Episode 47 with Journalist, Researcher, and the Thoughtful Author of The Eagles of Heart Mountain, Bradford Pearson


Show Notes and Links to Bradford Pearson’s Work and Allusions/Texts from Episode 47


On Episode 47, Pete talks with Bradford Pearson about his writing journey, his research on the Japanese-American “internment camps” (the two talk about this fraught phrasing), and his recent engrossing, finely-drawn. and thoroughly-researched book The Eagles of Heart Mountain: A True Story of Football, Incarceration, and Resistance in World War II America.


Bradford Pearson is the former features editor of Southwest: The Magazine. He has written for The New York Times, Esquire, Time, and Salon, among many other publications. He grew up in Hyde Park, New York, and now lives in Philadelphia. The Eagles of Heart Mountain is his first book and was published January 5 of this year. The book has been reviewed favorably in The Washington Post, who called the book “an absolutely stirring story.” Of the book, Publishers’ Weekly wrote, “Pearson succeeds in unearthing a feel-good story from a dark chapter in U.S. history. The result is a worthy portrait of triumph in the face of tragedy.”

Buy The Eagles of Heart Mountain (Bookshop.org)

Buy The Eagles of Heart Mountain (Amazon)

Bradford's Article: "What Happened After My Kidnapping" from 2015, in Philadelphia City Life


Obituary and descriptive article about George "Horse" Yoshinaga, the great journalist and athlete depicted in the book

At about 3:20, Bradford Pearson talks about growing up in Hyde Park, NY, and his literary childhood and adolescence; he shouts out his transformative English teacher, (Mr. Briggs!) and the change in his love for literature that came with reading the great Moby Dick


At about 8:10, Brad talks about George Yoshinaga, a main character in The Eagles of Heart Mountain, and his incredible journalism career


At about 9:30, Brad talks about his athletic career, including his crew/rowing background


At about 10:40, Brad traces his writing journey from late high school/college to his professional writing days


At about 12:00, Brad talks about the origins and inspiration for The Eagles of Heart Mountain

At about 13:30, Brad talks about the writers who have inspired him and continue to inspire him, including Cormac McCarthy, Denis Johnson, Valeria Luiselli, Patrick Radden Keefe, Nick Paumgarten, and Bryan Washington


At about 19:00, Brad talks about how his reading experiences are different when he’s in the middle of writing his own book and reading in general as he is also a writer


At about 23:20, Brad describes the horrific event and subsequent article, called “What Happened after my Kidnapping,” based on the event


At about 28:00, Brad talks about the importance of Keiichi Imura’s contributions to the book and how his further descriptions of George “Horse” Yoshinaga and Babe Nomura “grounded” the story for Brad; additionally, Brad talks about the incredible help provided by Bacon Sakitani and the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center


At about 34:25, Brad talks about the positive and meaningful feedback he’s received regarding The Eagles of Heart Mountain


At about 37:00, Brad talks about the ways in which the book tells about a small slice of sporting life while also covering the greater tragedies of the Japanese-American internment and the racism leading up to it


At about 39:30, Brad talks about the importance of labels and what nomenclature is considered “correct” when referencing the removal of Japanese and Japanese-Americans from the West Coast during WWII


At about 42:30, Brad talks about the importance of sports at Heart Mountain Camp 


At about 46:20, Brad talks about parallels between the events of the book and contemporary goings-on, including similar disinformation campaigns that fueled the hatred


At about 48:50, Pete and Brad talk about the twisted and circular reasoning used by both “election fraud” devotees of 2020 and those who advanced the racist and xenophobic tropes that led to the horrific mistreatment of the Japanese and Japanese-Americans during WWII


At about 50:45, Brad discusses some craft points, including the ways in which Brad began each chapter


At about 56:05, Brad reads a section from The Eagles of Heart Mountain, a beautiful flashback scene from a football game at Heart Mountain


At about 1:01:10, Brad talks about upcoming projects

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