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Chinese America

by: Kwong, Peter and Miscevic, Dusanka

New York NY: The New Press 2005, Hardbound
ISBN: 1-56584-962-0

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Fall Volume: 2006 Issue: 13(3) page(s): 24

Subtitled: The Untold Story of America's Oldest New Community, this book fills enormous gaps in our history as it details the early Chinese and their moves from the west to every state in the United Ststes, and into many of America's suburbs. Known is the Chinese input in gold mining and fishing villages, but as the Chinese settle allover these states, learn of their societal input such as their nightclubs and night places that offer good hot affordable meals. Learn about the Chinese from frontier days to their new multi-ethnic immigrant communities; learn how they have and are transforming America. The authors are of two distinct cultures and a pair who look at many Chinese travails and pleasures including discrimination and increasing acceptance. They see and report failures and successes, past and present, in the making of America.

The authors are to be commended for mixing tales and terrific research, for highlighting the Chinese from early animosities to lingering racism, to their labors, and being labeled a model minority. They review media bashing, denigrating politics, and today's shifting attitudes. The Washington Post newspaper says the book tells shocking, depressing, but ultimately uplifting stories about the Chinese in America.

We say, read and really understand the Chinese in your neighborhood, your workplace, your community, your city, your state, and your nation. As the United States becomes more multi-cultural, understand this large ethnic population through their early immigration and current lifestyles. Benefit from the experiences of others and the wrongs done to all too many Chinese.

This is a well-written wonderful book. Let it be your window of understanding about this immigrant group, and a learning mechanism for behaviors to other population groups in America.

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