In preparation for an upcoming event (to be announced soon!) I have been reading, Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans by Jean Pfaelzer (2007). The book is engaging and easy to read. It details the ‘hidden history’ of Chinese in America and their forced expulsion from the Pacific Northwest between 1850-1905 (a systematic and violent attack which the author compares to the pogroms against Jews in Europe). Pfaelzer not only illuminates an interesting and little known area of history but also links it to wider racial policies and the complex story of American immigration and westward expansion.
Other suggested reading:
Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States (2003)
Iris Chang, The Chinese in America: a narrative history (2003)
Cal Jillson, Pursuing the American Dream: opportunity & exclusion over four centuries (2004)