An inclusive and landmark history, emphasizing how essential Asian American experiences are to any understanding of US history

Product Code: 3161
ISBN: 9780807050798
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Beacon Press
Pages: 240
Published Date: 08/02/2022
Availability:In stock
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Price: $26.95

Original and expansive, Asian American Histories of the United States is a nearly 200-year history of Asian migration, labor, and community formation in the US. Reckoning with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the surge in anti-Asian hate and violence, award-winning historian Catherine Ceniza Choy presents an urgent social history of the fastest growing group of Americans. The book features the lived experiences and diverse voices of immigrants, refugees, US-born Asian Americans, multiracial Americans, and workers from industries spanning agriculture to healthcare.

Despite significant Asian American breakthroughs in American politics, arts, and popular culture in the 21st century, a profound lack of understanding of Asian American history permeates American culture. Choy traces how anti-Asian violence and its intersection with misogyny and other forms of hatred, the erasure of Asian American experiences and contributions, and Asian American resistance to what has been omitted are prominent themes in Asian American history. This ambitious book is fundamental to understanding the American experience and its existential crises of the early 21st century.


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An impressive new work about how major moments in Asian American history continue to influence the modern world . . . . An empathetic and detailed recounting of Asian American histories rarely found in textbooks.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“Today’s rise in anti-Asian hate demands a new sort of Asian American history. Choy meets this urgent need with a powerful and effective nonlinear account of how we came to the present moment.” —Beth Lew-Williams, author of The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America

“With unflinching insight and grace, Professor Choy offers an evocative meditation on the histories of Asian Americans, histories that powerfully connect our past with our present. A stunning, timely work that deepens our understanding of race in the United States.” —Vicki L. Ruiz, Distinguished Professor Emerita, University of California, Irvine

“Systematically and unapologetically, this country has attempted to erase Asian Americans from the American story. Catherine Ceniza Choy has an urgent reminder: the America of today would not exist without Asian Americans. She reminds us, too, that anti-Asian hate is hardly a new phenomenon—in fact, it has been central in the creation of this country for well over a century. Still, Choy channels hope but underscores that there is no moving forward without reckoning with the sins of our past. I promise you, this is unlike any history you’ll ever read—a book only Catherine Ceniza Choy could have written.” —Anthony Christian Ocampo, author of The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race

“Exquisitely geared to meet the urgent demands of our time, Catherine Ceniza Choy’s highly readable Asian American Histories of the United States addresses it all: viruses and discrimination, healthcare and food culture, its vast workforce and their manifold contributions, proving time and again just how crucial Asian Americans are to the history of the United States.” —Franklin S. Odo, John Woodruff Simpson Lecturer of American Studies, Amherst College

“Catherine Ceniza Choy is one of the most gifted public intellectuals that the Asian American community has produced. As Filipino American writer Carlos Bulosan did during the Great Depression, Choy bears witness to recent years of great anti-Asian hatred. Asian American Histories of the United States inspires us to link personal biographies with global histories, and tragic pasts with hope-filled futures.” —Theodore S. Gonzalves, twenty-first president of the Association for Asian American Studies

“With anti-Asian bigotry accelerating in the United States, often violently, this important and beautifully written book is exactly the knowledge base and guide needed to educate the public. Then we must take action to address and resist the hate and resentment being experienced in Asian American communities.” —Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States

“Catherine Ceniza Choy makes a convincing argument that we must understand the past if we are to adequately address the anti-Asian violence of the present. Written with love and respect for our communities, this book illuminates histories as diverse as Asian America itself.” —Grace M. Cho, author of National Book Award finalist Tastes Like War: A Memoir

“With admirable clarity and deep empathy, Catherine Ceniza Choy deftly captures the complex heterogeneity of the lives, cultures, and histories encompassed by the category of ‘Asian American.’ But even as Choy is acutely aware of the differences between and within Asian American communities in terms of national origin, language, religion, class, and immigration histories, so too is she attuned to their commonalities: the discriminatory citizenship and immigration laws that solidify their status as ‘forever foreigners,’ the histories of militarism and empire in Asia that constitute and indelibly mark their existence in the US, but also their shared histories of radical organizing and activism against discrimination, violence, and imperial rule. With lucid prose that never loses sight of the everyday lives of ordinary people, Choy counters the forced forgetting, erasure, and invisibility of Asian American histories, cultures, and labor. In so doing she makes indisputably clear their centrality to the very formation of the United States. If you think you ‘know’ American history, this book will be a revelation.” —Gayatri Gopinath, author of Unruly Visions: The Aesthetic Practices of Queer Diaspora

“By documenting multiple origin stories, by recounting various histories, by examining a heterogeneous history of violence, erasure, and resistance, Catherine Ceniza Choy closes the door on narrow and uniform understandings of Asian Americans. This book is a monument to the complexity of history and the fullness of historical prose.” —Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

“Catherine Ceniza Choy is a brilliant, perceptive historian who knows how to tell stories. By connecting people, movements, memories, and dreams with the harsh realities of structural racism across oceans, continents, and time, she gives us a completely new history of the United States—reminding us that nothing is ever black and white.” —Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

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