Harry Bridges Center Director Moon-Ho Jung’s recent book Menace to Empire: Anticolonial Solidarities and the Transpacific Origins of the US Security State received three major awards in 2023. The book is a history of race, radicalism and resistance to American empire in the Pacific between the Philippine-American War and World War II.
The Organization of American Historians (OAH) and the Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA) honored Professor Jung's work with the David Montgomery Award. The annual award recognizes the best book on a topic in American labor and working-class history.
Explaining its selection, the awards committee wrote:
"[Menace to Empire] is a sophisticated and absorbing analysis of Asian-origin peoples — including workers, migrants, students, and revolutionaries—and their resistance to the U.S. empire in the first four decades of the twentieth century. Moon-Ho Jung movingly and meticulously explores the radicalization of people who joined and supported revolutionary and working-class movements opposed to the U.S. empire and white supremacy. Tracking the movement of people and ideas around the Pacific world, he painstakingly reconstructs anticolonial networks that united people in Asia, and in diasporic communities across the globe, as they fought empire and resisted the logics of racial capitalism. The imperial state and its defenders, Jung details, set out to comprehensively and violently extinguish anticolonial organizing and the solidarities it produced; in doing so, they criminalized, racialized, and excluded Asians as ‘seditious subjects.’ Suppressing anticolonial movements transformed how the United States thought about Asian peoples as it solidified its national security apparatus. Jung’s work impels us to understand the connections between anticolonial politics, anti-Asian racism, and the security state. Imaginatively researched, engagingly written, and brilliantly argued, Menace to Empire forces us to consider how the U.S. empire spawned racist, undemocratic, and exploitative realities for working people in and from Asia."
In addition to the David Montgomery Award, the Organization of American Historians also recognized Menace to Empire as an honorable mention for the James A. Rawley Prize, which is given to the author of the best book dealing with the history of race relations in the United States
The third honor given to Professor Jung’s book was the Theodore Saloutos Book Award presented by the Immigration and Ethnic History Society. This award honors the book judged best on any aspect of the immigration history of the United States.
Menace to Empire was published in 2022 by the University of California Press. More information is available on the UC Press website.