Anti-Chinese Sentiment Past and Present: Background information when reading Last Night at the Telegraph Club

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Last Night at the Telegraph Club

by Malinda Lo

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo X
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2021, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2021, 432 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Michelle Anya Anjirbag
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About this Book

Anti-Chinese Sentiment Past and Present

This article relates to Last Night at the Telegraph Club

Mannequins wearing masks that say I Am Not a VirusIn Last Night at the Telegraph Club, some of the pressure that Lily faces in her family life is related to their precarious situation as immigrants, specifically as Chinese immigrants in the aftermath of the anti-communist hysteria of McCarthyism. Chinese immigrants have a long, often obscured history in the United States, which includes several exclusion acts that were essentially part of a strategy to keep U.S. immigration, and the country's citizenry, of white, European descent. Despite the gradual repeal of these measures, Sinophobia, or Anti-Chinese sentiment and racism, was prevalent in the U.S. at the time the book is set, and it still persists today, as has been made more openly apparent by some of the national discourse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the 1950s, Senator Joseph McCarthy became a prominent voice of anti-communist sentiment as the Cold War persisted. His Red Scare tactics included assertions that the U.S. had been infiltrated by foreign agents who intended to...

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