Chinese American history
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Anthony W. Lee. Picturing Chinatown. Art and Orientalism in San Francisco

Anthony W. Lee. Picturing Chinatown. Art and Orientalism in San Francisco
John Jung's insight:

Thanks to the Wang Family Foundation, a free downloadable pdf of Prof. Anthony W. Lee brilliant book "Picturing Chinatown: Art and Orientalism in San Francisco" is available.

 

If there is only one book you read on Chinese American history and how the camera or photographer constructs the public perception of Chinatown life, this should be the one!  Pardon the pun, but it is a real eye-opener and will change the way you think about photographic images and history.

 

If you appreciate Lee's insights, you can followup with " A Shoemaker's Story,"  his new brilliant photographic essay analyzing the historic 1870 Chinese shoemaker strike breakers in North Adams, Massachusetts. Note: this book is NOT free, but well worth reading!

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Chinese Recruited to Break Shoemaker Strike in North Adams, MA. in 1870

Chinese Recruited to Break Shoemaker Strike in North Adams, MA. in 1870 | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
Visitors of Mass Moments--a daily almanac of Massachusetts history--can learn more about the Moments presented on the radio, see images and illustrations, read a primary source document, and get suggestions of links to follow and places to visit.
John Jung's insight:

When shoemakers in North Adams, MA form the Knights of St. Crispin and went on strike for higher wages and better work conditions, the owner recruited 75 Chinese workers from San Francisco for lower wages. Other factories followed this lead, and strikes were quickly over.  Until 1870, most New Englanders had never even seen Chinese, but now the threat of cheap Chinese labor became real. Such fears soon led to the Chinese Exclusion Law of 1882.

A fascinating analysis of the social dynamics created in North Adams between the citizenry and the Chinese is a recent book by Anthony W. Lee:

 

A Shoemaker's Story: Being Chiefly about French Canadian Immigrants, Enterprising Photographers, Rascal Yankees, and Chinese Cobblers in a Nineteenth-Century Factory Town

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