Forbidden Citizens – Chinese Exclusion and the U.S. Congress


Forbidden Citizens

By Martin B. Gold

Described as “one of the most vulgar forms of barbarism,” by Rep. John Kasson (R-IA) in 1882, a series of laws known as The Chinese Exclusion Act passed by the United States Congress between 1879 and 1943 resulted in prohibiting the Chinese as a people from becoming U.S. citizens. Forbidden Citizens recounts this long and shameful legislative history, telling the inside story of the battle over Chinese exclusion, examining all of the exclusion laws using the words actually spoken in Senate and House debates.

Forbidden Citizens


[L]andmark volume on the subject of exclusionary policies against Chinese and Chinese Americans … a valuable teaching tool … an exemplary subject reference.

Library Journal


Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.



Forbidden Citizens Recognized with Two Awards: APALA and Benjamin Franklin Awards


For complete Table of Contents, sample sections, and secure online ordering, see


The Chinese Exclusion Act Official Trailer, A Documentary by Ric Burns


The Chinese Exclusion Act Behind the scenes interview with Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu


For more than 40 years, TheCapitol.Net and its predecessor, Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences, have been teaching professionals from government, military, business, and NGOs about the dynamics and operations of the legislative and executive branches and how to work with them.

Our custom on-site and online training, publications, and audio courses include congressional operations, legislative and budget process, communication and advocacy, media and public relations, testifying before Congress, research skills, legislative drafting, critical thinking and writing, and more.

TheCapitol.Net is on the GSA Schedule, MAS, for custom on-site and online training. GSA Contract GS02F0192X

TheCapitol.Net is now owned by the Sunwater Institute.

Teaching how Washington and Congress work ™

Select publications from TheCapitol.Net