Communication Scholars Connect Clashing
Cultures of World War II in a New Book

July 6th, 2006
ICA Newsletter online, University of New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico's Sunstone press has published a new book co-authored by the late Everett M. Rogers and Nancy R. Bartlit: Silent Voices of World War II: When the Sons of the Land of Enchantment Met the Sons of the Land of the Rising Sun. In the book, the authors focus on issues of intercultural communication during WWII between New Mexicans and Japanese, two different cultures from opposite sides of prison barbed-wire fences that came into contact during warfare. The differences in these two cultures led to heightened prejudice and violent acts, with both the United States and Japan violating the Geneva Convention. Silent Voices of World War II reveals the connections and contributions of New Mexico to the Pacific War. The New Mexico National Guard was the first military unit to fight the Japanese. The atomic bomb was developed at a secret laboratory in Los Alamos, and tested at a site near Alamogordo. Navajo Code Talkers helped capture bases from which B-29s bombed Japanese cities. Santa Fe was the site of an internment camp for Japanese Americans classified by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation as dangerous enemy aliens. The authors of Silent Voices of World War II use extensive historical records from archives around the U.S., tap their interpersonal networks to obtain photographs and other historical materials never before seen by the public, and conduct interviews with key informants whose voices humanize this era of history. ❇

The ICA Newsletter thanks Corinne Shefner-Rogers (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University of Bloomberg School of Public Health), professor at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, for submitting this column.