Synopses & Reviews
Winner, Silver Medal, California Book Awards--Commonwealth Club of California
With a foreword by William Deverell
The Indispensable Enemy examines the anti-Chinese confrontation on the Pacific Coast as it was experienced and rationalized by the white majority. Focusing on the Democratic party and the labor movement of California through the forty-year period after the Civil War, Alexander Saxton explores aspects of the Jacksonian background which proves crucial to an understanding of what occurred in California. The Indispensable Enemy looks beyond the turn of the 19th century to trace results of the sequence of events in the West for the labor movement as a whole, influencing events that led to the crystallization of an American concept of national identity.