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Blue Dreams: Korean Americans and the Los Angeles Riots

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No one will soon forget the image, blazed across the airwaves, of armed Korean Americans taking to the rooftops as their businesses went up in flames during the Los Angeles riots. Why Korean Americans? What stoked the wrath the riots unleashed against them? Blue Dreams is the first book to make sense of these questions, to show how Korean Americans, variously depicted as i No one will soon forget the image, blazed across the airwaves, of armed Korean Americans taking to the rooftops as their businesses went up in flames during the Los Angeles riots. Why Korean Americans? What stoked the wrath the riots unleashed against them? Blue Dreams is the first book to make sense of these questions, to show how Korean Americans, variously depicted as immigrant seekers after the American dream or as racist merchants exploiting African Americans, emerged at the crossroads of conflicting social reflections in the aftermath of the 1992 riots. The situation of Los Angeles's Korean Americans touches on some of the most vexing issues facing American society today: ethnic conflict, urban poverty, immigration, multiculturalism, and ideological polarization. Combining interviews and deft socio-historical analysis, Blue Dreams gives these problems a human face and at the same time clarifies the historical, political, and economic factors that render them so complex. In the lives and voices of Korean Americans, the authors locate a profound challenge to cherished assumptions about the United States and its minorities. Why did Koreans come to the United States? Why did they set up shop in poor inner-city neighborhoods? Are they in conflict with African Americans? These are among the many difficult questions the authors answer as they probe the transnational roots and diversity of Los Angeles's Korean Americans. Their work finally shows us in sharp relief and moving detail a community that, despite the blinding media focus brought to bear during the riots, has nonetheless remained largely silent and effectively invisible. An important corrective to the formulaic accounts that have pitted Korean Americans against African Americans, Blue Dreams places the Korean American story squarely at the center of national debates over race, class, culture, and community.


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No one will soon forget the image, blazed across the airwaves, of armed Korean Americans taking to the rooftops as their businesses went up in flames during the Los Angeles riots. Why Korean Americans? What stoked the wrath the riots unleashed against them? Blue Dreams is the first book to make sense of these questions, to show how Korean Americans, variously depicted as i No one will soon forget the image, blazed across the airwaves, of armed Korean Americans taking to the rooftops as their businesses went up in flames during the Los Angeles riots. Why Korean Americans? What stoked the wrath the riots unleashed against them? Blue Dreams is the first book to make sense of these questions, to show how Korean Americans, variously depicted as immigrant seekers after the American dream or as racist merchants exploiting African Americans, emerged at the crossroads of conflicting social reflections in the aftermath of the 1992 riots. The situation of Los Angeles's Korean Americans touches on some of the most vexing issues facing American society today: ethnic conflict, urban poverty, immigration, multiculturalism, and ideological polarization. Combining interviews and deft socio-historical analysis, Blue Dreams gives these problems a human face and at the same time clarifies the historical, political, and economic factors that render them so complex. In the lives and voices of Korean Americans, the authors locate a profound challenge to cherished assumptions about the United States and its minorities. Why did Koreans come to the United States? Why did they set up shop in poor inner-city neighborhoods? Are they in conflict with African Americans? These are among the many difficult questions the authors answer as they probe the transnational roots and diversity of Los Angeles's Korean Americans. Their work finally shows us in sharp relief and moving detail a community that, despite the blinding media focus brought to bear during the riots, has nonetheless remained largely silent and effectively invisible. An important corrective to the formulaic accounts that have pitted Korean Americans against African Americans, Blue Dreams places the Korean American story squarely at the center of national debates over race, class, culture, and community.

30 review for Blue Dreams: Korean Americans and the Los Angeles Riots

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    Although I do not agree with some of its conclusions, this book still offers an interesting perspective of the L.A. Riots, as well as an informative overview of Korean immigration to the U.S. (appealing to me on a personal level due to my heritage). Despite its subject matter, I have to say this book is not as engrossing a read as Lie's excellent Multiethnic Japan.

  2. 5 out of 5

    morning Os

    It is nicely written but there was not much new information for me in the book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Amir

    This is a book which u should read soon. Blue Dreams is not a joke, or wish...

  4. 4 out of 5

    H H

  5. 4 out of 5

    Markus Bell

  6. 4 out of 5

    Diane

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ben Russak

  8. 4 out of 5

    Devon Spencer

  9. 5 out of 5

    Peter Cha

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jenn Romero

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  12. 5 out of 5

    Salonee Bhaman

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stella Park

  14. 4 out of 5

    Olga

  15. 5 out of 5

    CS Park

  16. 4 out of 5

    Grace S

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

  19. 5 out of 5

    Autumn

  20. 4 out of 5

    Keith

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jenncha

  23. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

  24. 5 out of 5

    Willis Kim

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hamid

  26. 4 out of 5

    Simon

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ashok Chandran

  28. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Thompson Arcangel

  29. 5 out of 5

    A

  30. 4 out of 5

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