Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People

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Macmillan, May 15, 2001 - Social Science - 368 pages
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The fascinating story of the rise of Asian Americans as a politically and socially influential racial group


This groundbreaking book is about the transformation of Asian Americans from a few small, disconnected, and largely invisible ethnic groups into a self-identified racial group that is influencing every aspect of American society. It explores the junctures that shocked Asian Americans into motion and shaped a new consciousness, including the murder of Vincent Chin, a Chinese American, by two white autoworkers who believed he was Japanese; the apartheid-like working conditions of Filipinos in the Alaska canneries; the boycott of Korean American greengrocers in Brooklyn; the Los Angeles riots; and the casting of non-Asians in the Broadway musical Miss Saigon. The book also examines the rampant stereotypes of Asian Americans.

Helen Zia, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, was born in the 1950s when there were only 150,000 Chinese Americans in the entire country, and she writes as a personal witness to the dramatic changes involving Asian Americans.

Written for both Asian Americans -- the fastest-growing population in the United States -- and non-Asians, Asian American Dreams argues that America can no longer afford to ignore these emergent, vital, and singular American people.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ftong - LibraryThing

Helen Zia highlights the decades of discrimination Asian Americans have undergone, with personal anecdotes at the beginning of each chapter. Highly informative, although I would have liked Zia to include more Asian American voices in place of nitty-gritty historical details. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - autumnesf - LibraryThing

Really good book. History of Asians in America - lots of stuff we never learned in school! I really learned alot from this book and will definatley keep it and recommend it. Read full review

Contents

BEYOND OUR SHADOWS
1
From Nothing a Consciousness
3
Surrogate Slaves to American Dreamers
21
THE AWAKENING
53
Detroit Blues Because of You Motherfuckers
55
To Market to Market New York Style
82
Gangsters Gooks Geishas and Geeks
109
UP FROM INNOCENCE
137
For Richer for Poorer
195
MOVING THE MOUNTAIN
225
Out on the Front Lines
227
Reinventing Our Culture
252
The Last Bastion
281
Living Our Dreams
311
Bibliography
321
Acknowledgments
329

Welcome to Washington
139
Lost and Found in LA
166

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About the author (2001)

Helen Zia, a graduate of Princeton University's first co-educational class, is an award-winning journalist who has covered Asian American communities and political movements for twenty years. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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