Chinatown, New York: Labor and Politics, 1930-1950

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9781565846401: Chinatown, New York: Labor and Politics, 1930-1950

Now back in print, the groundbreaking history of the rise and fall of labor movements in New York's Chinatown, updated with a new introduction. Focusing primarily on New York City's Chinatown in the 1930s and '40s, but looking back to the 1840's arrival of Chinese immigrants in America, Peter Kwong documents the turbulent history of Chinese labor in America in a groundbreaking book now available again. Kwong powerfully demonstrates how, excluded from craft unions and gradually driven into urban ghettos, the Chinese settled into a narrow range of jobs, where the merchant elite was able to control the workforce. But in the 1930s, as more industrial jobs became available, new organizations, aided by labor and leftist groups, arose to challenge the existing power structure. In the 1950s, though, as the political climate in the US changed, integration was halted and traditional associations reasserted their rule. Hailed as a "fascinating, pioneering study" by Library Journal when it was first published, this meticulous and elegant book provides crucial insight into the balance of forces in Chinatown, as well as the nature and extent of discrimination against the Chinese within the United States. This edition also includes a new introduction by the author about why a book written twenty years ago is still relevant today.

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About the Author:

Peter Kwong is chair of the Asian American Studies Program at Hunter College. His previous books include The New Chinatown and Forbidden Workers (The New Press), which was a Village Voice Best Book of the Year.

Review:

A fascinating, pioneering study. -- Library Journal

A very illuminating work that we have needed for a long time. -- John King Fairbank, Emeritus Professor of History at Harvard University

A well-documented analytical work. -- International Migration Review

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