Tokyo Rose/American Patriot: A Dual Biography

Tokyo Rose/An American Patriot by Frederick P Close

Tokyo Rose/An American Patriot by Frederick P Close

Tokyo Rose/An American Patriot tells two stories.  The first one about Iva Toguri, a Japanese American, stuck in Tokyo after the US declares war on Japan.  On the other the biography tells the reader about the mythical/ radio personality Tokyo Rose who taunted the US military.

The mythical propagandist and Iva Toguri became connected when she made the choice to tell reporters she was Tokyo Rose.  This choice began a snowball effect that led to US government charges of treason.

Originally Toguri was visiting family but with war and strict rationing it turned into a nightmare.  The Japanese police and military harassed her and her family  trying to get her to give up her US citizenship.  Again and again she refused their demands, instead she toed the line between loyalty to her nation and keeping herself protected from harm.  Eventually, she was forced to work at Radio Tokyo alongside POWs.

She never broadcast news on Tokyo Radio but instead did light commentary and played popular American music.  Unfortunately the Federal Broadcasting Intelligence Service or FBIS who recorded and transcribed all Japanese and Manila radio broadcasts destroyed nearly all recordings from the station where Toguri worked.    And so to prove the charges against the  U.S. government had to rely on several witnesses and on Toguri’s own statements to the press and investigators to prove their case.

This biography is really good and Close leaves just about every stone  turned and question imaginable gets an answer.   He also offers plenty of insight into the period in which Toguri lived.  And Close  has notes in two areas the index and at the end of each chapter citing the sources he drew from.

Tokyo Rose/American Patriot: A Dual Biography
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