In writing about Boston Chinatown’s long history, Michael Liu, a lifelong activist and scholar of the community, charts its journey and efforts for survival—from its emergence during a time of immigration and deep xenophobia to the highway construction and urban renewal projects that threatened the neighborhood after World War II to its more recent efforts to keep commercial developers at bay. At the ground level, Liu depicts its people, organizations, internal battles, and varied and complex strategies against land-taking by outside institutions and public authorities. The documented courage, resilience, and ingenuity of this low-income immigrant neighborhood of color have earned it a place amongst our urban narratives. Chinatown has much to teach us about neighborhood agency, the power of organizing, and the prospects of such neighborhoods in rapidly growing and changing cities.
“In his accessible and illuminating new book, Forever Struggle: Activism, Identity, and Survival in Boston’s Chinatown, 1880–2018, Michael Liu tracks the transformation of this low-income, immigrant neighborhood’s relationship to Boston. The book gives a rich and thorough history of this cross-section of the city, and details a neighborhood that’s long been ‘under tremendous pressure.’”—Boston Globe
"Forever Struggle is an accessibly written and broad political, social, and economic history of Boston’s Chinatown. Liu has uncovered the fascinating and previously overlooked story of one of Boston’s most vital ethnic communities."—Anthony Bak Buccitelli, author of City of Neighborhoods: Memory, Folklore, and Ethnic Place in Boston
"Forever Struggle describes opportunities for and challenges to building cross-racial alliances that address shared concerns regarding police brutality, environmental racism, bureaucratic, real estate–driven city planning, and exclusion from local policy decision-making. This is the most important contribution of this book . . . most Chinatown studies tend to emphasize these communities’‘enclave’ qualities, reinforcing the sense of insularity, self-sufficiency, and clannishness."—Tarry Hum, author of Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood: Brooklyn’s Sunset Park