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Chinese America
The Untold Story of America's Oldest New Community
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Chinese America
The Untold Story of America's Oldest New Community

By Peter Kwong and Dusanka Miscevic
2005, 518 pages, Hardback.
Book Description from the Front Cover Flap
Comments on the Book
About the Authors

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Book Description from the Front Cover Flap

Here is the definitive portrait of Chinese America, charting 150 years of American history from the Chinese frontiersmen of the Wild West to the high-tech transnationals of today's booming Chinese American "ethnoburbs."

Drawing on years of original research and travels across the United States and Asia, Peter Kwong and Dusanka Miscevic have produced a fascinating, panoramic narrative, bringing us inside nineteenth-century gold mining camps, Asian fishing villages, Chinese American nightclubs of the 1930s and 1940s, and new immigrant enclaves. This book is also a landmark analysis-a truly international American history. As one of the oldest immigrant groups and fastest-growing communities in the United States, Chinese Americans have been in the thick of national debates about race, class, immigration, and foreign policy from the settlement of the West to today's era of globalization. With its unique lens, Chinese America offers a new picture of the country's development, even as it provides one of the first extensive reports on the new immigrant communities that are transforming present-day America.

Chinese Americans now live in the suburbs in higher proportions than whites but the international trade in illegal immigrants persists, urban ghettos continue to host some of the country's poorest immigrants, and anti-Asian discrimination lingers. Kwong and Miscevic apply new thinking to an immigrant story too often told as a simple tale of triumph over adversity. Chinese America gives us a portrait of an ethnic group in the making, including stories of extraordinary hardship, discrimination, and success.

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Comments on the Book

"Clearly the best single volume about this fast-growing ethnic group."
-Roger Daniels, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Cincinnati

"In this sweeping study, the Chinese are neither the 'model minority' nor the victims of racism. Instead they are multi-dimensional actors in the past and the present, with names and also minds, wills, and voices."
-RONALD TAKAKI, author of Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans

"In masterful strokes of stunning detail, Kwong and Miscevic' have re-created an epic journey, a veritable 'People's History of Chinese America.' This breathtaking narrative explodes simplistic views of Chinese Americans by putting the vibrant, complex, and transnational lives of worka­day people in the context of the global political economy, as well as class and race relations."
-HELEN ZIA, author of Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People

"Kwong and Miscevic untangle the forces that shaped Chinese America-including the expan­sion of American capitalism, American labor and racial conflicts, and internal divisions and patterns of exploitation. This book is a magnificent accomplishment."
-FRANCES FOX PIVEN, author of The War at Home and co-author of Regulating the Poor and Poor People's Movements

"A monumental achievement in the scholarly reinterpretation of America's racialized past, the most authoritative interpretation of Chinese Americans throughout U.S. history. The authors have produced a richly theoretical work that is also accessible and highly readable."
-MANNING MARABLE, Director, Center for Contemporary Black History, Columbia University

"Quite simply, the best hook I've read about the history of exclusion and injustice against Chinese immigrants and the role of Chinese Americans today. It is also a provocative insider's critique of identity politics."
-MARGARET FUNG, Executive Director, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund

"One of the nation's oldest minorities, Chinese Americans have not received the attention they deserve. Here is their story in a meticulously researched, balanced, and highly readable narrative."
-STANLEY KARNOW, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Vietnam: A History and Mao and China

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Background on the Authors

Peter Kwong is the author of several books, including Chinatown, N.Y. and Forbidden Workers. He is a professor at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Dusanka Miscevic is a writer and translator with a Ph.D. in Chinese history from Columbia University. They live in New York City.

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