Chan (history and Asian American studies, Univ. of California) has written an excellent introduction to the history of Asians in the United States from the 1840s to the present. Based upon existing scholarship, Chan portrays Asian-Americans not just as victims of racial discrimination, but as agents of change attempting to shape their own destinies. Thus, exclusionary laws and incidents of anti-Asian violence are countered by examples of legal or political action on the part of individuals or groups to improve their conditions. Despite their successes, Chan cautions against accepting the image of Asians as the ``model minority,'' pointing out differences among Asian groups and continued discriminatory barriers. Including a chronology and filmography, this is an essential purchase for undergraduate collections, especially where issues of diversity have introduced a need for a concise overview of this subject.-- Kathleen Hirooka, Stanford Univ. Lib., Cal.
School Library Journal
YA-- The experiences of early Asian immigrants are examined through their domestic situations, the lives of women who were struggling to cope without the support of their families in their homeland, and the social organizations that became central to their being. These organizations met the new arrivals at the ship, arranged jobs, established credit, helped to arrange marriages, and even buried them if they died in this country. The final chapter looks at the current status of Asian-Americans and explores their contribution to American life through film, writing, and other areas. Anyone wishing to do research would do well to get their hands on this book. The density of detail on people from Asia is enormous, and the currency is taken into the '90s with reports on court decisions that have occurred within the last year. Included is a list of films about Asian-Americans. --Barbara Weathers, Duchesne Academy, Houston, TX