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America's Only Family Internment Camp During World War II

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Publisher's Summary

The dramatic and never-before-told story of a secret FDR-approved American internment camp in Texas during World War II, where thousands of families - many US citizens - were incarcerated.

From 1942 to 1948, trains delivered thousands of civilians from the United States and Latin America to Crystal City, Texas, a small desert town at the southern tip of Texas. The trains carried Japanese, German, and Italian immigrants, and their American-born children. The only family internment camp during World War II, Crystal City was the center of a government prisoner exchange program called "quiet passage". During the course of the war, hundreds of prisoners in Crystal City, including their American-born children, were exchanged for other more important Americans - diplomats, businessmen, soldiers, physicians, and missionaries - behind enemy lines in Japan and Germany.

Focusing her story on two American-born teenage girls who were interned, author Jan Jarboe Russell uncovers the details of their years spent in the camp; the struggles of their fathers; their families' subsequent journeys to war-devastated Germany and Japan; and their years-long attempt to survive and return to the United States, transformed from incarcerated enemies to American loyalists. Their stories of day-to-day life at the camp, from the 10-foot high security fence to the armed guards, daily roll call, and censored mail, have never been told.

Combining big-picture World War II history with a little-known event in American history that has long been kept quiet, The Train to Crystal City reveals the war-time hysteria against the Japanese and Germans in America, the secrets of FDR's tactics to rescue high-profile POWs in Germany and Japan, and how the definition of American citizenship changed under the pressure of war.

©2015 Jan Jarboe Russell (P)2015 Recorded Books

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    Michael 01-01-16
    Michael 01-01-16 Member Since 2012

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    I didn't know much about this before I listened to the book, and I did learn a bit, but overall I found it to be a glossed-over, cliche-laden, ``morning television`` presentation of a significant topic, read in the style of a children`s storyteller, and I was glad to reach the end.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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