Cover: Americans First: Chinese Americans and the Second World War, from Harvard University PressCover: Americans First in HARDCOVER

Americans First

Chinese Americans and the Second World War

Add to Cart

Product Details


$40.00 • £32.95 • €36.00

ISBN 9780674016712

Publication Date: 05/22/2005


272 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

1 table


Americans First breaks new ground by shifting our focus to the experiences of Chinese Americans in the Second World War. Based on archival research, oral histories, personal accounts, and the author’s knowledge of Chinese history, Asian American history, and race politics in U.S. history, the book clearly shows how the war helped to advance the socioeconomic and political status of Chinese Americans… Americans First is a path-breaking, in-depth study on a neglected aspect of Asian American and U.S. history—the experiences, perceptions, and perspectives of Chinese Americans in the Second World War.—Judy Yung, Journal of American Ethnic History

An important addition to the ethnic history of World War II and a must for all serious students of Asian American history.—Roger Daniels, University of Cincinnati

K. Scott Wong paints a moving but realistic picture of Chinese American men and women demonstrating their worth in war industries and in the armed services. He shows how their World War II experiences empowered them to seek a full and equal status in a post-war America.—Him Mark Lai, Chinese Historical Society of America

This is a very important book by a member of a new generation of Chinese American historians. It should be mandatory reading for anyone wishing to understand the dramatic advance of this group from Chinese to American and indeed the experience of most ethnic groups during the world’s most terrible military conflict.—Roger W. Lotchin, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

An important and insightful account of Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans during World War II. Rich in detail, Americans First gives the reader the human dimension of Chinese American lives during the war and its lasting impact.—David Reimers, author of Other Immigrants: The Global Origins of the American People

Americans First is an outstanding synthesis of first-hand accounts and nuanced historical analysis. At once soulful and impeccably researched, we can now recognize a generation of Americans missing from our history.—John Kuo Wei Tchen, New York University

Based on archival research, oral histories, and a deep understanding of the influential forces of race, culture, and politics in national identity formation, Americans First breaks new ground by shifting our focus from Chinese immigration and exclusion in the nineteenth century to the beginnings of Chinese American inclusion during World War II.—Judy Yung, author of Unbound Feet: A Social History of Chinese Women in San Francisco

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Cover: A Theory of Justice: Original Edition, by John Rawls, from Harvard University Press

John Rawls: Speaking in a Shared Political Language

On the occasion of the anniversary of the publication of A Theory of Justice, Andrius Gališanka, author of John Rawls: The Path to a Theory of Justice, reflects on some of Rawls’s ideas on moral and political reasoning