Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans

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University of California Press, 2008 - History - 400 pages
Driven Out exposes a shocking story of ethnic cleansing in California and the Pacific Northwest when the first Chinese Americans were rounded up and purged from more than three hundred communities by lawless citizens and duplicitous politicians. From 1848 into the twentieth century, Chinatowns burned across the West as Chinese miners and merchants, lumberjacks and fieldworkers, prostitutes and merchants' wives were violently loaded onto railroad cars or steamers, marched out of town, or killed.

But the Chinese fought back—with arms, strikes, and lawsuits and by flatly refusing to leave. When red posters appeared on barns and windows across the United States urging the Chinese to refuse to carry photo identity cards, more than one hundred thousand joined the largest mass civil disobedience to date in the United States. The first Chinese Americans were marched out and starved out. But even facing brutal pogroms, they stood up for their civil rights. This is a story that defines us as a nation and marks our humanity.
 

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User Review  - pgSundling - LibraryThing

Read this one as research for my novel, The Internet President: None of the Above for the chapter Gallows. I knew there was a bad history of discrimination against Asian Americans, but didn't realize the full scope of it before this book. Read full review

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User Review  - ladycato - LibraryThing

This is an extremely well-written book about horrible things. I really had to push myself through the last hundred pages because I felt the increasing need to go back in time and punch people for ... Read full review

Contents

GOLD PEACEABLY IF WE CAN FORCIBLY IF WE MUST
3
DEAD BRANCHES
47
THE WOMANS TALE IN CASE I SHOULD BE KIDNAPPED
65
THE EUREKA METHOD WE HAVE NO CHINESE
97
THE TRUCKEE METHOD FIRE AND ICE
143
THE CHINESE REWRITE THE LETTER OF THE LAW
174
A LITANY OF HATE THE 1880s
228
THE DOG TAG LAW
267
NO PLACE FOR A CHINAMAN
312
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
323
NOTES
329
INDEX
365
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Jean Pfaelzer is Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Delaware. She is author of The Utopian Novel in America, 1886-1896: The Politics of Form, among other books. She was Executive Director of the National Labor Law Center and was appointed to the Washington DC Commission for Women.

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