The definitive history of Asian Americans by one of the nation’s preeminent scholars on the subject. In the past fifty years, Asian Americans have helped change the face of America and are now the fastest growing group in the United States. But as award-winning historian Erika Lee reminds us, Asian Americans also have deep roots in the country. The Making of Asian America tells the little-known history of Asian Americans and their role in American life, from the arrival of the first Asians in the Americas to the present-day. An epic history of global journeys and new beginnings, this book shows how generations of Asian immigrants and their American-born descendants have made and remade Asian American life in the United States: sailors who came on the first trans-Pacific ships in the 1500s; indentured “coolies” who worked alongside African slaves in the Caribbean; and Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and South Asian immigrants who were recruited to work in the United States only to face massive racial discrimination, Asian exclusion laws, and for Japanese Americans, incarceration during World War II. Over the past fifty years, a new Asian America has emerged out of community activism and the arrival of new immigrants and refugees. No longer a “despised minority,” Asian Americans are now held up as America’s “model minorities” in ways that reveal the complicated role that race still plays in the United States. Published to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the United States’ Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 that has remade our “nation of immigrants,” this is a new and definitive history of Asian Americans. But more than that, it is a new way of understanding America itself, its complicated histories of race and immigration, and its place in the world today.
After emerging from the tumult of social movements of the 1960s and 1970s, the field of Asian American studies has enjoyed rapid and extraordinary growth. Nonetheless, many aspects of Asian American history still remain open to debate. The Oxford Handbook of Asian American History offers the first comprehensive commentary on the state of the field, simultaneously assessing where Asian American studies came from and what the future holds. In this volume, thirty leading scholars offer original essays on a wide range of topics. The chapters trace Asian American history from the beginning of the migration flows toward the Pacific Islands and the American continent to Japanese American incarceration and Asian American participation in World War II, from the experience of exclusion, violence, and racism to the social and political activism of the late twentieth century. The authors explore many of the key aspects of the Asian American experience, including politics, economy, intellectual life, the arts, education, religion, labor, gender, family, urban development, and legal history. The Oxford Handbook of Asian American History demonstrates how the roots of Asian American history are linked to visions of a nation marked by justice and equity and to a deep effort to participate in a global project aimed at liberation. The contributors to this volume attest to the ongoing importance of these ideals, showing how the mass politics, creative expressions, and the imagination that emerged during the 1960s are still relevant today. It is an unprecedentedly detailed portrait of Asian Americans and how they have helped change the face of the United States.
A History of Asian Americans (Updated and Revised)
Author: Professor Department of Ethnic Studies Ronald Takaki
In an extraordinary blend of narrative history, personal recollection, & oral testimony, the author presents a sweeping history of Asian Americans. He writes of the Chinese who laid tracks for the transcontinental railroad, of plantation laborers in the canefields of Hawaii, of "picture brides" marrying strangers in the hope of becoming part of the American dream. He tells stories of Japanese Americans behind the barbed wire of U.S. internment camps during World War II, Hmong refugees tragically unable to adjust to Wisconsin's alien climate & culture, & Asian American students stigmatized by the stereotype of the "model minority." This is a powerful & moving work that will resonate for all Americans, who together make up a nation of immigrants from other shores.
A narrative history of the movement that turned "Orientals" into Asian Americans Until the political ferment of the Long Sixties, there were no Asian Americans. There were only isolated communities of mostly Chinese, Japanese, and Filipinos lumped together as "Orientals." Serve the People tells the story of the social and cultural movement that knit these disparate communities into a political identity, the history of how--and why--the double consciousness of Asian America came to be. At the same time, Karen Ishizuka's vivid narrative reveals the personal epiphanies and intimate stories of insurgent movers and shakers and ground-level activists alike. Drawing on more than 120 interviews and illustrated with striking images from guerrilla movement publications, the book evokes the feeling of growing up alien in a society rendered in black and white, and recalls the intricate memories and meanings of the Asian American movement. Serve the People paints a panoramic landscape of a radical time, and is destined to become the definitive history of the making of Asian America.
A History from Gold Mountain to the New Millennium
Author: Susie Lan Cassel
Publisher: Rowman Altamira
This new collection of essays demonstrates how a politics of polarity have defined the 150-year experience of Chinese immigration in America. Chinese-Americans have been courted as 'model workers' by American business, but also continue to be perceived as perpetual foreigners. The contributors offer engrossing accounts of the lives of immigrants, their tenacity, their diverse lifeways, from the arrival of the first Chinese gold miners in 1849 into the present day. The 21st century begins as a uniquely 'Pacific Century' in the Americas, with an increasingly large presence of Asians in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The book will be a valuable resource on the Asian immigrant experience for researchers and students in Chinese American studies, Asian American history, immigration studies, and American history.
Asian Americans are widely believed to be passive and compliant participants in the U.S. political process—if they participate at all. In this ground-breaking book, Pei-te Lien maps the actions and strategies of Asian Americans as they negotiate a space in the American political arena. Professor Lien looks at political participation by Asian Americans prior to 1965 and then examines, at both organizational and mass politics levels, how race, ethnicity, and transnationalism help to construct a complex American electorate. She looks not only at rates of participation among Asian Americans as compared with blacks, Latinos, American Indians, and non-Hispanic whites, but also among specific groups of Asian Americans—Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, Koreans, Asian Indians, and Vietnamese. She also discusses how gender, socioeconomic class, and place of birth affect political participation. With documentation ranging from historical narrative to opinion survey data, Professor Lien creates a picture of a diverse group of politically active people who are intent on carving out a place for themselves in American political life.
As America’s most ethnically diverse foreign-born population, Asian Americans can puzzle political observers. This volume’s multidisciplinary team of contributors employ a variety of methodologies—including quantitative, ethnographic, and historical—to illustrate how transnational ties between the U.S. and Asia have shaped, and are increasingly defining, Asian American politics in our multicultural society. Original essays by U.S.- and Asian-based scholars discuss Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese communities from Boston to Honolulu. The volume also shows how the grassroots activism of America’s “newest minority” both reflects and is instrumental in broader processes of political change throughout the Pacific. Addressing the call for more global approaches to racial and ethnic politics, contributors describe how Asian immigrants strategically navigate the hurdles to domestic incorporation and equality by turning their political sights and energies toward Asia. These essays convincingly demonstrate that Asian American political participation in the U.S. does not consist simply of domestic actions with domestic ends.