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“Between Mao and McCarthy” book talk with Charlotte Brooks

March 31, 2015 @ 7:00 pm

between mao and mccarthyCharlotte Brooks, the author of Between Mao and McCarthy: Chinese American Politics in the Cold War Years (University of Chicago Press, 2015) will be at CHSA Museum on Tuesday, March 31st to discuss her new book. Free admission, light refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP on Eventbrite! RSVPs sold out but you can still come!

During the Cold War, Chinese Americans struggled to gain political influence in the United States. Considered potentially sympathetic to communism, their communities attracted substantial public and government scrutiny, particularly in San Francisco and New York.

Between Mao and McCarthy looks at the divergent ways that Chinese Americans in these two cities balanced domestic and international pressures during the tense Cold War era. On both coasts, Chinese Americans sought to gain political power and defend their civil rights, yet only the San Franciscans succeeded. Forging multiracial coalitions and encouraging voting and moderate activism, they avoided the deep divisions and factionalism that consumed their counterparts in New York. Drawing on extensive research in both Chinese- and English-language sources, Charlotte Brooks uncovers the complex, diverse, and surprisingly vibrant politics of an ethnic group trying to find its voice and flex its political muscle in Cold War America.

charlotte brooks Headshot2013A native of California, Charlotte Brooks earned her B.A. in Chinese history from Yale University and worked in China and Hong Kong after college. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in U.S. history from Northwestern University and taught at the University at Albany – SUNY, before coming to Baruch College.

She is the author most recently of Between Mao and McCarthy: Chinese American Politics in the Cold War Years (University of Chicago Press, 2015). Based on extensive research in both English and Chinese-language sources, it is a comparative study of Chinese American political activism in New York and San Francisco between World War Two and the late 1960s. Her other books include: Alien Neighbors, Foreign Friends: Asian Americans, Housing, and the Transformation of Urban California.


“Between Mao and McCarthy opens new ground in the study of Chinese American politics. Recovering a lost history with contemporary significance, Brooks’s energetically researched study returns a host of once prominent personalities and organizations to their place as political pioneers. Chinese American politics were at the same time local, national, and international, as well as ethnic, ideological, and partisan. Brooks’s richly textured account is an original and important contribution.” Gordon Chang, Stanford University

“With the support of extensive and prodigious research, Brooks has written a path-breaking book that articulately explores the complicated relationship between, on the one hand, changing racial politics in general and the experience of Chinese-American communities in particular in the 1950s and 1960s and, on the other, the deeply politicized pressures of the Cold War environment. Between Mao and McCarthy is highly revealing and, therefore, highly recommended.” Chen Jian, Cornell University


March 31, 2015
7:00 pm
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