Asian American History Day by Day: A Reference Guide to Events

Greenwood. Oct. 2018. 401p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780313399275. $94; ebk. ISBN 9780313399282. REF
Lee (Asian American studies, San Francisco State Univ.; Japanese Americans: The History and Culture of a People) has produced a valuable, almanac-like work. Entries for each day record events in Asian American history, mostly from the late 19th century (though occasionally as far back as the late 17th and early 18th centuries) to 2018. Some entries note significant historical developments that relate only indirectly to Asian Americans, such as the Opium Wars. Sidebars with excerpts from articles, court decisions, and overtly racist propaganda illustrate Lee's points. Helpfully annotated book and website references follow each selection, with an extensive (unannotated) final bibliography. A reliable index mitigates the lack of cross-referencing. Many populations (e.g., Hmong, Nepali, Burmese, Sikh) are included. The juxtaposition of historical items across years and cultures produces an intriguing effect. It can be difficult to follow a single strand, for instance, the Fred Korematsu case. But on the other hand, common themes such as the bonds of striving, achievement, prejudice, and oppression (including anti-LGBT discrimination) reoccur. There are copyediting lapses, but the writing is clear and jargon-free. Occasional omissions do not mar the volume's overall achievement. Ample evidence here demonstrates that fear of economic, political, and cultural displacement by the "other" has a lengthy history in this nation.
VERDICT For academic and public libraries, this compilation provides a useful and unusual initial research point.

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