In 1952 Toy Len Goon, an unknown Chinese immigrant, a widowed mother of eight, and a laundry shop owner, was selected to be Maine Mother of the Year and later won the national title as American Mother of the Year. The news was circulated widely in domestic media, propaganda abroad, the Chinese American press, and newspapers in Taiwan. This article examines the meaning of how a self-employed Chinese mother, against the dominant discourse of white, middle-class domesticity, was promoted as a rhetorical tool domestically and globally in the Cold War ideology of containment and integration. The Goon case illustrates the complexity of the cultural Cold War and indexes the ways that multiple layers of power and resistance operated under the banner of containment.

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