About the Author
RONALD TAKAKI (1939–2009) was recognized as one of the foremost scholars of American ethnic history. Born and raised in Oahu, Hawaii, the descendent of Japanese immigrant field workers, Takaki became the first member of his family to receive higher education, attending The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, and later receiving a doctorate in history from the University of California, Berkeley. Takaki has said that he was “born intellectually and politically” during this period in Berkeley in the 1960s. His PhD dissertation was on the subject of slavery in America, and he went on to teach the first black history course at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the aftermath of the Watts riots. Returning to Berkeley, Takaki helped found the nation’s first ethnic studies department and rose to national prominence publishing works on the history of immigration and the understanding of ethnicity in the Americas. His 1989 title Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Takaki died in 2009.