Rise: A Pop History of Asian America from the Nineties to Now

HarperAudio. Mar. 2022. 19:47 hrs. ISBN 9780358581888. $38.99. POP CULTURE
There’s no disputing that Asian and Asian American popular culture is a powerhouse in the United States. K-pop is all over the radio, movies like Crazy Rich Asians are blockbusters, and television shows featuring Asian American actors are smash hits. But how did we get here? Years of struggle and hard work—much of it overlooked. Journalist Yang, blogger Phil Yu, and producer Philip Wang, along with a team of writers, chronicle the rise of Asian American popular culture, with a focus on 1990 to the present. Each section takes a deep dive into a specific time period, with extensive coverage of music, television and movies, fashion, dance, and news. The tone varies from irreverent to serious, and the content includes essays, interviews, poetry, lists, and profiles. A team of eight Asian American narrators capably handles this wide variety of content, adjusting the pacing to suit the tone of each individual piece. The sole drawback to the audiobook is that listeners miss out on the illustrations in the print edition, which include comic strips, portraits, and pull-out panoramas—all drawn by Asian American artists.
VERDICT This heartfelt and entertaining chronicle serves as a showcase for exceptional Asian American audiobook narrators. A must-listen for pop culture buffs.
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