During World War II, Japanese American scientists and engineers imprisoned at the Manzanar War Relocation camp were engaged in an experimental project to grow guayule and process it into latex, a needed war materiel. In this way, they contributed to the American war effort, despite their race-based incarceration. The guayule research project undermines the rationale for the wartime confinement of West Coast Japanese Americans. The laboratory at Manzanar partnered with universities, private industry, and government bureaucracy as an early instance of the military-industrial complex.

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