Review: The Making of Asian America: A History

The Making of Asian America: A History The Making of Asian America: A History by Erika Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Where do I begin with this review besides just saying, "WOW!" I knew about some of the aspects of this book such as strong anti-Asian immigration laws and racial discrimination in the US toward Asian-Americans since the 1800s. But Lee provides a meticulous and nuanced exploration of the history of migration and representation within the Americas since the 1500s. She traces the history of discriminatory practices by different American countries that challenge, limit, devalue, or pit against one another the many different immigrants from the numerous Asian countries. In doing so, she helps the reader understand the denial of identity and culture that comes with the term "Asian American", and how it masks the distinct experiences, cultural dynamics, and sense of history that different immigrants from Asian bring with them. In tracing the history to the present century, Lee further aids readers in considering the experience of Asian Americans whose families have been here for generations and the more recent Asian American immigrants fit into the rhetoric of immigration for various discourses and for different dominant-group purposes. It's definitely a must-read for people trying to better understand race and ethnicity in the Americas.

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