Garden of the World: Asian Immigrants and the Making of Agriculture in California's Santa Clara Valley
by Cecilia Tsu
published by the Oxford University Press (2013)
Nearly a century before it became known as Silicon Valley, the Santa Clara Valley was world-renowned for something else: the succulent fruits and vegetables grown in its fertile soil. In Garden of the World, Cecilia Tsu tells the overlooked, intertwined histories of the Santa Clara Valley's agricultural past and the Asian immigrants who cultivated the land during the region's peak decades of horticultural production. Weaving together the story of three overlapping waves of Asian migration from China, Japan, and the Philippines in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Tsu offers a comparative history that sheds light on the ways in which Asian farmers and laborers fundamentally altered the agricultural economy and landscape of the Santa Clara Valley, as well as white residents' ideas about race, gender, and what it meant to be an American family farmer.