Boston Book Festival 2021 Boston Book Festival 2021

The Chinese Question

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Mae Ngai
The Chinese Question, Tuesday, October 19 | virtual

Mae Ngai is Lung Family Professor Asian American Studies and a professor of history at Columbia University. She is the author of the award-winning book Impossible Subjects and The Lucky Ones, and lives in New York City and Accokeek, Maryland.

Jia Lynn Yang
One Mighty and Irresistible Tide, Tuesday, October 19 | virtual

Jia Lynn Yang, the national editor at the New York Times, was previously deputy national security editor at the Washington Post, where she was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of Trump and Russia. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.


In roughly five decades, between 1848 and 1899, more gold was removed from the earth than had been mined in the three thousand preceding years, bringing untold wealth to individuals and nations. But friction between Chinese and white settlers on the goldfields of California, Australia, and South Africa catalyzed a global battle over “The Chinese Question”: would the United States and the British Empire outlaw Chinese immigration? Join us for a discussion of these definitive cultural and political movements which impact us to this day, featuring two remarkable authors and experts—Mae Ngai (The Chinese Question) and Jia Lynn Yang (One Mighty and Irresistible Tide)—on the topics of Chinese American history and immigration. This session is hosted by our partners at New England Historic Genealogical Society and presented in partnership with the State Library of Massachusetts, the Boston Public Library, and GBH Forum Network.