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A Chinaman's Chance: The Chinese on the Rocky Mountain Mining Frontier
Writers and historians have traditionally portrayed Chinese immigrants in the nineteenth-century American West as victims. By investigating the early history of Idaho's Boise Basin, Liping Zhu challenges this image and offers an alternative discourse to the study of this ethnic minority.Between 1863 and 1910, a large number of Chinese immigrants resided in the Boise Basin ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published February 15th 2000 by University Press of Colorado
(first published September 1997)
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I read this book while taking a class from Dr. Liping Zhu at Eastern Washington University. And yes, it was required reading for that course. Feeling smarter than the other shmucks in the class, I borrowed the book from the Faculty Reading Room in the campus library instead of overpaying for the trade paperback edition at the campus rape auditorium bookstore. On the first day of class, Dr. Zhu (one of my favorite professors) was walking around the room while going over the syllabus when he picke ...more
Mar 19, 2012 Joseph Dorris rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
Recommended to Joseph by: Robert Stoufer
This is a historical account of the Chinese in the American West, principally the Boise Basin gold mining region in Idaho from mid-1860s to its end in early 20th Century. Dr Zhu takes a fresh look at how life actually was for these people, particularly in comparison to their fellow countrymen of the times. He substantiates areas in which their lives were better-—health, diet, opportunity—-despite the prejudices and mistrust. This book is fresh, lively with anecdotes, highly informative, and in s ...more
Zhu explains the life of nineteenth century Chines-American, who try to make it in the Gold Mines of Central and Southern Idaho. He breaks down the preconseption that Chines immagrants were dumb laborers, who took up claims that were dried out, and used as expendable labor force. He shows us through Chines traditions, morality, and determination of how they earned and shaped a place out in the American Wild West, while the odds were stack against them.
This is a very positive and enlightening take on a darker moment in U.S. history. I enjoyed reading it. The writing was not always cohesive and was often repetitive, but the overall experience of reading was positive. The book is a nonfiction narrative about the experience of Chinese immigrants in the Boise Basin of Idaho. If this is an area of interest, I would recommend it.