The Making of Asian America: A History

  • 15h 51m 44s
  • Erika Lee
  • Recorded Books, Inc.
  • 2015

In the past 50 years, Asian Americans have helped change the face of America and are now the fastest growing group in the United States. The Making of Asian America tells the little-known history of Asian Americans and their role in American life, from the arrival of the first Asians in the Americas to the present-day.

An epic history of global journeys and new beginnings, this book shows how generations of Asian immigrants and their American-born descendants have made and remade Asian American life in the United States. From the sailors who came on the first trans-Pacific ships in the 1500s to the Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and South Asian immigrants who were recruited to work in the United States, only to face massive racial discrimination, and from the Asian exclusion laws of the 19th century to Japanese American incarceration during World War II, this is a comprehensive history.

Over the past 50 years, a new Asian America has emerged out of community activism and the arrival of new immigrants and refugees. No longer a "despised minority", Asian Americans are now held up as America's "model minorities" in ways that reveal the complicated role that race still plays in the United States.

Published to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the passage of the United States' Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which has remade our "nation of immigrants", this is a new and definitive history of Asian Americans. But more than that, it is a new way of understanding America itself, its complicated histories of race and immigration, and its place in the world today.

About the Author

Erika Lee is the granddaughter of Chinese immigrants who entered the United States through both Angel Island and Ellis Island. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. She teaches history at the University of Minnesota, where she is also the Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair in Immigration History and Director of the Immigration History Research Center. She is the author of The Making of Asian America, Angel Island (with Judy Yung), and At America’s Gates.

In this Audiobook

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 - Los Chinos in New Spain and Asians in Early America
  • Chapter 2 - Coolies
  • Chapter 3 - Chinese Immigrants in Search of Gold Mountain
  • Chapter 4 - "The Chinese Must Go!": The Anti-Chinese Movement
  • Chapter 5 - Japanese Immigrants and the "Yellow Peril"
  • Chapter 6 - "We Must Struggle in Exile": Korean Immigrants
  • Chapter 7 - South Asian Immigrants and the "Hindu Invasion"
  • Chapter 8 - "We Have Heard Much of America": Filipinos in the US. Empire
  • Chapter 9 - Border Crossings and Border Enforcement: Undocumented Asian Immigration
  • Chapter 10 - "Military Necessity": The Uprooting of Japanese Americans During World War II
  • Chapter 11 - "Grave Injustices": The Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II
  • Chapter 12 - Good War, Cold War
  • Chapter 13 - Making a New Asian America Through Immigration and Activism
  • Chapter 14 - In Search of Refuge: Southeast Asians in the United States
  • Chapter 15 - Making a New Home: Hmong Refugees and Hmong Americans
  • Chapter 16 - Transnational Immigrants and Global Americans
  • Chapter 17 - The "Rise of Asian Americans"? Myths and Realities


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