Dictionary of Asian American History

Dictionary of Asian American History

Dictionary of Asian American History

Dictionary of Asian American History


"An informative and well-crafted volume with nearly 800 entries that review the key facts of Asian American and Pacific American history....This work, the first in its field, will be an essential reference for academic and public libraries." Choice


When I was offered the opportunity to take on the enormous task of writing a dictionary of Asian American history in August 1981, I accepted the challenge in trepidation, for I felt, as I feel now, that it was beyond one man's ability to survey a wide spectrum of the collective memory of the countless Asian immigrants and their descendants in the United States. As the end of research and writing on the dictionary draws near, I can only hope that I have done justice to the topic. In trepidation I shall await the judgment of the critics.

The Dictionary is divided into two major sections: (1) essays and (2) entries. In addition, an extensive bibliography on literature about Asian and Pacific Americans, an up-to-date historical chronology of Asians in America, a census report on people of Asian descent living in the United States, and a general subject index are appended to the end of the dictionary for the reader's convenience.

The first seven essays of the essay section treat the historical development of different ethnic groups of people from Asian countries and the Pacific Islands who are now called Asian and Pacific Americans; the last eight essays are treatises on the place of Asian and Pacific Americans in the American social order. The authors of these essays have been teaching in the field of Asian and Pacific American Studies for many years, and they have written extensively on the general topic of Asians in America.

All entries in the second section were written by the editor. They are arranged alphabetically and include major events, persons, places, and concepts that have left indelible marks on the collective experience of Asian and Pacific Americans. There are approximately 800 entries, and the majority of them center on the historical experiences of persons of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Asian Indian, and Filipino ancestry--although some attention is also paid to contemporary events in the lives of refugees from Vietnam, Kampuchea, and Laos.

Only a minimal number of entries on the experience of the Pacific Islanders are included in the Dictionary. One of the reasons is the lack of available literature . . .

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