Editorial Review

A noteworthy review of Our Cultural Heritage from Children's Literature on November 1, 2002

Chinese society spans back across many millenniums. Perhaps no other culture has a deeper or richer heritage than that which Chinese people have proudly described as ‘The Middle Kingdom.’ This term was used with great pride by Chinese officials to describe their nation as a midway point above all other cultures but not quite at the level of heaven. Thus, what a shock it must have been for those Chinese who immigrated to the United States when they were treated like dogs by Americans who looked down upon them with scorn. Chinese laborers worked almost like slaves in a nation that valued them less than dirt. For example, Chinese railway workers laid track from California to Utah as part of the Transcontinental Railroad project. No one knows how many of those Chinese men died in an endeavor that was epic in nature. Yet, no monuments exist recording the efforts of the unknown casualties. In time, Chinese-Americans became full-fledged citizens and members of a diverse culture. As the author of this concise accounting of the Chinese immigrant experience notes, their efforts have resulted in wide spread acceptance of them as people of a long standing and proud heritage. Readers of this entertaining short work will come away with a better understanding of why Chinese citizens sought out a new life abroad, how they arrived there, problems that confronted them, and how they helped make America a stronger nation.

—Greg M. Romaneck

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