The crippling custom of footbinding is the thematic touchstone for this engrossing study of Chinese women in San Francisco. Judy Yung, a second-generation Chinese American born and raised in San Francisco, shows the stages of "unbinding" that occurred in the decades between the turn of the century and the end of the World War II, revealing that these women - rather than being passive victims of oppression - were active agents in the making of their own history.
Yung (Chinese Women of America: A Pictorial History, Univ. of Washington Pr., 1986) has written a thorough and engrossing social history of Chinese women in San Francisco, from the turn of the century through the end of World War II. Using oral history interviews, unpublished autobiographies, government census reports, and English- and Chinese-language newspapers, Yung illuminates the larger canvas of social change with the stories of specific women from the first and second generations and their quests to improve their lives. The book is particularly valuable for its analysis of class differences within the Chinese community (merchant, peasant, bound servant, etc.), which created even more obstacles for Chinese women to overcome. This work offers engrossing reading; highly recommended for academic and public libraries.Katharine L. Kan, Aiea P.L., Hawaii
Lady Hyegyong married Crown Prince Sado when they were both nine years old. The prince descended into violence and insanity in adulthood, and was killed by his father. Lady Hyegyong chose to live, and her son was later crowned king. She wrote the collected four memoirs in an attempt to weather the storms of political intrigue surrounding her. Contains introductory material, a glossary, and genealogical tables. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Judy Yung is Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of Chinese Women of America: A Pictorial History (1986) and the coauthor of Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island (1980, 1991), which won the Before Columbus Foundation Book Award.