The Lucky Ones

The Lucky Ones

One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America

Book - 2010
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Houghton
If you’re Irish American or African American or Eastern European Jewish American, there’s a rich literature to give you a sense of your family’s arrival-in-America story. Until now, that hasn’t been the case for Chinese Americans.
From noted historian Mae Ngai, The Lucky Ones uncovers the three-generational saga of the Tape family. It’s a sweeping story centered on patriarch Jeu Dip’s (Joseph Tape’s) self-invention as an immigration broker in post–gold rush, racially explosive San Francisco, and the extraordinary rise it enables. Ngai’s portrayal of the Tapes as the first of a brand-new social type—middle-class Chinese Americans, with touring cars, hunting dogs, and society weddings to broadcast it—will astonish.
Again and again, Tape family history illuminates American history. Seven-year-old Mamie Tape attempts to integrate California schools, resulting in the landmark 1885 Tape v. Hurley. The family’s intimate involvement in the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair reveals how the Chinese American culture brokers essentially invented Chinatown—and so Chinese culture—for American audiences. Finally, Mae Ngai reveals aspects—timely, haunting, and hopeful—of the lasting legacy of the immigrant experience for all Americans.

Through captivating family saga, an award-winning historian delivers the story--provocative and thrillingly original--of one family's invention of middle-class Chinese America


Baker & Taylor
Traces three generations of a Chinese-American family from its patriarch's self-invention as an immigration broker in post-gold rush San Francisco to the family's intimate involvement in the 1904 World's Fair.

Blackwell Publishing
"The Lucky Ones is nothing short of a revelation. It insists that we rethink and enlarage our ideas about American immigration. The Tape family story has the texture and the range of great fiction. Mae Ngai has accomplished the admirable task of providing us with a wealth of historical material, while creating a narrative that pulls us thrillingly along in its wake."-Mary Gordon, author of Final Payments and Circling My Mother

"Mae Ngai tells a story we haven't heard, and very much need. Provocative, groundbreaking, and revelatory, The Lucky Ones is a great read, to boot-as pleasurable as it is enlightening."-Gish Jen, author of Typical American and World and Town

If you're Irish American or African American or Jewish American, there's a rich literature to give you a sense of your family's arrival-in-America story. Until now, that hasn't been the case for Chinese Americans. The Lucky Ones uncovers the three-generation story of the Tape family. It's a sweeping history centered on patriarch Jeu Dip's (Joseph Tape's) self-invention as an immigration broker in post-gold rush, racially explosive San Francisco, and the extraordinary rise it enables. Mae Ngai paints a fascinating picture of how the broker role allowed Tape to both protest and profit from discrimination, and of the Tapes as the first of a brand-new social type - middle-class Chinese Americans with touring cars, hunting dogs, and society weddings.

Again and again, Tape family history illuminates American history. Seven-year-old Mamie Tape attempts to integrate California schools, resulting in the landmark 1885 case Tape v. Hurley. The family's intimate involvement in the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair reveals how Chinese-American brokers essentially invented Chinatown, and so Chinese culture, for American audiences. Finally, Mae Ngai reveals aspects-timely, haunting, and hopeful-of the lasting legacy of the immigrant experience for all Americans.

Baker
& Taylor

Traces three generations of a Chinese-American family from its patriarch's self-invention as an immigration broker in post-gold rush San Francisco, through the landmark 1885 case involving one daughter's efforts to integrate California schools, to the family's intimate involvement in the 1904 World's Fair.

Publisher: Boston [Mass.] : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010
ISBN: 9780618651160
0618651160
Branch Call Number: 305.8951 N4992L 2010
Characteristics: xi, 288 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm

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