Erika Lee

Erika Lee is the granddaughter of Chinese immigrants who entered the United States through both Angel Island and Ellis Island. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. She teaches history at the University of Minnesota, where she is also the Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair in Immigration History and Director of the Immigration History Research Center. She is the author of The Making of Asian America, Angel Island (with Judy Yung), and At America’s Gates.

Books by this Author

The Making of Asian America

Teaching Resources

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Author Revealed

Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?

A. “I never knew this before.”

Q. Is there a book you love to reread?

A. I seem to reread Jane Austen very summer.

Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

A. Write everyday, even if takes the form of taking notes or tweeting.

Q. What was/is your favorite job?

A. I'm doing it!

Author Voices

August 10, 2015

Today's headlines are full of news about immigration, most of it bad, and a lot of it untrue. In this recent blog post that I wrote for Medium, I explore the myths and realities behind some of the most recent debates over immigration, including: current rates of immigration, immigrants and crime, and undocumented immigration and border security. Read it here at:

August 10, 2015

The Making of Asian America launches at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC on September 5th! Erika will join journalists Ray Suarez and Tom Gjelten on a special panel exploring books on immigration. For more on the #NatBookFest15 visit:

August 10, 2015

Erika will be sharing her new book with audiences this fall.
Stops include: September 5: Washington, DC; September 19: Minneapolis; October 2: Washington, DC; October 3: Boston; October 9: Irvine; October 14: Minneapolis; November 12: College Park; November 19: