Strangers from a Different Shore

by Ronald Takaki

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 167

Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans by Ronald Takaki examines and narrates the history of Asian Americans, particularly the first-generation immigrants who came to the United States throughout the last few centuries.

The book is wide in scope and features tribulations faced by specific Asian immigrants newly-arrived in America, but also the general or universal immigration experience that transcends ethnicity and culture.

By relating the story of Asians in America, Takaki paints the portrait of the American dream from the perspective of immigrants. In this sense, although focused on Asian Americans, the book is an essential compendium within American history overall.

The book accurately examines—through anecdotes, facts, and testimonies—the tense relationship between the majority white Americans and Asian immigrants, such as the Japanese internment program and the stigmatization of Asian Americans as a "model minority."

Because the author is an Asian American himself, the book has a sensitivity and sense of authoritativeness towards articulating Asian American sentiments, cultural nuances, and perspectives.

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