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A compelling account of the killing of Vincent Chin, the verdicts that took the Asian American community to the streets in protest, and the groundbreaking civil rights trial that followed.
America in 1982: Japanese car companies are on the rise and believed to be putting U.S. autoworkers out of their jobs. Anti–Asian American sentiment simmers, especially in Detroit. A bar fight turns fatal, leaving a Chinese American man, Vincent Chin, beaten to death at the hands of two white men, autoworker Ronald Ebens and his stepson, Michael Nitz.
Paula Yoo has crafted a searing examination of the killing and the trial and verdicts that followed. When Ebens and Nitz pled guilty to manslaughter and received only a $3,000 fine and three years’ probation, the lenient sentence sparked outrage. The protests that followed led to a federal civil rights trial—the first involving a crime against an Asian American—and galvanized what came to be known as the Asian American movement.
Extensively researched from court transcripts, contemporary news accounts, and in-person interviews with key participants, From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry is a suspenseful, nuanced, and authoritative portrait of a pivotal moment in civil rights history, and a man who became a symbol against hatred and racism.
"This clear and lucid account, based on in-depth research, superlatively conveys the context and significance of the events.... An accessible and compelling account of a tragedy that resonates through the decades." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Admirably objective.... Yoo discusses the resurgence of anti-Asian attitudes and rhetoric in connection to COVID-19, reinforcing the book’s through line that Chin mustn’t be forgotten." - Booklist (starred review)
* Timely & essential: Asian Americans have been targeted by both citizens and political leadership in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak -- as they were during the crisis in the American auto industry the 1970s and 80s that forms the context for Vincent Chin's story.
• Groundbreaking book about groundbreaking activism: This was the moment when America's "model minority" took to the streets to protest injustice
* Unique opportunity: There are few books on Asian American civil rights, and this is the only book for any age about Vincent Chin's life and murder
* Unparalleled research: Yoo leaves no stone unturned, and has written a book that is gripping and authoritative
* Cross-Market Potential: Young activists won't be the only readers drawn to this title, as adults will resonate with this famous but forgotten story.
* May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: The book's publication date in April means it can it be promoted alongside this celebration, as well as Vincent Chin's birthday on May 18th