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American Studies is an Interdisciplinary Program at Stanford blending courses in history, literature, social sciences and the arts, in which students learn to analyze and interpret America's past and present, forging fresh and creative syntheses along the way.
 
To hear more from our students, visit "We the People" -- a blog for undergraduates in American Studies at Stanford.

Fateful Ties: A History of America's Preoccupation with China, a talk by Prof. Gordon Chang
Event Image
05/12/2015 - 12:15pm
Terrace Room, Margaret Jacks Hall

Stanford’s American Studies Program Presents

A talk by Gordon H. Chang

Professor of American History, Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities, Director of the Center for East Asian Studies, and Co-Director of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project at Stanford University

On his new book

Fateful Ties

A History of America’s Preoccupation with China

Harvard University Press, 2015

For centuries, Americans have been convinced of China’s importance to their own national destiny. Fateful Ties draws on literature, art, biography, popular culture, and politics to trace America’s long and varied preoccupation with China. Through portraits of entrepreneurs, missionaries, academics, artists, diplomats, and activists, Chang demonstrates how ideas about China have long been embedded in America’s conception of itself and its own fate. Fateful Ties provides valuable perspective on this complex international and intercultural relationship as America navigates an uncertain new era.

“Chang’s elegant analysis of America’s long cultural obsession with China spans such diverse issues as the nation’s early mania for tea and porcelain through the outpouring of ‘yellow peril’ literature in both the late-nineteenth and again in the early-twenty-first centuries. His many insights add a much needed depth and scope to understanding this often troubled but always important relationship.”—Michael Schaller, author of The U.S. and China: Into the Twenty-First Century

Fateful Ties is a brilliant narrative of America’s obsession with China from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Chang’s eloquently written history takes this country’s ongoing mythmaking about China seriously and subjects it to a richly detailed critical analysis. An essential book for anyone interested in going behind the ‘rise of China’ headlines.”—Marilyn B. Young, Professor of History, New York University