The author's purpose: to update the image of the Chinese in the U.S. and cancel houseboy-tong war stereotypes. She surveys where Chinese immigrants came from, and why: how they were treated here; changes in immigration policy; prominent Chinese-Americans today; and the present situation of ordinary Chinese-Americans. Of particular interest are the sections on the role of the church, shifts in marriage patterns, why transplanted Chinese became laundrymen and restaurateurs. Lots of statistics and suggestive excerpts from doctoral dissertations. The book provides keys to a past full of discrimination and hardship, and to changing Chinatowns with their sad old men, proper professionals, and galvanized teenagers. But Mrs. Sung sometimes fails to pursue her analysis--why do they gamble more than they drink? what is the range of opinion about Communist China? And she often sounds like an anxious matron nudging her children's best feet forward, apologizing for their grandparents' eccentricities. Her concern with ""image"" subverts the trustworthiness of the book, which would have been a more valuable one had she let people speak longer and louder for themselves.