AANHPI Heritage Month Reading List

May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the role that Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) have played in American history. In this blogpost you can explore a collection of our recent Asian American studies and Asian studies titles that would make perfect reading for AANHPI Month. See something you like? Use code 01UNCP30 at checkout to save 30% plus free shipping on orders over $75.

Arise, Africa! Roar, China!: Black and Chinese Citizens of the World in the Twentieth Century by Yunxiang Gao


2022 Academic Excellence Award, Chinese Historians in the United States
Honorable Mention, 2022 Robert H. Ferrell Book Prize, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations
Shortlisted, 2022 Wallace K. Ferguson Prize, Canadian Historical Association

This book explores the close relationships between three of the most famous twentieth-century African Americans, W. E. B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, and Langston Hughes, and their little-known Chinese allies during World War II and the Cold War—journalist, musician, and Christian activist Liu Liangmo, and Sino-Caribbean dancer-choreographer Sylvia Si-lan Chen. Charting a new path in the study of Sino-American relations, Gao Yunxiang foregrounds African Americans, combining the study of Black internationalism and the experiences of Chinese Americans with a transpacific narrative and an understanding of the global remaking of China’s modern popular culture and politics.

Book cover for Bundok

Bundok: A Hinterland History of Filipino America by Adrian De Leon

From the late eighteenth century, the hinterlands of Northern Luzon and its Indigenous people were in the crosshairs of imperial and capitalist extraction. Combining the breadth of global history with the intimacy of biography, Adrian De Leon follows the people of Northern Luzon across space and time, advancing a new vision of the United States’s Pacific empire that begins with the natives and migrants who were at the heart of colonialism and its everyday undoing. De Leon’s imaginatively constructed archive yields a sweeping history that promises to reshape our understanding of race making in the Pacific world.

Book cover for Far From the Rooftop of the World

Far From the Rooftop of the World: Travels among Tibetan Refugees on Four Continents by Amy Yee

Finalist, 2023 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards (Political and Social Sciences)
Finalist, 2023 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards (Travel)

In 2008, journalist Amy Yee found herself covering a press conference with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, his exile home in India. She never imagined a personal encounter with the spiritual leader would spark a global, fourteen-year journey to spotlight the stories of Tibetans in exile.

Weaving a sweeping travel narrative with intimate on-the-ground reportage, Far from the Rooftop of the World tells the stories of ordinary but extraordinary people against the backdrop of milestones and events in Tibet’s recent history – many memorable, too many tragic. The resulting portrait illuminates the humanity, strength, and perseverance of a people whose homeland is in crisis.

Book cover for Lawyer, Jailer, Ally, Foe

Lawyer, Jailer, Ally, Foe: Complicity and Conscience in America’s World War II Concentration Camps by Eric L. Muller

“A fascinating and detailed account of one of America’s darkest chapters.”—John Grisham

It is 1942, and World War II is raging. In the months since Pearl Harbor, the US has plunged into the war overseas—and on the home front, it has locked up tens of thousands of innocent Japanese Americans in concentration camps, tearing them from their homes on the West Coast. At each of these camps the government places a white lawyer with contradictory instructions: provide legal counsel to the prisoners, and keep the place running. Most of these lawyers think of themselves as trying to do good in a bad system, and yet each ends up harming the prisoners more than helping them. As we look through the lawyers’ sometimes-clear and sometimes-clouded eyes, what emerges is a powerful look at the day-by-day, brick-by-brick perpetration of racial injustice—not just by the system itself, but by the men struggling to do good within it.

Transpacific Convergences: Race, Migration, and Japanese American Film Culture before World War II by Denise Khor

A 2023 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Despite the rise of the Hollywood system and hostility to Asian migrant communities in the early twentieth-century United States, Japanese Americans created a thriving cinema culture that produced films and established theaters and exhibition companies to facilitate their circulation between Japan and the United States. In Transpacific Convergences Khor opens up transnational lines of inquiry and draws comparisons between early Japanese American cinema and Black cinema to craft a broad and expansive history of a transnational public sphere shaped by the circulation and exchange of people, culture, and ideas across the Pacific.