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  • CHSA Book Talk: The Price of Salmon

CHSA Book Talk: The Price of Salmon

  • June 17, 2023
  • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Online (via Zoom)

In this Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) virtual book talk, learn the secrets behind the Chinese involvement with the salmon canning industry. In 1922, The Daily News reporter Max Stern shared with his readers the breathtaking accounts of his adventures aboard the notorious “Hell Ship” and ashore in the worst cannery in Alaska. Stern worked along a multiple-raced Chinese gang and shared their misery. But first Stern must disguise himself as a down-on-his-luck laborer and confront some of the key players of the underworld of the S.F. salmon trade. Written with a great sense of drama, Stern’s investigative report exposed the corrupt practices and exploitation in the salmon canning industry. 

Past CHCP Speaker Series presentersJames Chiao (a CHCP Advisory Board member) and his twin brother Philip Chiao have edited and compiled Stern’s fascinating story that led to the exposure of long-running scandals in 1922. Now newly edited by the Chiao brothers and published in book form, the modern public can read Stern’s articles to interpret the past for themselves and the many intriguing questions such as race relationships, life in San Francisco in the rolling 1920s, the morality of men’s inhumanity to men, and more.

Philip and James Chiao, along with Kristin Wong, are contributors to the “Chinese Workers in Salmon Canneries,” a website that documents the history of Chinese Americans who worked in the salmon cannery industry. Exciting discussion and an audience Q&A will follow their presentation surrounding the book “The Price of Salmon” – Max Stern’s 1922 expose of the salmon canning industry of the 1920s.

REGISTER HERE for the free virtual book talk.

Museum Address:

History Park
635 Phelan Avenue
San Jose, CA 95112

In Ng Shing Gung Building

Mailing Address:

PO Box 5366
San Jose, CA 95150-5366

Email: info@chcp.org

Chinese Historical & Cultural Project

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