Journey to Gold Mountain

Journey to Gold Mountain

The Chinese in 19th-Century America

by Ronald Takaki, Rebecca Stefoff (Adapter)
Library Binding, 128 pages
Not in stock

The first Asian group to enter the United States, the Chinese began to arrive after the discovery of gold in California in 1848. Like other Forty-Niners, they came to mine the hills of the land they called Gam Saan, "Gold Mountain." As the gold fields petered out, thousands of Chinese were hired by the Central Pacific Railroad to complete America's first transcontinental rail line, and then they went to work in the factories of San Francisco. But white laborers feared the Chinese, whom they saw as competitors for jobs. Anti-Chinese riots and resentments forced many Chinese out of traditional industries. Laws imposed discriminatory taxes on the Chinese, denied them citizenship, and prohibited their wives and families from joining them in the United States, all in an effort to discourage permanent settlement. The Chinese were forced into marginal occupations, becoming shopkeepers and laundrymen. Still, the Chinese were putting down roots as Americans. Journey to Gold Mountain tells the story of how the Chinese transformed America and found themselves transformed in the process.

Ronald Takaki is Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California at Berkeley and is himself the grandson of Japanese immigrants. Based on his acclaimed history of Asian Americans, Strangers from a Different Shore, Professor Takaki's narrative draws heavily upon personal recollections, allowing Asian Americans, the fastest growing ethnic group in North America, to tell of their hopes and dreams in their own words.

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