Rebel Lawyer: Wayne Collins and the Defense of Japanese American Rights

Rebel Lawyer: Wayne Collins and the Defense of Japanese American Rights
Hardcover, 5.5 x 8, 160 pages.
ISBN: 9781597144360.

By Charles Wollenberg

Winner of the 2017 California Historical Society Book Award! 

Fred Korematsu, Iva Toguri (alias Tokyo Rose), Japanese Peruvians, and five thousand Americans who renounced their citizenship under duress: Rebel Lawyer tells the story of the key cases pertaining to the World War II incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry and the trial attorney who defended them. Wayne Collins made a somewhat unlikely hero. An Irish American lawyer with a volatile temper, Collins’s passionate commitment to the nation’s constitutional principles put him in opposition to not only the United States government but also groups that acquiesced to internment such as the national office of the ACLU and the leadership of the Japanese American Citizens League. Through careful research and legal analysis, Charles Wollenberg takes readers through each case, and offers readers an understanding of how Collins came to be the most effective defender of the rights and liberties of the West Coast’s Japanese and Japanese American population. Wollenberg portrays Collins not as a white knight but as a tough, sometimes difficult man whose battles gave people of Japanese descent the foundation on which to construct their own powerful campaigns for redress.

Reviews

“A seminal work of simply outstanding scholarship.” Midwest Book Review
“Elegantly written.... The past is, as they say, prologue—and Rebel Lawyer establishes that point.” Richard Dean, The Federal Lawyer
“Packs a wallop.” Jonah Raskin, San Francisco Chronicle
+ Show all reviews

About the Author

Charles Wollenberg

Charles Wollenberg

Charles Wollenberg, former Chair of Social Sciences and Professor of History at Berkeley City College, is coeditor, with Marcia A. Eymann, of What’s Going On? California and the Vietnam Era (University of California Press, 2004) and author of Marinship at War: Shipbuilding and Social Change in Wartime Sausalito (Western Heritage, 1990) and Berkeley: A City in History (University of California Press, 2008).

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