This book is a fresh approach to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Drawing on stunning evidence from newspapers and exciting currents in scholarship, Qin presents a new interpretation of the anti-Chinese movement. By examining Chinese native-place tradition in Chinese history, he shows that Chinese native-place sentiment was responsible for almost all important features of Chinese community in the nineteenth-century America. Qin further argues, the main lines along which the anti-Chinese movement ran had been all predetermined in the Chinese native-place rootedness which saw the problem originate and develop. This statement, however, should t cause us to overlook racial prejudice within the movement, which actually received an uninterrupted supply of ammunition from Chinese native-place sentiment and practices.
Yucheng Qin is associate professor of Asian history at the University of Hawaii-Hilo and the author of The Diplomacy of Nationalism: The Six Companies and China's Policy toward Exclusion, among others. He is also one of the winners of the 2012 University of Hawaii Board of Regents' Medal for Teaching Excellence.