East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Yellow Peril

cover38282-mediumReading Yellow Peril! – An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear, by John Kuo Wei Tchen and Dylan Yeats, is a weird experience.
As the sub-title points out, this big book is a huge collection of texts and images mapping the relationship between the East and the West.
The East as imagined by the West, to be exact.

The effect can be shocking.
Especially for someone who grew up in a generally liberal household, in a country which had not (at the time) any experience with foreign immigration, reading old pulps – that’s me.

Understanding the actual racism behind some classic genre tropes is eye-opening, and helps put in perspective a number of cliches and stereotypes.

This is an important book, and highly recommended – but will raise a number of issues with the reader.
Which is a good thing, if not overly comfortable.

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