The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America by Beth Lew-Williams

£23.95
Available
Product Ref. (e.g. ISBN, SKU)
9780674260351
Published:
27 Aug 2021
Format:
Paperback
Dimensions:
360 pages - 235mm x 156mm x mm
Weight:
0.100kgs
Author:

Winner of the Ray Allen Billington Prize Winner of the Ellis W. Hawley Prize Winner of the Caroline Bancroft History Prize Winner of the Sally and Ken Owens Award Winner of the Vincent P. DeSantis Book Prize "A powerful argument about racial violence that could not be more timely...White nationalists targeted Chinese immigrants as threats to their homes and jobs and blamed the American government for failing to seal the borders." -Richard White, author of The Republic for Which It Stands "A riveting, beautifully written account...that foregrounds Chinese voices and experiences. A timely and important contribution to our understanding of immigration and the border." -Karl Jacoby, author of Shadows at Dawn "Lew-Williams particularly excels at invoking the psychological effects of the law on Chinese people living in the United States." -Slate In 1885, following the massacre of Chinese miners in Wyoming Territory, communities throughout California and the Pacific Northwest harassed, assaulted, and expelled thousands of Chinese immigrants. The Chinese Must Go shows how American immigration policies incited this violence, and how this gave rise to the concept of the "alien" in America. Our story begins in the 1850s, before federal border control established strict divisions between citizens and aliens-and long before Congress passed the Chinese Restriction Act, the nation's first attempt to bar immigration based on race and class. When this unprecedented experiment failed to slow Chinese migration, armed vigilante groups took the matter into their own hands. Fearing the spread of mob violence, policymakers redoubled their efforts to seal the borders, overhauling immigration law and transforming America's relationship with China in the process. By tracing the idea of the alien back to this violent era, Lew-Williams offers a troubling new origin story of today's racialized border.

About the Author: Beth Lew-Williams is a historian of race and migration in the United States. She is Associate Professor of History at Princeton University. The Chinese Must Go won five book awards, including the Ray Allen Billington Prize and the Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians and the Caroline Bancroft History Prize.

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