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Read the Introduction.
aIn many ways, this book is perfect... This is an important book
that succeeds on its own terms and will be well used in immigration
and legal history as well as Asian American studies.a
--Journal of Asian Studies
"Lucid and compelling, Park's book is essential reading for
those who want to understand the limits of American civil rights
discourse--and post-September 11, that should be all of us."
--Angela Harris, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of
"Although he is a legal scholar, his book is more than academic.
The issues that Park raises are at the heart of what it means to be
a diverse democracy- or not."
"A well-executed interdisciplinary work combining the
theoretical and the empirical in ways that benefit the
understanding of both."
--"The Law and Politics Book Review"
"An eye-opening account."
--" The Harvard Law Review Association"
Since the late nineteenth century, federal and state rules
governing immigration and naturalization have placed persons of
Asian ancestry outside the boundaries of formal membership. A
review of leading cases in American constitutional law regarding
Asians would suggest that initially, Asian immigrants tended to
evade exclusionary laws through deliberate misrepresentations of
their identities or through extralegal means. Eventually, many of
these immigrants and their descendants came to accept prevailing
legal norms governing their citizenship in the United States. In
many cases, this involved embracing notions of white supremacy.
John S. W. Park argues that American rules governing citizenship
and belonging remainfundamentally unjust, even though they suggest
the triumph of a "civil rights" vision, where all citizens share
the same basic rights. By continuing to privilege members over
non-members in ways that are politically popular, these rules mask
injustices that violate principles of fairness. Importantly,
Elusive Citizenship also suggests that politically and socially,
full membership in American society remains closely linked with
participation in exclusionary practices that isolate racial
minorities in America.
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