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Chinese America: Stereotype and Reality

by: Birgit Zinzius

New York NY: Peter Lang 2005, Hardbound
ISBN: 0-8204-6744-8

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Fall Volume: 2006 Issue: 13(3) page(s): 38

Subtitled History, Present, and Future of the Chinese Americans, this book looks at the same immigrant population as one by Peter Kwong and Dusanka Miscevic but does so more factually and from a totally different perspective. It paints with a broader brush and includes Tables and Figures and almost no personal tales. The rear cover says it is comprehensive and fascinating, and a textbook about the Chinese in America.

It documents the importance of this ethnic population, looks at their diasporic, diversity, their networks, socio-cultural structures, and achievements. It peeks into their future discussing their major role in future relations between China and the United States. The author's international approach and Germanic higher education lays bare facts from poverty rates in Silicon Valley to inter-racial/inter-ethnic marriages in the United States.

This book and others pave important paths to better understanding from where the Chinese began in the United States to where they are now. I read them in the order reviewed, but recommend doing so in the alternate one. Both educate and are 'must read' volumes enabling understandings of who the Chinese are, their past experiences in the United States, where they are now and where they will be in the years ahead.

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