In an engaging, well-written manner, this volume introduces readers to Chinese immigrants as a group, their contributions to American society, and highlights of their immigrant history. The narrative describes such history as life under the Manchu ruling class and conditions that led to Chinese emigrants' leaving, as well as the appeal of the United States—including the lure of fortunes to be made in California after the discovery of gold there in 1848. From the first and second great waves of Chinese immigrants in America to the 1962 presidential directive allowing certain refugees in Hong Kong to come to the United States, this book covers the entire history of Chinese immigration to the United States. A discussion of Chinese Americans in the present day, emphasizing how traditional Chinese customs have been adapted to American life, brings this valuable resource up to date.
History covered includes:
- The California gold rush, San Francisco’s Chinatown, and the aftermath of the gold rush
- Chinese laborers and the building of the transcontinental railroad
- The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, which prohibited the immigration of Chinese laborers
- The 1888 Scott Act, which barred even legal Chinese immigrants from re-entering the United States once they left
- The role of Chinese immigrants in World War II
- Mao’s “Great Leap Forward,” a failed move from agriculture to rapid industrialization
- China’s one-baby-only policy
- The signing of historic agreements promoting scientific, technological, and cultural exchanges between the United States and China
- The 1989 massacre in Tiananmen Square
- Chinatowns around the country and celebrations such as Chinese New Year.
20-30 black-and-white photographs and illustrations. Approximately 2 maps. Index. Bibliography. Glossary. Timeline. Further reading. Box features.
About the Author(s)
Michael Teitelbaum holds a B.A. in communications from Adelphi University. He has 12 years experience writing for children and has written more than 200 books for young and middle-age readers.