Trying to smush every version of an Asian American in one books is monumentous. Published in 1996, the overall flavor of the book comes from the victim's viewpoint, as if only Asian Americans had a hard start in the United States. That opinion was popular in the 1990's. Ten years later, it's quite embarrassing to read this book and be Asian American. It's actually better to find current information on being Asian American and our history on the Web.
Designed for a junior college introductory course on Asian-Americans, this is usable by readers and interested students from the upper elementary grades on up because its simple question/answer format is so clear. The 'answers' are quite ample, given in several paragraphs, for example 'How was the seed for a Chinese American middle class planted on the East Coast during World WarII?' While a great many Chinese were drafted, there were others with good high school and university qualifications, especially in NYC, who found employment opportunities wide open during the war (3 paragraphs). The authors emphasize cultural concepts and criticize the Charlie Chan movies and the like. As with seemingly all Ivory Tower folk, the authors fail to deal with the near total refusal of Asian-American entrepreneurs to hire a diverse workforce, the lack of service in numbers measuring up to their share of the the 18-27 year old American population in the 1st Gulf War (the book covers the mid-1990s), and the Korean wig stores that were so successful in establishing a business 'beachhead.' At the time of writing, creating a job in the USA required an investment of about $34,000 and none of the opinion makers who speak, write essays, and publish books question the billions of dollars in annual remittances abroad that could otherwise boost American employment; the authors pass on the opporunity to do so in their chapter on Vietnamese Americans. However, as far as it goes, this is a well written and useful book, and comprehensive--Tongans, Guamanians, and Samoans are included--but very inadequate and superficial in considering the large cohort of Philippine-Americans. Index and list of references; no footnotes.