Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Print and E-Resources at Copley Library
Asian American Dreams by This groundbreaking book traces 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 events that shocked Asian Americans into motion and shaped a new consciousness. Helen Zia, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, writes as a personal witness to the dramatic changes involving Asian Americans.
Asian American History: a Very Short Introduction by A 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center reported that Asian Americans are the best-educated, highest-income, and best-assimilated racial group in the United States. Before reaching this level of economic success and social assimilation, however, Asian immigrants' path was full of difficult, even demeaning, moments. This book provides a sweeping and nuanced history of Asian Americans, revealing how and why the perception of Asian immigrants changed over time. Asian migrants, in large part Chinese, arrived in significant numbers on the West Coast during the 1850s and 1860s to work in gold mining and on the construction of the transcontinental Railroad. Unlike their contemporary European counterparts, Asians, often stigmatized as "coolies," challenged American ideals of equality with the problem of whether all racial groups could be integrated into America's democracy. The fear of the "Yellow Peril" soon spurred an array of legislative and institutional efforts to segregate them through immigration laws, restrictions on citizenship, and limits on employment, property ownership, access to public services, and civil rights. Prejudices against Asian Americans reached a peak during World War II, when Japanese Americans were interned en masse. It was only with changes in the immigration laws and the social and political activism of the 1960s and 1970s that Asian Americans gained ground and acceptance, albeit in the still stereotyped category of "model minorities." Madeline Y. Hsu weaves a fascinating historical narrative of this "American Dream." She shows how Asian American success, often attributed to innate cultural values, is more a result of the immigration laws, which have largely pre-selected immigrants of high economic and social potential. Asian Americans have, in turn, been used by politicians to bludgeon newer (and more populous) immigrant groups for their purported lack of achievement. Hsu deftly reveals how public policy, which can restrict and also selectively promote certain immigrant populations, is a key reason why some immigrant groups appear to be more naturally successful and why the identity of those groups evolves differently from others.
Everything You Need to Know about Asian American History by One can hardly understand American history without knowing the crucial role people of Asian ancestry have played in shaping our past, politics, and culture. Exploding myths and stereotypes, with more than fifty pages of new material, this absorbing and accessible reference answers such questions as: Where and when did the history of Chinese America begin? What is Zen? Why do Filipinos have Spanish names? How did the U.S. get involved in Vietnam? What is the difference between Hindu and Hindi? And much, much more. In a lively question-and-answer format, Everything You Need to Know About Asian-American Historyprovides a complete understanding of the traditions and ideas that people of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Indian, and Pacific Island descent have contributed to American life.
Thousand Star Hotel by Thousand Star Hotelconfronts the silence around racism, police brutality, and the invisibility of the Asian American urban poor. From "with thanks to Sahra Nguyen for the refugee style slogan": They give the kids candy to bet. My daughter loses the first four rounds, she's a quiet wire as they take her candy away, piece by piece. When she finally wins, I ask if she wants to play again. No! she shouts, grabbing her candy, I want to go home! True refugee style: take everything you got and run with it. Bao Phi is a National Poetry Slam finalist.