A New History of Asian America  book cover
1st Edition

A New History of Asian America

ISBN 9780203441077
Published October 1, 2013 by Routledge
376 Pages

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Book Description

A New History of Asian America is a fresh and up-to-date history of Asians in the United States from the late eighteenth century to the present. Drawing on current scholarship, Shelley Lee brings forward the many strands of Asian American history, highlighting the distinctive nature of the Asian American experience while placing the narrative in the context of the major trajectories and turning points of U.S. history. Covering the history of Filipinos, Koreans, Asian Indians, and Southeast Indians as well as Chinese and Japanese, the book gives full attention to the diversity within Asian America. A robust companion website features additional resources for students, including primary documents, a timeline, links, videos, and an image gallery.

From the building of the transcontinental railroad to the celebrity of Jeremy Lin, people of Asian descent have been involved in and affected by the history of America. A New History of Asian America gives twenty-first-century students a clear, comprehensive, and contemporary introduction to this vital history.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Orientalism before Asian America

Chapter 2: The Asian Diaspora in the Pre-Exclusion Years

Chapter 3: Making a Living: The Politics and Economics of Work before the 1930s

Chapter 4: Social Intimacy and Asian American Communities before World War II

Chapter 5: Racism and the Anti-Asian Movements

Chapter 6: Response and Resistance

Chapter 7: Americanization, Modernity, and thte Second Generation through the 1930s

Chapter 8: Asian Americans and the Crucible of World War II

Chapter 9: Asian America in the Early Cold War Years

Chapter 10: The Vietnam War, Southeast Asians, and the Transformation of Asian America

Chapter 11: Politics and Activism in Asian America in the 1960s and 1970s

Chapter 12: The Watershed of 1965 and the Remaking of Asian America

Chapter 13: Reckonings: Asian America in the Late Twentieth Century



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Shelley Sang-Hee Lee is Associate Professor of Comparative American Studies and History at Oberlin College. She is the author of Claiming the Oriental Gateway: Prewar Seattle and Japanese America.


"Lee has written an eloquent and comprehensive book that will be the standard text in Asian American history for many years to come."
– K. Scott Wong, author of Americans First: Chinese Americans and the Second World War

"Shelley Lee’s A New History of Asian America is an exciting, well-written, and much-needed new textbook. Synthesizing newer scholarship, this work includes chapters on previously understudied topics. It is ideal for teaching."
– Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, author of Dr. Mom Chung of the Fair-Haired Bastards: The Life of a Wartime Celebrity

"From European Orientalism to model minority to racial profiling, A New History of Asian America provides readers a much-needed synthesis of Asian American history from the late eighteenth century to the closing decades of the twentieth century. Truly a book for the twenty-first century!"
– Yen Le Espiritu, author of Asian American Women and Men: Labor, Laws, and Love

"Shelley Lee has woven together foundational texts and newer scholarship to produce a critically engaging and elegant narrative. A New History of Asian America deserves a wide readership and will be especially helpful for instructors and students in ethnic studies, American studies, and United States history."
– David K. Yoo, author of Contentious Spirits: Religion in Korean American History, 1903-1945