The Columbia Documentary History of the Asian American Experience
Asian immigrants to America and their descendants have confronted numerous negative forces -- fear, arrogance, prejudice, and chauvinism -- and contributed many more positive elements -- courage, pride, tolerance, determination -- throughout their history in this country. This collection of key documents presents the rich Asian American heritage through primary sources -- speeches, diary entries, editorials, advertisements, court opinions, legislation, songs, and poems -- along with expert, concise editorial commentary. It testifies not only to the rapid expansion of the field of Asian American studies in the last decade but also to the innovations in scholarship on Asian Americans in many fields, including western history, feminist studies, political science, anthropology, and military history.
Selections from the early twentieth century and before treat mostly Chinese and Japanese experience. For the period after 1965, when patterns of Asian immigration to American changed dramatically in the wake of the 1965 immigration act, a variety of documents tell the story of South and Southeast Asians' transplantation to a new culture, enabling readers to grapple with such issues as gender relations and sexuality, racial profiling and stereotyping, and diasporic connections to homeland cultures. Here are excerpts from the 1898 Supreme Court decision United States v. Wong Kim Ark, which guaranteed citizenship to all individuals born in the United States; accounts of the 1970 International Hotel struggle in San Francisco's Manilatown, when socially conscious academics united with community activists to preserve vital social services for San Francisco's Filipino population; and the 2000 Hmong Veterans Naturalization Act, which provided a temporary window for Laotian immigrants to enter the United States, part of the long legacy of America's war in Southeast Asia.
Broad in scope and vividly multivocal, The Columbia Documentary History of the Asian American Experience presents the fullest picture to date of the historical fortunes and lasting influences of Asian peoples in America.