Coolies and Cane: Race, Labor, and Sugar in the Age of Emancipation

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Overview

Winner, Merle Curti Award, Organization of American HistoriansWinner, History Book Award, Association for Asian American Studies

How did thousands of Chinese migrants end up working alongside African Americans in Louisiana after the Civil War? Tracing American ideas of Asian labor to the sugar plantations of the Caribbean, Moon-Ho Jung argues that the racial formation of "coolies" in American culture and law played a pivotal role in reconstructing concepts of race, nation, and citizenship in the United States.

"In this important and well-researched work, Moon-Ho Jung argues that Southern sugar planters looked to Asian 'coolies' to solve their labor problems after the Civil War."— American Historical Review

"Brilliant and beautifully written... Jung's slim volume makes it clear that coolieism was not a marginal issue. The debate over coolieism was bound up in the most pressing issues of the Civil War era, from the policing of the slave-trade ban to the redefinition of citizenship in the postwar South."— Journal of American History

"The heart, strength, and originality of this riveting narrative rests in Jung's discussion of the debates concerning Chinese coolies among diverse sectors of white Southerners... A model of the best of American history and, especially, studies of Asian American history and race and ethnicity."— Journal of American Ethnic History

"These larger questions about race and labor are relevant not only for understanding the age of emancipation but also for the current political climate of intensified debates on immigration and citizenship in the United States."— Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

Moon-Ho Jung is an associate professor of history at the University of Washington.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

American Historical Review
In this important and well-researched work, Moon-Ho Jung argues that southern sugar planters looked to Asian 'coolies' to solve their labor problems after the Civil War.

— John S. W. Park

Agricultural History Review
Argues that coolies played an important role in the social construction of 'whiteness' in the United States... Thoroughly researched.

— Edward Rhoads

Journal of American History
Brilliant and beautifully written... Jung's slim volume makes it clear that coolieism was not a marginal issue. The debate over coolieism was bound up in the most pressing issues of the Civil War era, from the policing of the slave-trade ban to the redefinition of citizenship in the postwar South.

— Cindy Hahamovitch

Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History
Well researched study... These larger questions about race and labor are relevant not only for understanding the age of emancipation, but also for the current political climate of intensified debates on immigration and citizenship in the United States.

— Kathleen López

Journal of American Ethnic History
The heart, strength, and originality of this riveting narrative rest in Jung's discussion of the debates concerning Chinese coolies among diverse sectors of white southerners... A model of the best of American history and, especially, studies of Asian American history and race and ethnicity.

— Evelyn Hu-DeHart

Journal of African American History
Not only enriches the texture of Asian American, African American, and southem history, but also offers a global perspective on 19th-century labor migrations.

— Carol Huang

Pacific Historical Review
Focusing on attempts to import Chinese contract labor to Louisiana sugar plantations in the decade after the Civil War, this book argues for the importance of the Chinese 'coolie' in the construction of race, nation, and citizenship in the United States.

— Adam McKeown

Journal of Southern History
Jung's work contains real passion... It will have substantial appeal for academic specialists and university libraries with collections in southern, agricultural, and labor history.

— Michael G. Wade

Louisiana History
Breakthrough study... Coolies and Cane stands as an instructive study of race, Reconstruction, and Asian American history that points the way for further research.

— Walter T. Howard

Agricultural History
An ambitious book... A provocative invitation to reexamine our understanding of race in America in the 'age of emancipation.'

— Gordon H. Chang

Labor History
This book is bound to be valuable for comparative purposes... It is also a welcome contribution to transnational approaches to American history.

— Ian Tyrrell

American Historical Review - John S. W. Park

In this important and well-researched work, Moon-Ho Jung argues that southern sugar planters looked to Asian 'coolies' to solve their labor problems after the Civil War.

Agricultural History Review - Edward Rhoads

Argues that coolies played an important role in the social construction of 'whiteness' in the United States... Thoroughly researched.

Journal of American History - Cindy Hahamovitch

Brilliant and beautifully written... Jung's slim volume makes it clear that coolieism was not a marginal issue. The debate over coolieism was bound up in the most pressing issues of the Civil War era, from the policing of the slave-trade ban to the redefinition of citizenship in the postwar South.

Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History - Kathleen López

Well researched study... These larger questions about race and labor are relevant not only for understanding the age of emancipation, but also for the current political climate of intensified debates on immigration and citizenship in the United States.

Journal of American Ethnic History - Evelyn Hu-DeHart

The heart, strength, and originality of this riveting narrative rest in Jung's discussion of the debates concerning Chinese coolies among diverse sectors of white southerners... A model of the best of American history and, especially, studies of Asian American history and race and ethnicity.

Journal of African American History - Carol Huang

Not only enriches the texture of Asian American, African American, and southem history, but also offers a global perspective on 19th-century labor migrations.

Pacific Historical Review - Adam McKeown

Focusing on attempts to import Chinese contract labor to Louisiana sugar plantations in the decade after the Civil War, this book argues for the importance of the Chinese 'coolie' in the construction of race, nation, and citizenship in the United States.

Journal of Southern History - Michael G. Wade

Jung's work contains real passion... It will have substantial appeal for academic specialists and university libraries with collections in southern, agricultural, and labor history.

Louisiana History - Walter T. Howard

Breakthrough study... Coolies and Cane stands as an instructive study of race, Reconstruction, and Asian American history that points the way for further research.

Agricultural History - Gordon H. Chang

An ambitious book... A provocative invitation to reexamine our understanding of race in America in the 'age of emancipation.'

Labor History - Ian Tyrrell

This book is bound to be valuable for comparative purposes... It is also a welcome contribution to transnational approaches to American history.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801890826
  • Publisher: Hopkins Fulfillment Service
  • Publication date: 10/3/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Moon-Ho Jung is an associate professor of history at the University of Washington.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

1 Outlawing coolies 11
2 Envisioning freedoms 39
3 Demanding coolies 73
4 Domesticating labor 107
5 Redeeming white supremacy 146
6 Resisting coolies 181
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