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Book Review: Fabulous New Book on Monrovia During World War II

Monrovia author Dick Singer has produced a fabulous new book, People Like You and Me: A History of Monrovia in World War II.

Obviously, it is about Monrovia and Monrovians, but even if I lived in Minot, North Dakota, I’d still think it was a great book because it tells in a very engaging fashion of a small town’s part in the drama of a huge war - what Monrovia was like at that time and what it’s people were doing both at home and overseas.

I’m only 162 pages into it (there are 373 pages of story), the war has barely begun and I’ve already learned about Monrovia’s part in the famous Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, about leading citizens leaving their businesses’ lights on during blackouts (Oops!), the restrictions placed on Japanese (and some Germans and Italians), Japanese internment, and people’s surprise at one Japanese family being interned; they thought the family was Chinese because they ran a chop suey restaurant.

As with his other Monrovia books, 1887 and Renaissance Years, the book is meticulously documented, with 39 pages of references in itty-bitty type. Scholarly yet exciting. It feels very much like a Ken Burns documentary, but in print. 

You can buy People Like You and Me at Charlie’s House, 430 S. Myrtle. Books will also be available when Singer speaks about the book at the Library, 2 p.m, July 29.

If you need it mailed, email Sandy Burud of the Monrovia Historical Society at  Cost is $30+$5 shipping. She’ll fill you in on the details. 

Now, if you will please excuse me, I want to get back to my reading. 

- Brad Haugaard 

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