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Book Title: The Chinese in America: A Narrative History|
The author of the book: Iris Chang
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Reader ratings: 7.1
Edition: Recorded Books, Inc.
Date of issue: December 1st 2010
ISBN 13: 9781449890711
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.35 MB
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In an epic story that spans 150 years and continues to the present day, Iris Chang tells of a people’s search for a better life—the determination of the Chinese to forge an identity and a destiny in a strange land and, often against great obstacles, to find success. She chronicles the many accomplishments in America of Chinese immigrants and their descendents: building the infrastructure of their adopted country, fighting racist and exclusionary laws, walking the racial tightrope between black and white, contributing to major scientific and technological advances, expanding the literary canon, and influencing the way we think about racial and ethnic groups. Interweaving political, social, economic, and cultural history, as well as the stories of individuals, Chang offers a bracing view not only of what it means to be Chinese American, but also of what it is to be American.
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Read information about the authorIris Shun-Ru Chang was a Chinese-American historian and journalist. She was best known for her best-selling 1997 account of the Nanking Massacre, The Rape of Nanking. She committed suicide on November 9, 2004, when she was just 36 years old.
The daughter of two university professors who had emigrated from China, Chang was born in Princeton, New Jersey and raised in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois where she attended the University Laboratory High School from which she graduated in 1985. She then earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in 1989, during which time she also worked as a New York Times stringer, writing six front-page articles over the course of one year. After brief stints at the Associated Press and the Chicago Tribune she pursued a master's degree at Johns Hopkins University, and then embarked on a career as an author who also lectured and wrote articles for various magazines. She married Bretton Lee Douglas, whom she had met in college, and had one son, Christopher, who was 2 years old at the time of her death. She lived in San Jose, California in the final years of her life.
Chang wrote three books documenting the experiences of the Chinese in the 19th and 20th centuries. Her first book, entitled Thread of the Silkworm (1995), tells the story of the Chinese professor, Dr. Tsien Hsue-shen, during the Red Scare in the 1950s. Although Tsien was one of the founders of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and had helped the US military to debrief scientists from Nazi Germany for many years, he was falsely accused of being both a spy and a member of the Communist Party USA, and was thus placed under house arrest from 1950 until his deportation to the People's Republic of China in September 1955. Upon his return to China, Tsien developed the Dongfeng missile and later the Silkworm missile which would be used by the Iraqi military not only during its war on Iran but (ironically) against the US-led coalitions during Gulf Wars I and II.
Her second book, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II (1997), was published on the 60th anniversary of the Nanking Massacre, and was motivated in part by her own grandparents' stories about their escape from the massacre. It documents atrocities committed against the Chinese by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War and includes interviews with the victims. The book attracted both praise from some quarters for exposing the details of the atrocity and criticism from others because of alleged inaccuracies. After the publication of the book, Chang campaigned for the Japanese government to apologize for its troops' wartime conduct and to pay reparations to the victims. The work was the first English-language full-length nonfiction account of the atrocity itself and remained on the New York Times Bestseller List for ten weeks. Based on the book, an American documentary film, Nanking, was released in 2007.
Chang's third book and final book was significantly enough The Chinese in America (2003), a history of how the Chinese in the United States have always been treated as suspect outsiders despite their obvious adherence to the American ethic of hard work which they not only excelled at but which they were led to expect would assure them of acceptance as full Americans instead of the envy and alienation that it has continually provoked.
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