Mae Ngai with The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics
Moderator: Jia Lynn Yang, national editor for the New York Times and author of One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle Over American Immigration, 1924-1965
Presented in partnership with Boston Public Library, Boston Book Festival, and GBH Forum Network
How the Chinese diaspora, particularly migration to the world’s goldfields, reshaped the nineteenth-century world
In roughly five decades, between 1848 and 1899, more gold was removed from the earth than had been mined in the 3,000 preceding years, bringing untold wealth to individuals and nations. But friction between Chinese and white settlers on the goldfields of California, Australia, and South Africa catalyzed a global battle over “the Chinese Question”: would the United States and the British Empire outlaw Chinese immigration? Join us for a discussion of these definitive cultural and political movements which impact us to this day, featuring two remarkable authors and experts on the topics of Chinese-American history and immigration.
Mae Ngai is Lung Family Professor Asian American Studies and a professor of history at Columbia University. She is the author of the award-winning work Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America and The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America.
Jia Lynn Yang is the national editor at The New York Times. She was previously deputy national security editor at The Washington Post, where she was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team. She is the author of the acclaimed work One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle Over American Immigration, 1924-1965.