Dooner, Pierton W

Tagged: Author

(1844-1907) Canadian-born editor and author who immigrated to the USA in 1861. His Near Future tale, Last Days of the Republic (1880), was the first US Yellow Peril novel that could be described in sf terms, and demonstrates the terribly common dynamic by which a guilty party, or nation, feels compelled to transfer its guilt to the victim or victim-nation: in 1880, the year of the book's publication, Chinese coolies had been used for some time as forced labour in California, and in terms of this dynamic it was exactly the right time to accuse them of being a menace. In the novel, the coolies – who comprise a collective which acts as with one mind – nefariously gain civil rights from cowardly Whites, and use their ill-gotten power to gain control in the "War of the Races" over all of America except Washington, whose collapse is only a matter of time. In the real world, the Chinese Exclusion Act followed promptly, in 1882. [JC]

Pierton William Dooner [his legal first name may be Pierson, "Pierton" being a typographical error]

born Canada: March 1844

died Los Angeles, California: October 1907

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