A History of Hawaii
In the tradition ofNathaniel Philbrick and David McCullough comes the first full-scale narrativehistory of Hawaii, an epic tale of empire, industry, war, and culture.
The most recent state to join the union, Hawaii is the onlyone to have once been a royal kingdom. After its discovery by Captain Cook inthe late eighteenth century, Hawaii was fought over by European powersdetermined to take advantage of its position as the crossroads of the Pacific.The arrival of the first missionaries marked the beginning of the strugglebetween a native culture with its ancient gods, sexual libertinism, and ritesof human sacrifice and the rigid values of the Calvinists. While Hawaii’s royalrulers adopted Christianity, they also fought to preserve their ancient ways.But the success of the ruthless American sugar barons sealed their fate, and in1893 the American Marines overthrew Liliuokalani, the last queen of Hawaii.
Captive Paradise is the story of King Kamehameha I, the Conqueror, who unified the islands through terror and bloodshed but whosedynasty 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, whopresided over the eventual annexation of the islands. Not since JamesMichener’s classic novel Hawaii has there been such a vibrant andcompelling portrait of an extraordinary place and its people.
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