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Chinese Community of Stockton, The; and Oakland's Chinatown
by: Minnick, Sylvia Sun; and Wong, William
Arcadia Publishing 2002, $19.95, Hardbound
ISBN: 0-7385-2053-5 and 0-7385-2925-7
Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Summer Volume: 2005 Issue: 12(2) page(s): 19
These two volumes are in the 'Images of America' series and both could not be better. They have sepia-tone covers and black and white pictures within. Both show Chinese in their respective cities some years back. These photo essays are accompanied by explanations focusing on friends, family, business, education, and religious beliefs. We found them compelling views of their respective pasts loaded with archival photographs that tell wonderful tales of local Chinese heritage.
Stockton and Oakland, both in California, have long histories of Chinese immigrant communities. Though most sojourners did not find a fortune in their 'gold mountain' towns, they were able to make them heathy communities worthy of their efforts. Each of these books tells different types of stories. They are visual and verbal tales, distinctive, fascinating, individual, and panoramic. Each one has views that encompass Chinese life and the Chinese who lived in each town.
For those that are Chinese, and this did happen to a Chinese friend of ours, surprise and delight come with reading and locating friend, family member, or a fascinating place. Amy Tan and Maxine Kingston Hong tell tales of Chinese in America; these books show what they looked like. Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words, so enjoy the couple of hundred of them in each of these volumes.