Author Event - The Chinese Must Go with Beth Lew-Williams

The Avid Reader is hosting author Beth Lew-Williams for a presentation of her new book, The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America on Friday, July 20th at 7:30 p.m. Lew-Williams will be interviewed by her mother, The Davis Enterprise's Marion Franck. 

The hardback published by Harvard University Press traces the history of the Chinese in America and the development of accompanying immigration policies. The title begins in the 1850’s as the Chinese came to work in this country felling trees and laying tracks in the American West before federal border control established divisions between citizens and aliens.

The book further describes how Chinese workers faced escalating racial conflict and unrest leading to Congress passing the Chinese Restriction Act of 1882 making its first attempt to bar immigrants based on race and class. Vigilantism followed. Fearing mob violence, U.S. policymakers overhauled U.S. immigration law and transformed diplomatic relations with China.

 Ultimately, in Lew-Williams’ work of history, she shows how American immigration policies arrived at in 1885 actually incited anti-Chinese violence producing new exclusionary policies which in turn led to the concept of the “alien” in modern America.

By locating the origins of the modern American alien in this violent era, Lew-Williams recasts the significance of Chinese exclusion in U.S. history. According to Lew-Williams’ analysis, anti-Chinese law and violence in the 19th century continues to have consequences for today’s immigrants. In short, the existence of current xenophobia builds upon past fears of the “heathen Chinaman.”

Beth Lew-Williams grew up in Davis, CA and is now Assistant Professor of History at Princeton University.

7/3/18

Contact: Tessa Peters, Publicity

               The Avid Reader (530) 759-1599

Who: Beth Lew-Williams and Marion Franck

What: Author Event - Reading, Discussion, and Signing

When:  Friday, July 20, 2018 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

Where:  The Avid Reader 617 2nd St. Davis, CA 95616

Event date: 
Friday, July 20, 2018 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
The Avid Reader
617 2nd St.
Davis, CA 95616
The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780674976016
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harvard University Press - January 15th, 2018