The Department of History
20th century U.S., Asian American, urban, race, immigration, politics and policy, modern China and the Chinese diaspora
Phone: (646) 312-4340
A native of California, Charlotte Brooks earned her B.A. in Chinese history from Yale University and worked in China and Hong Kong after college. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in U.S. history from Northwestern University and taught at the University at Albany-SUNY, before coming to Baruch College.
She is the author most recently of Between Mao and McCarthy: Chinese American Politics in the Cold War Years (University of Chicago Press, 2015). Based on extensive research in both English and Chinese-language sources, it is a comparative study of Chinese American political activism in New York and San Francisco between World War Two and the late 1960s.
Currently, she is doing research for a book titled Immigrants from America: The Chinese American Second Generation in China, 1900-1949. Between fifteen and twenty percent of all Chinese American citizens in the first half of the twentieth century left the United States for China under the assumption that they would never permanently return to the land of their birth. Immigrants from America explores this little-known aspect of modern Chinese and American history through the lives of the thousands of Chinese Americans who settled in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and the Pearl River Delta.
Her first book, Alien Neighbors, Foreign Friends: Asian Americans, Housing, and the Transformation of Urban California (University of Chicago Press, 2009), received an honorable mention for the Organization of American Historians’ Frederick Jackson Turner Award. She is also the author of several articles, including “In the Twilight Zone Between Black and White: Japanese American Resettlement and Community in Chicago, 1942-1945,” in the Journal of American History (2000); “Sing Sheng vs. Southwood: Housing, Race, and the Cold War in 1950s California,” originally published in the Pacific Historical Review (2004) and later republished in The Best American History Essays 2006; “The War on Grant Avenue: Business Competition and Ethnic Rivalry in San Francisco’s Chinatown, 1937-1942,” in the Journal of Urban History (2011); and “The Chinese Third Force in the United States: Political Alternatives in Cold War Chinese America,” in the Journal of American Ethnic History (2014).