Brokering Belonging: Chinese in Canada's Exclusion Era, 1885-1945

Synopsis

Brokering Belonging traces several generations of Chinese "brokers," ethnic leaders who acted as intermediaries between the Chinese and Anglo worlds of Canada. Before World War II, most Chinese could not vote and many were illegal immigrants, so brokers played informal but necessary roles as representatives to the larger society. Lisa Rose Mar's study of Chinatown leaders shows how politics helped establish North America's first major group of illegal immigrants. Drawing on new Chinese language evidence, her dramatic account of political power struggles over representing Chinese Canadians offers a transnational immigrant view of history, centered in a Pacific World that joins Canada, the United States, China, and the British Empire.