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The Chinese in America: A Narrative History

The Chinese in America: A Narrative History

In an epic story that spans 150 years and continues to the present day, Iris Chang tells of a people’s search for a better life—the determination of the Chinese to forge an identity and a destiny in a strange land and, often against great obstacles, to find success. She chronicles the many accomplishments in America of Chinese immigrants and their descendents: building the infrastructure of their adopted country, fighting racist and exclusionary laws, walking the racial tightrope between black and white, contributing to major scientific and technological advances, expanding the literary canon, and influencing the way we think about racial and ethnic groups. Interweaving political, social, economic, and cultural history, as well as the stories of individuals, Chang offers a bracing view not only of what it means to be Chinese American, but also of what it is to be American.


Chapter 1: The Old Country: Imperial China in the Nineteenth Century

Chapter 2: America: A New Hope

Chapter 3: “Never Fear, and You Will Be Lucky”: Journey and Arrival in San Francisco

Chapter 4: Gold Rushers on Gold Mountain

Chapter 5: Building the Transcontinental Railroad

Chapter 6: Life on the Western Frontier

Chapter 7: Spreading Across America

Chapter 8: Rumblings of Hatred

Chapter 9: The Chinese Exclusion Act

Chapter 10: Work and Survival in the Early Twentieth Century

Chapter 11: A New Generation Is Born

Chapter 12: Chinese America During the Great Depression

Chapter 13: “The Most Important Historical Event of Our Times”: World War II

Chapter 14: “A Mass Inquisition”: The Cold War, the Chinese Civil War, and McCarthyism

Chapter 15: New Arrivals, New Lives: The Chaotic 1960s

Chapter 16: The Taiwanese Americans

Chapter 17: The Bamboo Curtain Rises: Mainlanders and Model Minorities

Chapter 18: Decade of Fear: The 1990s

Chapter 19: High Tech vs. Low Tech

Chapter 20: An Uncertain Future


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