Synopses & Reviews
Karen Ishizuka is the author of the books Lost and Found: Reclaiming the Japanese American Incarceration and Mining the Home Movie. She has produced numerous award-winning films including Something Strong Within and Toyo Miyatake: Infinite Shades of Gray, an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival. She served the Japanese American National Museum for its first fifteen years as senior curator, senior producer, and director of its Media Arts Center. She lives in Los Angeles.
A narrative history of the movement that turned "Orientals" into Asian Americans
Until the political ferment of the Long Sixties, there were no Asian Americans. There were only isolated communities of mostly Chinese, Japanese, and Filipinos lumped together as "Orientals." Serve the People tells the story of the social and cultural movement that knit these disparate communities into a political identity, the history of how--and why--the double consciousness of Asian America came to be.
At the same time, Karen Ishizuka's vivid narrative reveals the personal epiphanies and intimate stories of insurgent movers and shakers and ground-level activists alike. Drawing on more than 120 interviews and illustrated with striking images from guerrilla movement publications, the book evokes the feeling of growing up alien in a society rendered in black and white, and recalls the intricate memories and meanings of the Asian American movement. Serve the People paints a panoramic landscape of a radical time, and is destined to become the definitive history of the making of Asian America.
About the Author
The political ferment of the 1960s produced not only the Civil Rights Movement but others in its wake: women’s liberation, gay rights, Chicano power, and the Asian American Movement. Here is a definitive history of the social and cultural movement that knit a hugely disparate and isolated set of communities into a political identity–and along the way created a racial group out of marginalized people who had been uncomfortably lumped together as Orientals.
The Asian American Movement was an unabashedly radical social movement, sprung from campuses and city ghettoes and allied with Third World freedom struggles and the anti-Vietnam War movement, seen as a racist intervention in Asia. It also introduced to mainstream America a generation of now internationally famous artists, writers, and musicians, like novelist Maxine Hong Kingston.
Karen Ishizuka’s definitive history is based on years of research and more than 120 extensive interviews with movement leaders and participants. It’s written in a vivid narrative style and illustrated with many striking images from guerrilla movement publications. Serve the People is a book that fills out the full story of the Long Sixties.