The Columbia Documentary History of the Asian American Experience

The Columbia Documentary History of the Asian American Experience

Edited by Franklin Odo
Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 688
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/odo-11030
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  • Book Info
    The Columbia Documentary History of the Asian American Experience
    Book Description:

    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.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-53384-3
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. EXPANDED CONTENTS
    (pp. vii-xiv)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  5. INTRODUCTION Asian-Pacific Americans: An Overview
    (pp. 1-8)

    The field of Asian American studies has expanded steadily and rapidly in the past few decades. Academic departments and programs grace university campuses across the nation, from Hawai‘i to Texas, Illinois, and Maryland. Scholarly monographs, collections of essays, and textbooks in various disciplines are available to students and the general public. Literary works have proliferated in spectacular proportions; they include volumes of poetry, best-selling fiction, and a wide range of anthologies. Documentary films and Asian American film festivals feature an extremely diverse set of topics and perspectives. As a result, many people now have at least passing knowledge of the...

  6. PART 1 Contact and Conflict: Asia and the Pacific: Through 1900
    (pp. 9-126)

    Asia has fascinated Europeans for a very long time. Marco Polo was only one in a constant stream of visitors bringing back tales that initially seemed beyond belief. Conversely, people from Asia have been in the Pacific and the Americas for thousands of years. There is interesting evidence to support theories of Asian presence, from linguistic mapping to pottery shards and travel legends. The powerful ocean currents that have helped propel ships westward from the Americas and eastward to the Americas also allowed shipwrecked sailors and merchants to drift from Japan to Hawai‘i and North America. The likelihood of early...

  7. PART 2 Migration and Settlement: Through 1924
    (pp. 127-196)

    While it is true that there were Asians in the Americas from very early times (however that phrase is defined), it is also a fact that significant migrations only began in the second half of the nineteenth century. Immigration continued into the early twentieth century before being cut off by various treaties and laws. In this period, from the time of the American Civil War to the end of the first quarter of the twentieth century, the United States grew from a young, defiant, recently independent, and struggling nation into one of the major powers in the world. It had...

  8. PART 3 Accommodation and Hostility: Through 1941
    (pp. 197-246)

    It may have seemed to most people that the National Origins Act of 1924 and the Tydings-McDuffie Act conclusively sealed the preferred ethnic and racial order for the United States. But the path toward legislating the immigration quota system was tortuous, and implementation proved almost as difficult because the fundamental assumptions of the National Origins Act were so complex: that nationstates were fixed entities (but World War I, for example, changed the map of much of Central Europe), and that ethnicities would never change. Nonetheless, the 1924 quotas were finally implemented in 1929 and remained largely in place for four...

  9. PART 4 World War II: Through 1945
    (pp. 247-314)

    World War II was the single most critical historical era for Asian Americans in the century since immigration had begun. The war exacerbated existing tensions created by hostilities in the homelands. Japan had colonized Korea in the early twentieth century and was ravaging much of China’s coastline and its major cities, as well as most of the Philippines and many islands in the Pacific. In the United States, immigrants from Korea, China, and the Philippines engaged in efforts to liberate their countries, sometimes in the form of political lobbying or financial support, but even in paramilitary training in the countrysides...

  10. PART 5 The Pacific Ocean: An American Lake?: Through 1975
    (pp. 315-408)

    The crushing defeat of the Japanese empire, punctuated by the detonation of atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, confirmed the status of the United States as the preeminent military and political power throughout the Pacific—both Rim and Basin. The subsequent Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union would dominate global politics for the rest of the century. In Asia and the Pacific, this confrontation had critical ramifications that directly affected Asian American communities. The heightened presence of America in Asia was neither unchallenged nor unlimited, but America’s foreign policies continued...

  11. PART 6 Brave New World: Through 2000
    (pp. 409-566)

    The last quarter of the twentieth century was a time of truly startling changes for Asian America. Most important, disparate groups began solidifying the idea and practice of a pan-Asian identity, first on college campuses and then in urban centers. This has led to greater visibility and participation in local and national society and politics as well as intensified tensions and stresses. According to the 1970 census, there were only 1.5 million Asian Americans, less than one percent of the population. Japanese Americans were the largest single ethnic group, followed by Chinese and Filipinos, and very small numbers of other...

  12. INDEX
    (pp. 567-590)