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A mesmerizing true story of money, murder, gambling, prostitution, and opium in a "wild ramble around Chinatown in its darkest days." (The New Yorker) Nothing had worked. Not threats or negotiations, not shutting down the betting parlors or opium dens, not house-to-house searches or throwing Chinese offenders into prison. Not even executing them. The New York DA was running out of ideas and more people were dying every day as the weapons of choice evolved from hatchets and meat cleavers to pistols, automatic weapons, and even bombs. Welcome to New York City’s Chinatown in 1925. The Chinese in turn-of-the-last-century New York were mostly immigrant peasants and shopkeepers who worked as laundrymen, cigar makers, and domestics. They gravitated to lower Manhattan and lived as Chinese an existence as possible, their few diversions—gambling, opium, and prostitution—available but, sadly, illegal. It didn’t take long before one resourceful merchant saw a golden opportunity to feather his nest by positioning himself squarely between the vice dens and the police charged with shutting them down. Tong Wars is historical true crime set against the perfect landscape: Tammany-era New York City. Representatives of rival tongs (secret societies) corner the various markets of sin using admirably creative strategies. The city government was already corrupt from top to bottom, so once one tong began taxing the gambling dens and paying off the authorities, a rival, jealously eyeing its lucrative franchise, co-opted a local reformist group to help eliminate it. Pretty soon Chinese were slaughtering one another in the streets, inaugurating a succession of wars that raged for the next thirty years. Scott D. Seligman’s account roars through three decades of turmoil, with characters ranging from gangsters and drug lords to reformers and do-gooders to judges, prosecutors, cops, and pols of every stripe and color. A true story set in Prohibition-era Manhattan a generation after Gang
Tong War describes feuds between Chinese gangs that ended in the 1920s. However, one threatens to break out in Portland, Maine, and PI Melodie Chang is dragged into the middle of it. It doesn't help that she's five months pregnant and that her husband, Brad, is one of the targets of this new feud.Mike Wei is beating up people around town. Melodie will discover that every preconceived notion she has about tong wars will be wrong. She will discover things about her husband that might threaten her marriage. Mostly, she will need to discover the true reason that war has broken out in Portland before it threatens the life of her unborn baby.Into Melodie's world comes a girl named Sylvia and her baby, Johnny. Can Melodie save them before Wei kills both of them? Who is she and what does she have to do with everything that is happening? And why does she insist that Melodie's friend, Candy Howard, needs her?The case will end only when Melodie can answer all these questions. Still, one of them will die before she does and that death will transform not just Melodie but all of them.
More than a century ago, organized criminals were intrinsically involved with the political, social, and economic life of the Chinese American community. In the face of virulent racism and substantial linguistic and cultural differences, they also integrated themselves successfully into the extensive underworlds and corrupt urban politics of the Progressive Era United States. The process of organizing crime in Chinese American communities can be attributed in part to the larger politics that created opportunities for professional criminals. For example, the illegal traffic in women, laborers, and opium was an unintended consequence of "yellow peril" laws meant to provide social control over Chinese Americans. Despite this hostile climate, Chinese professional criminals were able to form extensive multiethnic social networks and purchase protection and some semblance of entrepreneurial equality from corrupt politicians, police officers, and bureaucrats. While other Chinese Americans worked diligently to remove racist laws and regulations, Chinatown gangsters saw opportunity for profit and power at the expense of their own community. Academics, the media, and the government have claimed that Chinese organized crime is a new and emerging threat to the United States. Focusing on events and personalities, and drawing on intensive archival research in newspapers, police and court documents, district attorney papers, and municipal reports, as well as from contemporary histories and sociological treatments, this study tests that claim against the historical record.
Ethnic organized crime is a phenomenon that has been largely ignored by social scientists and historians, and dismissed as a subject not to be taken too seriously by those researching the mobility patterns of their own ethnic ancestors or current minority newcomers. The Crooked Ladder represents a groundbreaking attempt to describe how some members of ethnic minorities have utilized organized crime as one vehicle of upward mobility, advancing from lower-class status to middle-class power and respectability.O'Kane illustrates the criminal road to prosperity as a process of displacement and succession: each group competes with and eventually eliminates its more established predecessor from the upper echelons of organized crime. This historical criminal succession mirrors the upward mobility of the Irish, Jews, and Italians in the larger, conventional noncriminal realm. Arguing that African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics are pursuing similar criminal routes, O'Kane takes issue with contemporary social scientists who view the current plight of minorities as unique in American social life.As a fundamental rethinking of the American ethnic experience with crime, The Crooked Ladder will be essential reading for social historians, sociologists, and criminologists. Now available in paperback, it will be useful in criminology courses and well as classes in ethnicity and social relations.
Asian Americans adopts the unique approach of examining the issues, and often obstacles, specific to Asian immigrants into the United States, such as occupational and economic adjustment, intermarriage and settlement patterns. The Second Edition has been updated to include information derived from the 2000 US Census.
Written by one of America's preeminent labor historians, this book is the definitive account of one of the most spectacular, captivating, complex and strangely neglected stories in Western history--the emergence of migratory farmworkers and the development of California agriculture. Street has systematically worked his way through a mountain of archival materials--more than 500 manuscript collections, scattered in 22 states, including Spain and Mexico--to follow the farmworker story from its beginnings on Spanish missions into the second decade of the twentieth century. The result is a comprehensive tour de force. Scene by scene, the epic narrative clarifies and breathes new life into a controversial and instructive saga long surrounded by myth, conjecture, and scholarly neglect. With its panoramic view spanning 144 years and moving from the US-Mexico border to Oregon, Beasts of the Field reveals diverse patterns of life and labor in the fields that varied among different crops, regions, time periods, and racial and ethic groups. Enormous in scope, packed with surprising twists and turns, and devastating in impact, this compelling, revelatory work of American social history will inform generations to come of the history of California and the nation.
Criminalization/Assimilation traces how Classical Hollywood films constructed America’s image of Chinese Americans from their criminalization as unwanted immigrants to their eventual acceptance when assimilated citizens, exploiting both America’s yellow peril fears about Chinese immigration and its fascination with Chinatowns. Philippa Gates examines Hollywood’s responses to social issues in Chinatown communities, primarily immigration, racism, drug trafficking, and prostitution, as well as the impact of industry factors including the Production Code and star system on the treatment of those subjects. Looking at over 200 films, Gates reveals the variety of racial representations within American film in the first half of the twentieth century and brings to light not only lost and forgotten films but also the contributions of Asian American actors whose presence onscreen offered important alternatives to Hollywood’s yellowface fabrications of Chinese identity and a resistance to Hollywood’s Orientalist narratives.
- Author : Huping Ling
- Publisher : Routledge
- Release Date : 2015-03-17
- Genre : Business & Economics
- Pages : 670
- ISBN : 9781317476450
With overview essays and more than 400 A-Z entries, this exhaustive encyclopedia documents the history of Asians in America from earliest contact to the present day. Organized topically by group, with an in-depth overview essay on each group, the encyclopedia examines the myriad ethnic groups and histories that make up the Asian American population in the United States. "Asian American History and Culture" covers the political, social, and cultural history of immigrants from East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Pacific Islands, and their descendants, as well as the social and cultural issues faced by Asian American communities, families, and individuals in contemporary society. In addition to entries on various groups and cultures, the encyclopedia also includes articles on general topics such as parenting and child rearing, assimilation and acculturation, business, education, and literature. More than 100 images round out the set.
"You're lucky he didn't have an ice pick in his hands. I know how this guy performs." -Mobster Paul Volpe speaking about a Buffalo-mafia enforcer named "Cicci" Canada is lauded the world over as a law abiding, peaceful country - a shining example to all nations. Such a view, also shared by most Canadians, is typically naïve and misinformed. Throughout its history, to present day and beyond, Canada has been and will continue to be home to criminals and crime organizations that are brilliant at finding ways to make money - a lot of money - illegally. Iced: The Story of Organized Crime in Canada is a remarkable parallel history to the one generally accepted and taught in our schools. Organized crime has had a significant impact on the shaping of this country and the lives of its people. The most violent and thuggish - outlaw motorcycle gangs like Hells Angels - have been raised to mythic proportions. The families who owned distilleries during Prohibition, such as the Bronfmans, built vast fortunes that today are vested in corporate holdings. The mafia in Montreal created and controlled the largest heroin and cocaine smuggling empire in the world, feeding the insatiable appetite of our American neighbours. Today, gangs are laying waste the streets of Vancouver, and "BC bud" flows into the U.S. as the marijuana of choice. Organized crime is as old as this nation's founding, with pirates ravaging the east coast, even as hired guns by colonial governments. Since our nation's earliest times, government and crime groups have found that collusion can have its mutual benefits. Comprehensive, informative and entertaining - as you will discover in the remarkable period pieces devised by the author and the illustrations commissioned specially for this book - Iced is a romp across the nation and across the centuries. In these pages you will meet crime groups that are at once sordid and inept, yet resourceful entrepreneurs and self-proclaimed champions of the underdog, who operate
Eighteen self-guided walking tours down city streets that will take you back in time, with colorful stories about the buildings along the way and the people associated with them. Brimming with insight and the odd fact, laced with humor and drama, this unique guidebook sheds new light on the history of one of America's renowned cities. Easy-to-follow maps, and dozens of historic photographs.
An estimated 60,000 Chinese entered Mexico during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, constituting Mexico's second-largest foreign ethnic community at the time. The Chinese in Mexico provides a social history of Chinese immigration to and settlement in Mexico in the context of the global Chinese diaspora of the era. Robert Romero argues that Chinese immigrants turned to Mexico as a new land of economic opportunity after the passage of the U.S. Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. As a consequence of this legislation, Romero claims, Chinese immigrants journeyed to Mexico in order to gain illicit entry into the United States and in search of employment opportunities within Mexico's developing economy. Romero details the development, after 1882, of the "Chinese transnational commercial orbit," a network encompassing China, Latin America, Canada, and the Caribbean, shaped and traveled by entrepreneurial Chinese pursuing commercial opportunities in human smuggling, labor contracting, wholesale merchandising, and small-scale trade. Romero's study is based on a wide array of Mexican and U.S. archival sources. It draws from such quantitative and qualitative sources as oral histories, census records, consular reports, INS interviews, and legal documents. Two sources, used for the first time in this kind of study, provide a comprehensive sociological and historical window into the lives of Chinese immigrants in Mexico during these years: the Chinese Exclusion Act case files of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and the 1930 Mexican municipal census manuscripts. From these documents, Romero crafts a vividly personal and compelling story of individual lives caught in an extensive network of early transnationalism.
In Gangs and Organized Crime, George W. Knox, Gregg W. Etter, and Carter F. Smith offer an informed and carefully investigated examination of gangs and organized crime groups, covering street gangs, prison gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and organized crime groups from every continent. The authors have spent decades investigating gangs as well as researching their history and activities, and this dual professional-academic perspective informs their analysis of gangs and crime groups. They take a multidisciplinary approach that combines criminal justice, public policy and administration, law, organizational behavior, sociology, psychology, and urban planning perspectives to provide insight into the actions and interactions of a variety of groups and their members. This textbook is ideal for criminal justice and sociology courses on gangs as well as related course topics like gang behavior, gang crime and the inner city, organized crime families, and transnational criminal groups. Gangs and Organized Crime is also an excellent addition to the professional’s reference library or primer for the general reader. More information is available at the supporting website – www.gangsandorganizedcrime.com
For years, Cleveland's Chinese residents struggled to find a secure place in the city. Immigrants came with dreams of building a better life, but without English proficiency, prospects dimmed, and emigres often earned poor pay for long hours of strenuous work. In 1925, Cleveland police responded to an especially brutal outbreak of the tong war violence ravaging the community by arresting every Chinese person in the city, creating an international scandal. In spite of the anti-Asian sentiment of the time, the community persevered and paved the way for its current entrepreneurial success. Today, Clevelanders and tourists travel to the growing AsiaTown neighborhood to enjoy authentic Asian dinners, shop at Asian-owned stores and enjoy Asian-themed karaoke nights in newly built malls and century-old former residential homes. Alan F. Dutka vividly portrays one of the oldest and most culturally diverse neighborhoods in the city.
Paisanos Chinos tracks Chinese Mexican transnational political activities in the wake of the anti-Chinese campaigns that crossed Mexico in 1931. Threatened by violence, Chinese Mexicans strengthened their ties to China—both Nationalist and Communist—as a means of safeguarding their presence. Paisanos Chinos illustrates the ways in which transpacific ties helped Chinese Mexicans make a claim to belonging in Mexico and challenge traditional notions of Mexican identity and nationhood. From celebrating the end of World War II alongside their neighbors to carrying out an annual community pilgrimage to the Basílica de Guadalupe, Chinese Mexicans came out of the shadows to refute longstanding caricatures and integrate themselves into Mexican society.
This true story of a concubine and the Gold Rush years “delves deep into the soul of the real old west” (Erik Larson). “Once the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill launched our ‘national madness,’ the population of California exploded. Tens of thousands of Chinese, lured by tales of a ‘golden mountain,’ took passage across the Pacific. Among this massive influx were many young concubines who were expected to serve in the brothels sprouting up near the goldfields. One of them adopted the name of Polly Bemis, after an Idaho saloonkeeper, Charlie Bemis, won her in a poker game and married her. For decades the couple lived on an isolated, self-sufficient farm near the Salmon River in central Idaho. After her husband’s death, Polly came down to a nearby town and gradually spoke of her experiences. Journalist Christopher Corbett movingly recounts Polly’s story, integrating Polly’s personal history into the broader picture of the history of the mass immigration of Chinese. As both a personal and social history, this is an admirable book.” —Booklist “A gorgeously written and brilliantly researched saga of America during the mad flush of its biggest Gold Rush. Christopher Corbett’s genius is to anchor his larger story of Chinese immigration around a poor concubine named Polly. A tremendous achievement.” —Douglas Brinkley “Uses Bemis’s story as a platform for a larger discussion about the hardships of the Chinese experience in the American West.” —The Washington Post
The relationship of overseas Chinese to the Chinese revolution of 1911 has always been viewed in light of their involvement with Sun Yat-sen. Of equal significance, however, was the growth and development in overseas communities of the radical reform party of K'ang Yu-wei and Liang Ch'ich'ao, pro-Sun revolutionaries, and other political groups greatly influenced the involvement of Chinese immigrants in the 1911 revolution and produced substantial changes in the overseas communities themselves. Chinese in the Americas, especially North America and Hawaii, provide a good illustration of these points but until now have received little attention. Revolutionaries, Monarchists, and Chinatowns provides a comprehensive and original treatment of this dimension of Asian American politics. L. Eve Armentrout Ma has judiciously analyzed the abundant documentation on the development and functioning of the reform and revolutionary parties, showing the interactions between the two parties and with pre-existing social organizations such as hui-kuan, surname associations, and Triad lodges. Particularly important is her use of the contemporary Chinese-language newspapers, a rich source of information on the period.