The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America

The Chinese Must Go by Lew-WilliamsAuthor: Beth Lew-Williams, assistant professor of history

Publisher: Harvard University Press, February 2018

The American West erupted in anti-Chinese violence in 1885. Following the massacre of Chinese miners in Wyoming Territory, communities throughout California and the Pacific Northwest harassed, assaulted and expelled thousands of Chinese immigrants. Beth Lew- Williams shows how American immigration policies incited this violence and how the violence, in turn, provoked new exclusionary policies. Ultimately, Lew-Williams argues, Chinese expulsion and exclusion produced the concept of the “alien” in modern America.

As The Chinese Must Go makes clear, anti- Chinese law and violence continues to have consequences for today’s immigrants. The present resurgence of xenophobia builds mightily upon past fears of the “heathen Chinaman.”

Text and book cover courtesy of the publisher