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Please try again later. A thoroughly researched and readable account of the history of the Chinese laundrymen in North America. I say 'readable', yet at times it was hard to read of the hard lives and insults that the they endured to scratch out a meagre living. A serious work for the student of the history of the overseas Chinese, it documents a trade now gone, but which was still around in living memory, so that it may strike a real chord for some.

One person found this helpful. John Jung's two books, "Chinese Laundries- Tickets to Survival on God Mountain", and "Sweet and Sour- Life in Chinese Family Restaurants" have important relevance to our understanding of the immigration story of our country at a time of polarizing political discourse regarding the closing of our national borders, racial profiling, and the deportation of undocumented immigrants. America has always been seen as a land of opportunity to better oneself. Abraham Lincoln called it The Chinese first entered this country in lured by dreams of quick riches from the California Gold Rush, but as Professor Jung points out, California passed discriminatory legislation similar to the "Black Codes" enacted by other states against blacks to deny Chinese the right to a decent livelihood.

They had no alternative but to accept low-paying menial work; they provided cheap labor whenever there was work others did not want to or needed to do. As both books point out, it was first laundry work and later restaurants.

It was both amusing and a sad commentary when I read Stephen E. Ambrose's book, "Nothing Like It In the World", the building of the transcontinental railroad,that when the Chinese began to settle in California, white men compared them with another subordinate group in the 19th century, white women. Like women, Chinese men were small, had delicate hands, no facial hair, and wore their hair in long braids and, as women, were only good to do laundry or become domestic servants. My father also entered the United States as a "paper son", as many who told their stories in these books, and operated a laundry.

We lived in a loft about the laundry with no bathroom. My father provided a large galvanized bucket filled with water and disinfectant for us to use at night; in the morning he carried it down the stairs to empty. I cannot tell you the number of times people would enter the store to say, "No tickee My sister and worked in the laundry growing up until we graduated from high school.

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It was hard work, sorting out dirty, smelly laundry, starching shirts, collars and ironing. My father did this every day except Sundays from the time he entered this country until he closed his laundry in My parents were hard workers and never complained at least not openly, as I did whenever I felt we were being taken advantage of because we were Chinese. Years later I asked my father why he had come to the United States despite opportunities denied him because of his race. His answer was, to find a better life for himself and for us, and that America was "the land of opportunity".

Isn't this what all immigrants to this country hope for if given a chance? Growing up working in my mom and dad's laundry made me uniquely who I am. It is often difficult tell my kids about my experiences as a the son of immigrant parents and the conflict of living between two cultures.

One of my bucket list goals was to honor my parents by writing a history of the Chinese laundry and producing a PBS documentary. Professor Jung beat me to the punch.

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He has writing a well researched history of the Chinese laundry suppled with oral histories of people who actual grew up and worked in laundries. This is a must read for anyone interested in understanding the Chinese American experience. By the way you don't have to be Chinese to love this book, it is really about the immigrant experience and the pursue of the American dream.

After all we are all the children of immigrants so Professor Jung's book is really about the experiences of our ancestors. Well maybe one day I can still get that PBS documentary made. I lived the stories Dr Jung presented in Chinese Laundries. It brought back memories of how hard my parents toiled daily in their laundry and dry cleaners to give me the life they believed was deserved.

I am indebted to my parents and appreciate Dr Jung's insight into my childhood. Read it to appreciate your life and thank your parents and grandparents for their sacrifices. This book doesn't just take you through the historical trajectory of the occupation oft-times associated with Chinese immigrants; it's the story of a people--of families who believe in the value of hard work and determination, and the undying hope of a brighter future.

This book is an absolute must-read for anyone of Chinese decent; more importantly, it is for anyone who has a dream. There were a lot of good information. The research was very thorough.

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But, as a book, it was little dry until toward the end of the book where Jung cited the lives of Laundries' children. See all 7 reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Tickets to Survival on Gold Mountain. Set up a giveaway. Customers who bought this item also bought. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations.

View or edit your browsing history. Get to Know Us. English Choose a language for shopping. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. It offers a comprehensive historical study of the Chinese laundries in the United States, a profound analysis of the psychological experiences of the Chinese laundrymen in America and their families in China; and above all, written by someone who has intimate experiences with the Chinese laundry, it is a tribute to those Chinese immigrants whose labor and sacrifice laid the foundation of the Chinese American community, and a testimony of the Chinese laundrymen's resilience, resourcefulness, and humanity.

Jan 28, Christoph Fischer rated it it was amazing. I found "Chinese Laundries: Tickets to Survival on Gold Mountain" by John Jung on an independent writer's website and was intrigued by the title that suggested a subject way off the beaten track. I was not prepared for the ease with which I was able to read this academic study of Chinese Laundries in the US.

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From casual to con I found "Chinese Laundries: From casual to concrete discrimination, indirect legal victimisation and tax laws to statistic, tables and photographs - a huge amount of details is given and documented. Individual accounts of the workers and owners of laundries lend a great personal touch to the hardship, tragedies and persistence that these people endured.


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Despite the often sad stories and the description of inhumane and intolerant treatment this book is by no account a tale of self-pity and pointing the finger. The facts are described objectively and it accentuated the survival spirit of these people rather than their role as victims.

After all, they are survivors. Reading this book I learned a lot about an era and a subject I had little knowledge of, but I was also grasped by the great writing style that drew me in from the beginning and made me read more and more. Nov 26, Bookworm rated it it was ok. Maybe too similar to his biography for me. The author has a few different books relating to the lives on Chinese immigrants and their role in US history. I decided to go with this one since it seemed like it might tie into his personal life and because it had the highest rating on Goodreads.

It's what it says on the tin. We learn the how and why Chinese immigrants mostly adult men during this time came to run them and the struggles they faced: Probably the most interesting part of the book to me is the very end where Jung traces the decline of Chinese laundromats with the rise in Chinese restaurants as the "starter job" as it were for immigrants.

This last part of the book tweaked my interest in his book on Chinese restaurants but overall I've felt he isn't that great of a writer so I won't be rushing out to read it. I bought this one but wish I could have borrowed it instead. Jun 03, Sep rated it it was amazing. Jung's description of Chinese laundries in America is a well-written document on an important subject and surprisingly, considering the number of statistics, readable.

Chinese Laundries: Tickets To Survival On Gold Mountain

The personal stories of children and grandchildren of laundrymen really make the book. Strongly recommended to anyone interested to this subject and a must for any history class from high school on up that is dealing with Asian immigrant issues. Oct 09, Kai rated it it was amazing Shelves: Chinese Laundries is a great history book in understanding the reasons of why the Chinese has immigrated to America and the hardship that they have to face.

The author gave a very good references to the documentation of discrimination and the occupation why the Chinese open so many laundries and the competition that they faced. For those American-borned Chinese and anyone who wants to know more about American Chinese history, this book is it.

This book is a very good reference for those who wants Chinese Laundries is a great history book in understanding the reasons of why the Chinese has immigrated to America and the hardship that they have to face. This book is a very good reference for those who wants to research deeper into the American Chinese history.

I was given this book by the author via Goodreads for an honest review. I was not compensated or influence in any way for writing this review. Scot McAtee rated it liked it Feb 28, Rachel rated it liked it Aug 24, David rated it it was amazing Oct 14, Victoria rated it it was amazing Jul 10, Tommy rated it it was amazing Aug 24, Betsy McGee rated it liked it Jul 29, John Thornton rated it liked it Nov 17, Shannon rated it it was ok Jan 27, Leslie marked it as to-read Jun 22, Joanne marked it as to-read Jul 15, Jan marked it as to-read Jul 15, Loony Gryphon marked it as to-read Jul 15, Judy marked it as to-read Jul 15, Susan Klinke marked it as to-read Jul 18, Becky marked it as to-read Jul 19, Mysterium marked it as to-read Jul 19, Megan marked it as to-read Jul 20, Miranda marked it as to-read Jul 21, Becky marked it as to-read Jul 21, Melissa marked it as to-read Jul 21, Jillian marked it as to-read Jul 23, Amy marked it as to-read Jul 25, Mark marked it as to-read Jul 25, Victoria marked it as to-read Jul 25, Shirley Blair marked it as to-read Jul 26, Liana marked it as to-read Jul 28, Gregg marked it as to-read Jul 31, Kayla Baldwin marked it as to-read Jul 31, Pamela added it Jul 31, Jan Marquart marked it as to-read Jul 31, Sophie marked it as to-read Jul 31, Barbara marked it as to-read Jul 31, Christine Groce marked it as to-read Jul 31, Stacey marked it as to-read Jul 31, Shannon Baas marked it as to-read Jul 31, Rochelle marked it as to-read Jul 31, Jacque marked it as to-read Jul 31, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

I grew up in Macon, Georgia, where my family, the only Chinese in the city, lived above our laundry.