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Island World

A History of Hawaii and the United States

(amazon)

Gary Okihiro (View Bio)
Hardcover: University of California Press , 2008.

Island World
(amazon)

Mixing geology, folklore, music, cultural commentary, and history, Gary Okihiro overturns the customary narrative in which the United States acts upon and dominates Hawai'i. Instead, ISLAND WORLD depicts the islands' press against the continent, endowing America's story with fresh meaning. Okihiro's history reveals Hawaiians fighting in the Civil War, sailing on 19th-century New England ships, and living in pre-gold rush California. He points to Hawai'i's lingering effect on 20th-century American culture—from surfboards, hula, sports, and films, to art, imagination, and racial perspectives—even as the islands themselves succumb slowly to the continental United States. In placing Hawai'i at the center of the national story, this book revises the way we think about islands, oceans, and continents. With 57 b&w photos and 6 maps.

"In the first volume of a projected trilogy, Okihiro, professor of international and public affairs at Columbia, largely succeeds in a radical approach to historiography as applied to Hawaii…. Okihiro combines human history, natural history and mythic Hawaiian folklore with interpretations of how Hawaiian cultural artifacts (such as surfboards) infiltrated American culture and vice versa…. All will come away intrigued and enlightened. " — Publishers Weekly