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The China Mystique: Pearl S. Buck, Anna May Wong, Mayling Soong, and the Transformation of American Orientalism First edition, first printing (full number line) Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0520244238
ISBN-10: 0520244230
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  • The China Mystique: Pearl S. Buck, Anna May Wong, Mayling Soong, and the Transformation of American Orientalism
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

“An important venture into a little studied topic of Chinese American history and US cultural history. Through Leong’s work we learn how race, cultural experiences, class, and political power allowed each woman to represent China and the United States."—Xiaojian Zhao, author of Remaking Chinese America: Immigration, Family, and Community, 1940-1965

“Not since Elaine Tyler May’s Homeward Bound has a book so artfully interrogated popular culture, US women’s history, and international relations.”—Vicki Ruiz, coeditor of Created Equal: A Social and Political History of the United States

About the Author

Karen J. Leong is Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at Arizona State University
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First edition, first printing (full number line) edition (July 25, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520244230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520244238
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,513,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By David C. Rive Jr. on August 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
China endured a series of dramatic, and often tumultuous transformations in the last century. The 1930's and 1940's, in particular, were decades of major political, social, economic and technological change, and consequently, of major shifts in perception and awareness of the Asian nation and its people by the United States.

Karen J. Leong's THE CHINA MYSTIQUE: Pearl S. Buck, Anna May Wong, Mayling Soong, and the Transformation of American Orientalism, a work of solid scholarship and uncommon acuity, focuses on America's evolving images of China during these decades, specifically as reflected in the public lives of three diverse and singular women widely identified with the emerging nation: Pearl S. Buck, Anna May Wong and Mayling Soong. Scrupulously researched, the book is academic in tone, and written with precision, perception and clarity.

Leong argues that the ability to travel, and the nascent global mass-culture of the day granted these women a broader field of recognition and enhanced form of celebrity than hitherto attainable, thus facilitating a greater sphere of influence contributing to the gendering (or feminization) of a distant country traditionally held to be completely patriarchal, alien and inscrutable to Western eyes.

Adapting the late Edward Said's notion of orientalism--a highly politicized analysis of European colonial perspectives of "the Orient," and the resulting and enduring power relations between Asia and the West--Leong defines "American orientalism" as a distorted image of the Chinese as "primitive, slavish, exotic, manipulative, and amoral." She writes that these images were diametrically opposed to the positive traits of modernity, freedom and fidelity celebrated in American nationalism.
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By jojo on February 13, 2016
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fine product and quick delivery
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