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Captive Paradise: A History of Hawaii by…

Captive Paradise: A History of Hawaii

by James L. Haley

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Mostly concerned with the intricacies of Hawaiian royal politics from the rise of Kamehameha to the fall of Queen Liliuokalani's government, Haley traces the path of how the Anglo-Saxon planter class came to predominate and regards it as pretty much inevitable that Hawaii was going to wind up being dominated by some great power. However, even if you make the argument that American predominance was the best of the bad options and keep in mind that there was much that was less than admirable about the traditional culture of the islands (such as the crushing caste system and the practice of human sacrifice) Haley sees no point in denying that there are the results of economic oppression that in all fairness need to be addressed. ( )
  Shrike58 | May 10, 2017 |
Very readable and yet sufficiently detailed. I was aware that Hawaii lost its independence o the US against the will of the Hawaiin royalty and e majority of native Hawaiins, but Haley does a good job of retracing the history of Hawaii from the first contacts with Europeans through annexation by the US. He seems to take a more tolerant view of the Christian missionaries than many recent historians and he also notes that with Vritain, France and the US all interested in acquiring control of Hawaii, maintaining complete autonomy may not have been possible. But Haley is open about his biases and notes where he disagrees with other historians. Uses lots of primary source material and writes in a narrative style that kept me engaged. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
This review was originally posted on Doing Dewey. ( )
  DoingDewey | Feb 6, 2015 |
This review was originally posted on Doing Dewey. ( )
  DoingDewey | Feb 6, 2015 |
This review was originally posted on Doing Dewey. ( )
  DoingDewey | Feb 6, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312600658, Hardcover)

The most recent state to join the union, Hawaii is the only one to have once been a royal kingdom. After its “discovery” by Captain Cook in the late 18th Century, Hawaii was fought over by European powers determined to take advantage of its position as the crossroads of the Pacific.  The arrival of the first missionaries marked the beginning of the struggle between a native culture with its ancient gods, sexual libertinism and rites of human sacrifice, and the rigid values of the Calvinists.   While Hawaii’s royal rulers adopted Christianity, they also fought to preserve their ancient ways.   But the success of the ruthless American sugar barons sealed their fate and in 1893, the American Marines overthrew Lili’uokalani, the last queen of Hawaii.

James L. Haley's Captive Paradise is the story of King Kamehameha I, The Conqueror, who unified the islands through terror and bloodshed, but whose dynasty succumbed to inbreeding; of Gilded Age tycoons like Claus Spreckels who brilliantly outmaneuvered his competitors; of firebrand Lorrin Thurston, who was determined that Hawaii be ruled by whites; of President McKinley, who presided over the eventual annexation of the islands. Not since James Michener’s classic novel Hawaii has there been such a vibrant and compelling portrait of an extraordinary place and its people.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:30 -0400)

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