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Other titles in the Distinguished Asian Americans Series series:

Distinguished Asian American Political and Governmental Leaders (Distinguished Asian Americans Series)


Distinguished Asian American Political and Governmental Leaders (Distinguished Asian Americans Series) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Asian Americans have made countless distinguished contributions to American society. Like other American racial minorities who have historically been denied opportunities within the American electoral system, Asian Americans have worked steadily to participate in U.S. politics and its judicial system. Asian Americans have a long history of seeking social justice and equal treatment by challenging discriminatory laws and practices in education, employment, housing, land ownership, immigration, and other significant public-policy- issue areas. Distinguished Asian American Political and Governmental LeaderS≪/i> is the first-ever compilation of biographies of Asian American elected officials, major political appointees, judges, and activists. It provides information on the life histories and political accomplishments of 96 Asian Americans, who have participated in political, judicial, and civil rights arenas of this nation from 1950 to the present.

Most of the distinguished Americans profiled in this important resource were trailblazers, being the first Asian American or the first of a particular Asian ethnic community, for example, Vietnamese Americans, to be elected or appointed to a leadership position. The late Dalip Singh Saund, for example, became the first Asian American and the first Indo-American ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives when voters in Imperial and Riverside counties in Southern California elected him in 1957. Elaine Chao was the first Asian American and Chinese American woman appointed to a presidential cabinet post when President George W. Bush nominated her to be the U.S. Secretary of Labor in 2001. And the late John Aiso became the first Japanese American, as well as Asian American, judge in California when he was appointed in 1953.^L In selecting the leaders for this book, the authors have provided a glimpse of the diversity of electoral and nonelectoral forms of political participation and representation that Asian Americans have pursued. Included are biographies on each Asian American who has served or is serving as a state governor (Ariyoshi, Cayetano, Locke, Waihee); other statewide elected office (Eu, Fong, Hirono, Kealoha, King, Lau, Woo); the U.S. Senate (Akaka, Fong, Hayakawa, Inouye, Matsunaga); the U.S. House of Representatives (Faleomavaega, Kim, Matsui, Mineta, Mink, Saiki, Saund, Wu); and as a presidential cabinet member (Chao, Mineta). The authors have also provided a cross-section of 45 Asian American elected officials at the municipal and state levels for 12 states from Alaska to Massachusetts and from Minnesota to Texas. Among them are the first Cambodian, Hmong, and Vietnamese American elected officials, as well as some of the longest-serving Asian Americans, such as Harry Lee, who has been continuously re-elected as Sheriff of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, since 1979. Also profiled are Asian Americans who have played major leadership roles in nonelectoral political pursuits, such as Yuri Kochiyama, Philip Vera Cruz, and Angela Oh, who have made significant contributions in the areas of human rights, union organizing, and race relations.

Book News Annotation:

Students and the general reader will find inspiration in the profiles of Asian Americans who have achieved successful careers in politics and government, often despite impoverished beginnings and racial attacks. For each person, the profile includes summaries of education, awards, and positions held, followed by a profile of his or her life and career, with a list of sources. Nakanishi directs the Asian American Studies Center at UCLA; Wu is a doctoral candidate at the U. of Chicago.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


Provides an important and fascinating glimpse into the lives of 96 Asian American elected officials, major political appointees, judges, and activists.

About the Author

ELLEN D. WU is an independent scholar.

Table of Contents

Introduction: From Exlusion and Disenfranchisement to Political Leadership--Asian Pacific American Elected Officials and Activists


Aiso, John Fujio

Akaka, Daniel K.

Arakaki, James Y.

Ariyoshi, George R.

Barve, Kumar

Bloch, Julia Chang

Boggs, Grace Lee

Buchholdt, Thelma

Cayetano, Benjamin

Chan, Wilma

Chao, Elaine L.

Chau, Nguyen Minh

Chaudhary, Satveer

Chow, Ruby

Choy, Herbert Young Cho

Chu, Judy

Esteves, Jose

Eu, March Fong

Faleomavaega, Eni F.H.

Fong, Hiram L.

Fong, Matthew K.

Furutani, Warren

Gin, Mike

Guingona, Michael P.

Hayakawa, Samuel Ichiye

Hayashi, Dennis W.

Hirono, Mazie

Honda, Mike

Inouye, Daniel K.

Ito, Lance A.

Joe, Harry J.

Kealoha, James Kimo

Kim, Jay C.

King, Jean Sadako

Kochiyama, Yuri

Koh, Harold Hongju

Kwoh, Stewart

Kwok, Daphne

Lam, Tony

Lau, Cheryl Ann

Lau, Gordon

Lee, Bill Lann

Lee, Cherye

Lee, Harry

Lim, Joaquin

Lim, John

Liu, Carol

Locke, Gary

Luke, Wing

Mansho, Rene

Matsui, Robert

Matsunaga, "Spark" Masayuki

Matsunaka, Stanley T.

Minami, Dale

Mineta, Norman Y.

Mink, Patsy T.

Miyagishima, Kenneth Daniel

Mollway, Susan Oki

Morita, Hermina M.

Nakano, George

Narasaki, Karen

Natividad, Irene

Oh, Angela Eunjin

Ong, Wing F.

Park, Michael

Quan, Gordon

Saiki, Patricia

Sangiolo, Amy Mah

Santos, Sharon Tomiko

Saund, Dalip Singh

Shin, Paull Hobom

Sibonga, Dolores

Singh, Shamina

Siv, Sichan Aun

Tahir-Kheli, Shirin R.

Tanaka, Paul K.

Teng, Mabel

Tokuda, Kip

Underwood, Robert

Uong, Chanrithy

Valderrama, David M.

Veloria, Velma Rosetta

Vera Cruz, Philip Villamin

Waihee, John David III

Wong, Barry

Wong, Delbert E.

Wong, Martha J.

Woo, Michael

Woo, S.B. (Shien-Biau)

Wu, David

Xiong, Joe Bee

Yaki, Michael

Yamane, Brian Y.

Yee, Leland

Yih, Mae

Yoneda, Karl Goso

Appendix 1: Distinguished Asian American Political and Governmental Leaders by Birth Date

Appendix 2: Distinguished Asian American Political and Governmental Leaders by Position

Selected Bibliography


Product Details

Nakanishi, Don T.
Wu, Ellen
Nakanishi, Don
Wu, Ellen D.
Westport, Conn.
Ethnic Studies
Asian americans
Children's Baby - Sociology
Ethnic Studies - General
Ethnic Studies - Asian American Studies
Ethnic Cultures - General
Politicians -- United States.
Distinguished Asian Americans Series
Series Volume:
no. 02-02
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
10.50x7.32x.93 in. 1.82 lbs.

Related Subjects

» History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Asian American
» History and Social Science » Politics » Reference
» History and Social Science » US History » General

Distinguished Asian American Political and Governmental Leaders (Distinguished Asian Americans Series) New Hardcover
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Product details 240 pages Greenwood Press (CT) - English 9781573563253 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Provides an important and fascinating glimpse into the lives of 96 Asian American elected officials, major political appointees, judges, and activists.
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