Allegiance (book)


Title Allegiance
Author Kermit Roosevelt
Publisher Regan Arts
Publication Date 2015
Pages 392

Historical mystery novel set during World War II against the backdrop of the Supreme Court and the Japanese American cases. Its protagonist is Caswell "Cash" Harrison, a young Columbia Law School graduate when the war begins from a prominent Philadelphia family. Though eager to enlist after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he flunks his army physical. However, opportunity soon knocks in the form of an invitation to become a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black. In his year working under Black, he begins to notice some suspicious goings on at the court and when a fellow clerk is found dead in his office, Cash suspects murder. Wanting to remain in Washington in part to investigate the death, he lands a job as a lawyer for the Justice Department, where he becomes involved in the Japanese American cases, being assigned to defend them in the courts despite his growing conviction that what the government did was wrong. His further investigation into the cases—including a couple of trips to Tule Lake—along with other goings on the capitol—shake Cash's core beliefs about the country and his privileges position in it. The novel is populated with a wide range of historical figures from the Supreme Court, Justice Department, War Department, and FBI, and actions attributed to Cash in the novel were performed in history by James Rowe, John Burling, Tom Clark, and Wayne Collins.

Historical Figures Who Are Characters in Book

Major Characters

Francis Biddle: U.S. attorney general
John Hall: army lawyer
Cissy Patterson: owner of the Washington Times-Herald
Joe Patterson: Cissy's brother and business magnate

Significant Role Players

(Appear in more than one scene and/or have significant speaking roles)
Karl Bendetsen: army lawyer and key architect of mass removal
Raymond Best: director of Tule Lake
Edward Ennis: Justice Department lawyer, head of the Alien Enemy Control Unit
Charles Fahy: solicitor general who prosecuted Japanese American cases before Supreme Court
Louis Goodman: federal judge in California who presided over Tule Lake draft resistance trial
J. Edgar Hoover: director of FBI
Masaaki Kurwabara: lead Tule Lake draft resistance defendant
Blaine McGowan: lawyer brought in by Judge Goodman to defend Tule Lake draft resisters
Marvin Opler: community analyst at Tule Lake
Drew Pearson: well known journalist
Eleanor Jackson Piel: clerk to Judge Goodman
Emmet Seawell: prosecuted Tule Lake draft resisters
Clyde Tolson: top aide to Hoover at FBI
Ernest Kinzo Wakayama: Tule Lake renunciant leader
Herbert Wechsler: law professor and Justice Dept. lawyer

Minor Characters

John Burling: Justice Department lawyer; assistant director, Alien Enemy Control Unit
Nanette Dembitz: Justice Department lawyer
Harold Evans: Hirabayashi lawyer
Arthur Hill: lawyer assigned to defend Tule Lake draft resisters
Charles Horskey: ACLU lawyer who was part of Supreme Court defense team for Endo and Korematsu
Chester Monette: lawyer assigned to defend Tule Lake draft resisters
James Purcell: represented Endo before Supreme Court
James Rowe: assistant attorney general
Henry Stimson: secretary of war

Authored by Brian Niiya, Densho

For More Information

Footnotes