Winner of the American Book Award
San Francisco Chinatown is the first book of its kind—an "insider's guide" to one of America's most celebrated ethnic enclaves by an author born and raised there. Written by architect and Chinese American studies pioneer Philip P. Choy, the book details the triumphs and tragedies of the Chinese American experience in the U.S. Both a history of America's oldest and most famous Chinese community and a guide to its significant sites and architecture, San Francisco Chinatown traces the development of the neighborhood from the city's earliest days to its post-quake transformation into an "Oriental" tourist attraction as a pragmatic means of survival. Featuring a building-by-building breakdown of the most significant sites in Chinatown, the guide is lavishly illustrated with historical and contemporary photographs and offers walking tours for tourists and locals alike.
"A stunning new guidebook. . . History buffs will be amazed by the wealth of lore, legend and radiant fact." —San Francisco Chronicle
A Los Angeles Times summer reading pick
"San Francisco Chinatown illuminates the untold history of the enclave. . . to consider the political, historical, and cultural implications of Chinatown's very existence." —San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Part history book and part tour guide, San Francisco Chinatown is definitely niche, but wonderfully so. In it, Choy quickly outlines the history of San Francisco as a whole, then jumps into a section by section investigation of the city's famous Chinatown . . . San Francisco Chinatown whets ones appetite to learn more about Chinese-American history." —Evelyn McDonald, City Book Review
Retired architect and renowned historian of Chinese America Philip P. Choy co-taught the first college level course in Chinese American history at San Francisco State University. Since then he has created and consulted on numerous TV documentaries, exhibits, and publications. He has served on the California State Historic Resource Commission, on the San Francisco Landmark Advisory Board, five times as President of the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA), and currently as an emeritus CHSA boardmember. he is a recipient of the prestigious San Francisco State University President's Medal.
San Francisco Chinatown is the first history of and guide to SF Chinatown written by someone born and raised there.