All things old China - books, anecdotes, stories, podcasts, factoids & ramblings from the author Paul French

Three Tough Chinamen – The Moy Brothers

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 | No Comments »

An interesting addition to overseas Chinese studies – Scott Seligman’s Three Tough Chinamen….

THE MOY BROTHERS, late 19th century Chinese immigrants to America, crossed lines and broke barriers. Tough men whose lives were hemmed in by prejudice and restrictive laws, they were scrappy and ambitious, and they were in the U.S. to stay. In an era when Chinese were excluded from America’s shores and most already here kept their heads down, they stood up and spoke out against injustices. They fought for their countrymen and used all means available to get ahead, up to and including committing petty crimes and, in the case of one brother, heinous ones.

THE MOY BROTHERS did what they had to do to succeed and prosper, and their tales offer a window into the lives of America’s Chinese at the turn of the 20th century. They tell of navigating obstacles and of culture clash, and of how Western ethics and laws fared among Asian immigrants when they went head to head, as they inevitably had to, against ancient values like clan loyalty, and against personal interests and greed.

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