“Offering illuminating analyses of the paranoid fantasies of Asian invasion in travelogues, political cartoons, and sensational fiction that proliferated during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, Edlie L. Wong deftly probes the way in which these narratives shaped the racial formations and understandings of free and unfree labor in the American imaginary. Exploring the impact of Exclusion Laws both in the U.S. and China against the backdrop of popular culture in both nations, Racial Reconstruction provides incredibly rich insights into the global repercussions of these policies. A stellar book.”
—Shelley Fisher Fishkin, author of Writing America: Literary Landmarks from Walden Pond to Wounded Knee
“With impressive archival research, Racial Reconstruction traces the fascinating transnational history of U.S. racial formation in the aftermath of abolition and reconstruction. Exploring the legal discourse around Asian exclusion in relation to African American inclusion, Edlie L. Wong pushes our thinking and offers new insights about how Americans decide who does and does not belong as a citizen in the United States.”
—Gretchen Murphy, author of Shadowing the White Man’s Burden: U.S. Imperialism and the Problem of the Color Line
“The juxtaposition of these policies provides for intriguing analysis. It clearly shows that US history is never simply linear, as when steps toward freedom for some coincide with oppression of others. The topic is fascinating.”
"Racial Reconstruction clarifies the stakes of citizenship in the US racial state, offering important insights into current debates about immigration and the shifting contours of the US labor force. It is a model for the kind of deeply historicized work necessary to elucidate the shifting contours of race in the twenty-first century."
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