Asian Americans in the Twenty-First
Century: Oral Histories of 1st to 4th Generation Americans
by Joann Faung Jean Lee

[October 3, 2008]


This book is a 21st Century snapshot of Asian Pacific Americans; a tapestry of tales reflecting their lives, experiences, hopes, and dreams. Ultimately the spectrum of values—in education,  family, work--form a remarkable mosaic of the Asian American experience, distinct in many ways from that of Asians living in Asia, or as immigrants encountering diaspora elsewhere in the world.

While there have been many books on history, immigration and diaspora of Asians in America, few have been framed through the voice of individual experience.  This book is written in oral history format, with stories which reflect the range of complexities inherent in the landscape of Asians in America. These first-hand accounts were conducted within the spirit of journalistic interviews. Their richness derives from the collective diversity that comprise the Asian American Experience.

Through the individual experiences recounted, we become engaged in the discourse of major themes within the interdisciplinary fields of cultural, and sociological literature, history, and politics, spanning first to fourth generation. Within the book, there are a range of voices. Examples: Gary Locke, former governor of Washington State, talks about his start in American politics; while Hank Sasaki shares his passion for Country and Western music as the “Cowboy from Japan”. Gita Deane recounts her efforts to fight for same-sex marriage in Maryland, while Dale Minami, attorney, details his efforts in changing the tide of history in Korematsu v. United States, 1984.

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