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The Chinese Question

Audiobook
Nonfiction: Politics
Unabridged   11.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 11/23/2021

F O R T H C O M I N G ! Available November

The Chinese Question

The Gold Rushes and Global Politics

Available from major retailers
Digital Download ISBN:9781696606561

Summary

How Chinese migration to the world's goldfields upended global power and economics and forged modern conceptions of race.

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Product Description

Between 1848 and 1899, more gold was removed from the earth than had been mined in the 3,000 preceding years, bringing untold wealth to individuals and nations. But friction between Chinese and white settlers on the goldfields of California, Australia, and South Africa catalyzed a global battle over "the Chinese Question": would the United States and the British Empire outlaw Chinese immigration?

This history of the Chinese diaspora and global capitalism chronicles how a feverish alchemy of race and money brought Chinese people to the West and reshaped the nineteenth-century world. Prize-winning historian Mae Ngai narrates the story of the thousands of Chinese who left their homeland in pursuit of gold, and how they formed communities and organizations to help navigate their perilous new world. Out of their encounters with whites, and the emigrants' assertion of autonomy and humanity, arose the pernicious western myth of the "coolie" laborer, a racist stereotype used to drive anti-Chinese sentiment.

By the turn of the twentieth century, the United States and the British Empire had answered "the Chinese Question" with laws that excluded Chinese people from immigration and citizenship. Ngai explains how this happened and argues that Chinese exclusion was not extraneous to the emergent global economy but an integral part of it.

Author Bio

Mae Ngai is Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and a professor of history at Columbia University. She is the author of the award-winning book Impossible Subjects and The Lucky Ones, and lives in New York City and Accokeek, Maryland.