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American History Unbound

Asians and Pacific Islanders

Gary Y Okihiro (Author)


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A survey of U.S. history from its beginnings to the present, American History Unbound reveals our past through the lens of Asian American and Pacific Islander history. In so doing, it is a work of both history and anti-history, a narrative that fundamentally transforms and deepens our understanding of the United States. This text is accessible and filled with engaging stories and themes that draw attention to key theoretical and historical interpretations. Gary Y. Okihiro positions Asians and Pacific Islanders within a larger history of people of color in the United States and places the United States in the context of world history and oceanic worlds.
List of Illustrations


1. Ocean Worlds
2. The World-System
3. The United States
4. Imperial Republic

5. Hawai'i
6. California
7. Northwest, Northeast, South, and North

8. Dependent Hawai'i
9. San Francisco
10. Seattle, New York City, Chicago

11. World War II
12. Militarized Zones
13. Global Transits
14. Regenerations

Gary Y. Okihiro is Professor of International and Public Affairs and the founding director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University. He is the author of ten books, including his latest two, Island World: A History of Hawai’i and the United States (2008) and Pineapple Culture: A History of the Tropical and Temperate Zones (2009), both from UC Press. He is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Studies Association, received an honorary doctorate from the University of the Ryukyus, and is a past president of the Association for Asian American Studies.
"...American History Unbound offers extremely important approaches to rethinking the history of the United States, and takes its place in the recent trend of a globally aligned (US) historiography that questions the construct of, and attempts to break the concept of the 'American Nation.'"—Robert Kramm-Masaoka H-Net Reviews
"[Okihiro] effectively introduces little-known groups and immigrants from the Pacific to the broader context of American ethnic history... a major contribution."—Oregon Historical Quarterly
"Noteworthy are Okihiro’s attention to the relationship between racial discourse and the historical segregation of Asian and Pacific Islander migrant laborers; his detailed rendering of the history of Asians in the United States through the nineteenth century; and his attention to the ethnic and geographic diversity of the Asian American experience."—Journal of World History
“Brimming with vivid stories and challenging ideas, American History Unbound bestows the full benefit of Okihiro’s decades of research and thought. As deep in conception as it is sweeping in scope, this volume will reorient readers’ historical understanding and jar loose some of the most cherished misconceptions about American democracy.”—Matthew Frye Jacobson, author of Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876–1917

“Engaging deeply in both history and theory, this new textbook offers a counter-history that stresses the connections among people of color in the United States and the world to reveal how Asians and Pacific Islanders transformed America."
—Erika Lee, Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair in Immigration History and Director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota and author of The Making of Asian America: A History

“This is history on a grand scale, moving deftly from the ancient worlds to the current ‘war on terror’ and capturing national and global trends as well as local contexts and individual stories along the way. Readers will never look at American history—and the stakes of doing history (or anti-history)—the same old way again.”—Moon-Ho Jung, editor of The Rising Tide of Color: Race, State Violence, and Radical Movements across the Pacific

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