Forbidden City, USA:Chinatown Nightclubs, 1936-1970 captures the magic and glamour of the Chinatown nightclub scene, which peaked in San Francisco during World War II. Inspired by the research for his documentary by the same name, filmmaker and writer Arthur Dong transformed previously unpublished personal stories, along with over four-hundred stunning images and rare artifacts, into a sexy and insightful chronicle of Asian American performers who defied racial and
cultural barriers to pursue their showbiz dreams.
During the 1930s and ’40s, audiences flocked to nightclubs to escape the problems with a cocktail and a show. Prohibition was repealed and the Great Depression was waning. With global conflict on the rise, people went out to drink, dine, dance, and see a show to forget their woes — and what a surprise for the world to behold an emerging generation of Chinese American entertainers commanding the stage in their own nightclubs!
Forbidden City, USA reveals the sassy, bold, and sometimes heartbreaking memories of dancers, singers, producers, and nightclub owners from a golden age of Chinatown nightclubs, as told in their own words. Meet the “Chinese Sinatra,” the “Chinese Ginger Rogers,” the “Chinese Fred Astaire”, and delight in the true-life stories behind China Dolls, the bestselling novel by Lisa See, who provides an
insightful foreword to the book.
Woven throughout are vintage photos, postcards, menus, programs, and yes, even souvenir chopsticks. Together they recreate a forgotten era, taking readers on a dazzling tour of the old “Chop Suey Circuit.”
American Book Award
Art Deco Society Historic Preservation Award
Ippy Award, Independent Publishers
Reviews“Put on some music from the 1930s and 1940s, start turning the pages of this remarkable volume, and step into the intoxicating and magical world of the Chinese American nightclub scene. Enjoy!”—From the foreword by LISA SEE, bestselling author of China Dolls, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Forbidden City, USA: Promo text & links
"These Nightclub Entertainers Paved The Way For Asian-Americans In Showbiz.”
—HEIDI CHANG, National Public Radio
“East meets west, over cocktails. Over three decades, [Arthur Dong] has amassed what may be the world’s largest collection of Chinese American nightclub memorabilia, more than 1,000 pieces. About 400 of them appear in the book…examining an almost forgotten chapter in American nightlife.”—ROBERT ITO, New York Times
- Publisher : DeepFocus Productions, Inc. (April 11, 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 216 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0991573307
- ISBN-13 : 978-0991573301
- Item Weight : 2.2 pounds
- Dimensions : 8.5 x 1 x 11 inches
All copies are new and signed by Arthur Dong.