At America's Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943

At America's Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943

by Erika Lee
     
 

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With the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Chinese laborers became the first group in American history to be excluded from the United States on the basis of their race and class. This landmark law changed the course of U.S. immigration history, but we know little about its consequences for the Chinese in America or for the United States as a nation of immigrants.

Overview

With the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Chinese laborers became the first group in American history to be excluded from the United States on the basis of their race and class. This landmark law changed the course of U.S. immigration history, but we know little about its consequences for the Chinese in America or for the United States as a nation of immigrants.

At America's Gates is the first book devoted entirely to both Chinese immigrants and the American immigration officials who sought to keep them out. Erika Lee explores how Chinese exclusion laws not only transformed Chinese American lives, immigration patterns, identities, and families but also recast the United States into a "gatekeeping nation." Immigrant identification, border enforcement, surveillance, and deportation policies were extended far beyond any controls that had existed in the United States before.

Drawing on a rich trove of historical sources--including recently released immigration records, oral histories, interviews, and letters--Lee brings alive the forgotten journeys, secrets, hardships, and triumphs of Chinese immigrants. Her timely book exposes the legacy of Chinese exclusion in current American immigration control and race relations.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Makes a very significant contribution to both Asian American history and to U.S. immigration history. The amount of research that went into this book is prodigious. (Sucheng Chan, University of California, Santa Barbara)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807863138
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
01/21/2004
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
File size:
4 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Makes a very significant contribution to both Asian American history and to U.S. immigration history. The amount of research that went into this book is prodigious. Lee addresses a multiplicity of issues and deftly weaves together several themes that, in the past, had been treated separately.—Sucheng Chan, coeditor of Claiming America: Constructing Chinese American Identities during the Exclusion Era

Well documented, well researched, and highly readable.—New York History

Meet the Author

Erika Lee is associate professor of history at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

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