Asian Americans are widely believed to be passive and compliant participants in the U.S. political processif they participate at all. In this ground-breaking book, Pei-te Lien maps the actions and strategies of Asian Americans as they negotiate a space in the American political arena.
Professor Lien looks at political participation by Asian Americans prior to 1965 and then examines, at both organizational and mass politics levels, how race, ethnicity, and transnationalism help to construct a complex American electorate. She looks not only at rates of participation among Asian Americans as compared with blacks, Latinos, American Indians, and non-Hispanic whites, but also among specific groups of Asian AmericansChinese, Japanese, Filipinos, Koreans, Asian Indians, and Vietnamese. She also discusses how gender, socioeconomic class, and place of birth affect political participation.
With documentation ranging from historical narrative to opinion survey data, Professor Lien creates a picture of a diverse group of politically active people who are intent on carving out a place for themselves in American political life.
"This book is essential reading for anyone interested in Asian American studies. Lien, one of the leading scholars in the field, offers a convincing argument that Asian American identity as been shaped through political participation. She has made a major contribution to the revision of the Asian American image."
—Andrew L. Aoki, Augsburg College, and co-editor of Encyclopedia of Minorities in American Politics
"This is the first book to address broadly and thoroughly the political implications of the rapid growth of Asian immigrant to the U.S. The Making of Asian America through Political Participation is full of fascinating and little-known evidence. The sheer amount of information available nowhere else is extremely useful, and Ms. Lien's control over it all is excellent. An important book on a topic that promises to become increasingly important over the next few decades."
—Professor Jennifer Hochschild, Departments of Government and Afro-American Studies, Harvard University
"Lien uncovers a rich history of political activism on the part of Asian Americans from the 1800s to the present day. Thus, her unique study adds substantially to our understanding of Asian Americans, not only in the development of economic and social life in this country but also in the development of interethnic political participation."
"This well thought out and clearly written interdisciplinary study successfully builds connections between the fields of political science and Asian American studies."