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America's Asia : Racial Form and American Literature, 1893-1945 - Colleen Lye

America's Asia

Racial Form and American Literature, 1893-1945

Paperback Published: 14th November 2004
ISBN: 9780691114194
Number Of Pages: 352

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What explains the perception of Asians both as economic exemplars and as threats? "America's Asia" explores a discursive tradition that affiliates the East with modern efficiency, in contrast to more familiar primitivist forms of Orientalism. Colleen Lye traces the American stereotype of Asians as a "model minority" or a "yellow peril"--two aspects of what she calls "Asiatic racial form"-- to emergent responses to globalization beginning in California in the late nineteenth century, when industrialization proceeded in tandem with the nation's neocolonial expansion beyond its continental frontier.

From Progressive efforts to regulate corporate monopoly to New Deal contentions with the crisis of the Great Depression, a particular racial mode of social redress explains why turn-of-the-century radicals and reformers united around Asian exclusion and why Japanese American internment during World War II was a liberal initiative.

In Lye's reconstructed archive of Asian American racialization, literary naturalism and its conventions of representing capitalist abstraction provide key historiographical evidence. Arguing for the profound influence of literature on policymaking, "America's Asia" examines the relationship between Jack London and leading Progressive George Kennan on U.S.-Japan relations, Frank Norris and AFL leader Samuel Gompers on cheap immigrant labor, Pearl S. Buck and journalist Edgar Snow on the Popular Front in China, and John Steinbeck and left intellectual Carey McWilliams on Japanese American internment. Lye's materialist approach to the construction of race succeeds in locating racialization as part of a wider ideological pattern and in distinguishing between its different, and sometimes opposing, historical effects.

Winner of the 2005 Cultural Studies Award, The Association for Asian American Studies Honorable Mention for the 2006 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2005 "Through a densely historicized, insightful reading of literary naturalism, Colleen Lye makes important contributions to understanding U.S. political, economic, and social history... This is an exemplary work of materialist study of literature and history that humbles most literary critics and historians."--Mari Yoshihara, Journal of American History

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: The Minority Which Is Not Onep. 1
A Genealogy of the "Yellow Peril"p. 12
Meat versus Ricep. 47
The End of Asian Exclusion?p. 96
A New Deal for Asiansp. 141
One Worldp. 204
Notesp. 255
Works Citedp. 301
Indexp. 329
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691114194
ISBN-10: 0691114196
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 14th November 2004
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.2  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.48