Paperback / softback
September 29, 2008
9780801890826
English
288
9
6
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
0.68 Inches (US)
.85 Pounds (US)
$32.00 USD, £23.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
July 27, 2009
9780801888762
9780801882814
English
288
9
6
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$32.00 USD, £23.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Coolies and Cane

Race, Labor, and Sugar in the Age of Emancipation

How did thousands of Chinese migrants end up working alongside African Americans in Louisiana after the Civil War? With the stories of these workers, Coolies and Cane advances an interpretation of emancipation that moves beyond U.S. borders and the black-white racial dynamic. Tracing American ideas of Asian labor to the sugar plantations of the Caribbean, Moon-Ho Jung argues that the racial formation of "coolies" in American culture and law played a pivotal role in reconstructing concepts of race, nation, and citizenship in the United States.

Jung examines how coolies appeared in major U.S. political debates on race, labor, and immigration between the 1830s and 1880s. He finds that racial notions of coolies were articulated in many, often contradictory, ways. They could mark the progress of freedom; they could also symbolize the barbarism of slavery. Welcomed and rejected as neither black nor white, coolies emerged recurrently as both the salvation of the fracturing and reuniting nation and the scourge of American civilization.

Based on extensive archival research, this study makes sense of these contradictions to reveal how American impulses to recruit and exclude coolies enabled and justified a series of historical transitions: from slave-trade laws to racially coded immigration laws, from a slaveholding nation to a "nation of immigrants," and from a continental empire of manifest destiny to a liberating empire across the seas.

Combining political, cultural, and social history, Coolies and Cane is a compelling study of race, Reconstruction, and Asian American history.

About the Author

Moon-Ho Jung is an associate professor of history at the University of Washington.

Reviews

In this important and well-researched work, Moon-Ho Jung argues that southern sugar planters looked to Asian 'coolies' to solve their labor problems after the Civil War.

- John S. W. Park - American Historical Review

Argues that coolies played an important role in the social construction of 'whiteness' in the United States... Thoroughly researched.

- Edward Rhoads - Agricultural History Review

Brilliant and beautifully written... Jung's slim volume makes it clear that coolieism was not a marginal issue. The debate over coolieism was bound up in the most pressing issues of the Civil War era, from the policing of the slave-trade ban to the redefinition of citizenship in the postwar South.

- Cindy Hahamovitch - Journal of American History

Well researched study... These larger questions about race and labor are relevant not only for understanding the age of emancipation, but also for the current political climate of intensified debates on immigration and citizenship in the United States.

- Kathleen López - Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

The heart, strength, and originality of this riveting narrative rest in Jung's discussion of the debates concerning Chinese coolies among diverse sectors of white southerners... A model of the best of American history and, especially, studies of Asian American history and race and ethnicity.

- Evelyn Hu-DeHart - Journal of American Ethnic History

Not only enriches the texture of Asian American, African American, and southem history, but also offers a global perspective on 19th-century labor migrations.

- Carol Huang - Journal of African American History

Focusing on attempts to import Chinese contract labor to Louisiana sugar plantations in the decade after the Civil War, this book argues for the importance of the Chinese 'coolie' in the construction of race, nation, and citizenship in the United States.

- Adam McKeown - Pacific Historical Review

Jung's work contains real passion... It will have substantial appeal for academic specialists and university libraries with collections in southern, agricultural, and labor history.

- Michael G. Wade - Journal of Southern History

Breakthrough study... Coolies and Cane stands as an instructive study of race, Reconstruction, and Asian American history that points the way for further research.

- Walter T. Howard - Louisiana History

An ambitious book... A provocative invitation to reexamine our understanding of race in America in the 'age of emancipation.'

- Gordon H. Chang - Agricultural History

Endorsements

An outstanding piece of scholarship and the most complete study of Chinese labor in the South. Through his meticulous research of a vast array of sources, Jung has managed to make a significant contribution to a number of overlapping fields: Asian American history, African American history, Southern history, labor history, race and ethnicity studies, and Diaspora studies. It is rare for one book to touch on so many fields!

- K. Scott Wong, Williams College, author of Americans First: Chinese Americans and the Second World War

Meticulously researched and boldly argued, this book is by turns, and often simultaneously, social, labor, business, diplomatic, Caribbean, Asian American, Southern, and political history. It is refreshingly revisionist in showing that moving the focus of Asian American history from the West Coast involves far more than simply acknowledging early settlement in Louisiana. Instead, Jung shows the debates over the possibility that the West Indian 'coolie' could be profitably 'transplanted' to the U.S. South made Asian American history part and parcel of debates over slavery and free labor at numerous turns, pre- and post-emancipation, so much so that initial immigration restriction legislation in the United States regulated 'coolie' trading in the context of the Civil War.

- David R. Roediger, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, author of Colored White: Transcending the Racial Past

This invaluable study forever changes our understanding of not only the history of Chinese labor in the United States, but also the very nature of slavery, freedom, and racialized labor in the age of emancipation.

- Lisa Lowe, University of California, San Diego, author of Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics

A stunning accomplishment, a work of enormous intellectual and moral integrity. Jung has dramatically resituated Chinese American history both temporally and geographically, to the American South and the Caribbean, and connects both to U.S. ambitions in China. This book is about more than racial constructions and ideology. It is also a moving story about real Chinese laborers, who were recruited to Louisiana sugar plantations after the Civil War, and the myriad ways in which they resisted being treated like 'coolies.'

- Mae M. Ngai, University of Chicago, author of Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America

This book is bound to be valuable for comparative purposes... It is also a welcome contribution to transnational approaches to American history.

- Ian Tyrrell - Labor History
Johns Hopkins University Press
From 17

9780801888762 : coolies-and-cane-jung
Electronic book text
288 Pages
$32.00 USD
9780801890826 : coolies-and-cane-jung
Paperback / softback
288 Pages
$32.00 USD

Other Titles by Moon-Ho Jung

The Rising Tide of Color

edited by Moon-Ho Jung
Jun 2015 - University of Washington Press
$95.00 USD - Hardback
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Margins and Mainstreams

Gary Y. Okihiro, introduction by Gary Y. Okihiro, preface by Moon-Ho Jung
Feb 2014 - University of Washington Press
$25.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in HISTORY / United States / General

The Fabric of Empire

Danielle C. Skeehan
Dec 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$54.95 USD - Hardback
$54.95 USD - Electronic book text

The Amateur Hour

Jonathan Zimmerman
Oct 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$34.95 USD - Hardback
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text

Detectives in the Shadows

Susanna Lee
Aug 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$27.00 USD - Hardback
$27.00 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in History of the Americas

The Fabric of Empire

Danielle C. Skeehan
Dec 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$54.95 USD - Hardback
$54.95 USD - Electronic book text

Cold War Correspondents

Dina Fainberg
Nov 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$64.95 USD - Hardback
$64.95 USD - Electronic book text

Neighborhood of Fear

Kyle Riismandel
Nov 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$49.95 USD - Hardback
$49.95 USD - Electronic book text