Pacific Crossing

By Elizabeth Sinn,

Book cover of Pacific Crossing: California Gold, Chinese Migration, and the Making of Hong Kong

Book description

During the nineteenth century tens of thousands of Chinese men and women crossed the Pacific to work, trade, and settle in California. Drawn initially by the gold rush, they took with them skills and goods and a view of the world which, though still Chinese, was transformed by their long…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Pacific Crossing as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The Opium Wars never reduced Chinese people to pathetic victimization. 

Sinn spotlights the agency of brokerage and the circulatory migration of Chinese laborers and merchants, from different regions within China, as they underwent passage to-and-fro the Pacific Ocean with the United States. 

This is also the story of Hong Kong’s rise as an influential hub of exchange with merchants brokering flows of capital and economic power beyond state control. 

In tracing circuits of travel and brokerage, Sinn animates various cultural senses of being Chinese, Hong Kong, and American, embracing legacies of familial adaptability and endurance. 

She conveys the diversity within…

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