Voices of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Experience
[2 volumes]
by Sang Chi and Emily Moberg Robinson, Editors
February 2012, 700pp, 7x10
2 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-59884-354-5
$201, £155, 175€, A276
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-59884-355-2
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Yayoi Lena Winfrey was born in Tokyo, the daughter of a Japanese war bride and an African American soldier. Committed to recording the experiences and perspectives of hapas—mixed race people—and their parents, Winfrey wrote the essay, “Fire Lily” for this anthology. It is just one of the intimate accounts that will help readers understand the history and diversity of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans through primary source documents.

This unique work presents an extraordinary breadth of contemporary and historical views on Asian America and Pacific Islanders, conveyed through the voices of the men and women who lived these experiences over more than 150 years.

In 1848, the “First Wave” of Asian immigration arrived in the United States. By the first decade of the 21st century, Asian Americans were the nation’s fastest growing racial group. Through a far-ranging array of primary source documents, Voices of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Experience shares what it was like for these diverse peoples to live and work in the United States, for better and for worse.

Organized chronologically by ethnicity, the book covers a panoply of ethnic groups, including recent Asian immigrants and mixed race/mixed heritage Asian Americans. There is also a topical section that showcases views on everything from politics to class to gender dynamics, underscoring that the Asian American population is not—nor has it ever been—monolithic. In choosing material, the editors strove to make the volume as comprehensive as possible. Thus, readers will discover documents written by transnational, adopted, and homosexual Asian Americans, as well as documents written from particular religious positions.


  • More than 300 primary source documents that take readers back in history through first-hand accounts of many events central to understanding Asian American experiences
  • Critical historical and contemporary contextualization for each document that makes the volume an ideal resource for classroom instruction
  • A chronology of important events beginning with the first wave of Asian immigration to the United States in 1848
  • A bibliography of key resources for those wishing to know more
Sang Chi, PhD, teaches in the Department of History at Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA. He received a master's degree in Asian American studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his doctorate in history from the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on the intersections of race, religion, and foreign policy during the Cold War. He has taught courses in U.S. history, Cold War history, and Asian American studies at the University of California, Berkeley; Santa Clara University; and the City College of San Francisco.

Emily Moberg Robinson, PhD, received a bachelor's degree in history from Wellesley College and a master's degree and doctorate in history from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research is in memory studies and immigrant and national identity. Robinson has taught courses in U.S. history, religious history, and Asian American studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and at Menlo College.


"Most recent titles on the Asian American experience look exclusively at a particular topic (e.g., parenting styles) or group (e.g., children, youth cultures), whereas this set has a much broader focus. . . . This powerful collection is appropriate for public, school, and academic libraries."—Library Journal, May 15, 2012

"Represents a wide array of useful and fascinating materials concerning the lives of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. . . . This is a good addition for most collections. Summing up: Recommended."—Choice, August 1, 2012
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