This essay offers a new reading of the American author Pearl Buck, focusing on her cultural concept of "natural democracy." It does so by critically reconstructing and examining this concept through three linked contexts: 1930s China, the novel The Good Earth, and the 1943 Chinese Exclusion Acts Repeal hearings. The essay argues that natural democracy enabled the emergence of a U.S.––China, trans-Pacific cultural sphere that helped to facilitate the rise of the postwar Asian American subject.

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