I knew going into this video (hat tip) that dishes like chop suey, General Tso's chicken, and beef and broccoli weren't native Chinese dishes, but Americanized dishes, but this 16 minute lecture on the history of "Chinese" food by Jennifer 8 Lee was absolutely riveting. Check it out:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/U6MhV5Rn63M&hl=en&fs=1 expand=1]
It kind of made me hungry, though, even though the trends she talks about (sweetening and frying everything in sight) mostly disgust me. The trends she's examining fall across many genres of American food, including those we call Mexican and Italian food. With Chinese food, it's got another, more disturbing angle, which is the way the food got associated with racist attitudes towards Chinese-Americans.