Chains of Babylon: The Rise of Asian America by Daryl J. MaedaChains of Babylon: The Rise of Asian America by Daryl J. Maeda

Chains of Babylon: The Rise of Asian America

byDaryl J. Maeda

Paperback | October 20, 2009

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In Chains of Babylon, Daryl J. Maeda presents a cultural history of Asian American activism in the late 1960s and early 1970s, showing how the movement created the category of "Asian American" to join Asians of many ethnicities in racial solidarity. Drawing on the Black Power and antiwar movements, Asian American radicals argued that all Asians in the United States should resist assimilation and band together to oppose racism within the country and imperialism abroad.

As revealed in Maeda's in-depth work, the Asian American movement contended that people of all Asian ethnicities in the United States shared a common relationship to oppression and exploitation with each other and with other nonwhite peoples. In the early stages of the civil rights era, the possibility of assimilation was held out to Asian Americans under a model minority myth. Maeda insists that it was only in the disruption of that myth for both African Americans and Asian Americans in the 1960s and 1970s that the full Asian American culture and movement he describes could emerge. Maeda challenges accounts of the post-1968 era as hopelessly divisive by examining how racial and cultural identity enabled Asian Americans to see eye-to-eye with and support other groups of color in their campaigns for social justice.

Asian American opposition to the war in Vietnam, unlike that of the broader antiwar movement, was predicated on understanding it as a racial, specifically anti-Asian genocide. Throughout he argues that cultural critiques of racism and imperialism, the twin "chains of Babylon" of the title, informed the construction of a multiethnic Asian American identity committed to interracial and transnational solidarity.

Daryl J. Maeda is assistant professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where he teaches Asian American studies and comparative ethnic studies.
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Title:Chains of Babylon: The Rise of Asian AmericaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.7 inPublished:October 20, 2009Publisher:University of Minnesota PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0816648913

ISBN - 13:9780816648917

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction: From Heart Mountain to Hanoi
1. Before Asian America
2. "Down with Hayakawa!" Assimilation vs. Third World Solidarity at San Francisco State College
3. Black Panthers, Red Guards, and Chinamen: Constructing Asian American Identity through Performing Blackness
4. Are We Not Also Asians? Building Solidarity through Opposition to the Viet Nam War
5. Performing Radical Culture: A Grain of Sand and the Language of Liberty
Conclusion: Fighting for the Heart of Asian America
Notes
Bibliography
Index