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Hawaiian Legends of Volcanoes by W. D.…

Hawaiian Legends of Volcanoes

by W. D. Westervelt

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I have read numerous books on Hawaii mythology and history from the turn of the last century, and I've become jaded to the biased viewpoints of the time. I was delighted and surprised to find this book, available as a free download from the New York Public Library, was well-written, articulate, and academic in its approach to traditional Hawaiian stories and the science of geology. Indeed, the forward was written by T.A. Jaggar Jr, who the Volcanoes National Park museum is now named for. That raised my esteem right from the start.

The book keeps a tight focus on Pele, stories about Hawaiian volcanoes, and the actual scientific research then beginning on Kilauea. (At the time of the book's publication, MIT's volcano observatory had been in operation for five years.) This is a book written for a more discerning audience than the usual early 20th century mythology books with their trite references to 'poor primitives'; this book keeps a respectful tone throughout, and I get the sense that Westervelt was as fascinated by the land and its legends as I have been. The ad copy at the back even noted that Westerveldt's previous books had been reviewed in major newspapers like the New York Times. ( )
  ladycato | Feb 8, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0804802408, Hardcover)

This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. This text refers to the Bibliobazaar edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:37 -0400)

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