Hawaii

Hawaii

Book - 1982 | 1st Ballantine Books ed.
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Pulitzer Prize-winning author James A. Michener brings Hawaii's epic history vividly to life in a classic saga that has captivated readers since its initial publication in 1959. As the volcanic Hawaiian Islands sprout from the ocean floor, the land remains untouched for centuries--until, little more than a thousand years ago, Polynesian seafarers make the perilous journey across the Pacific, flourishing in this tropical paradise according to their ancient traditions. Then, in the early nineteenth century, American missionaries arrive, bringing with them a new creed and a new way of life. Based on exhaustive research and told in Michener's immersive prose, Hawaii is the story of disparate peoples struggling to keep their identity, live in harmony, and, ultimately, join together.

Praise for Hawaii

"Wonderful . . . [a] mammoth epic of the islands." -- The Baltimore Sun

"One novel you must not miss! A tremendous work from every point of view--thrilling, exciting, lusty, vivid, stupendous." -- Chicago Tribune

"From Michener's devotion to the islands, he has written a monumental chronicle of Hawaii, an extraordinary and fascinating novel." -- Saturday Review

"Memorable . . . a superb biography of a people." -- Houston Chronicle
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 1982, c1959.
Edition: 1st Ballantine Books ed.
ISBN: 9780375760372
0449213358
Branch Call Number: FIC MICHENER, J.
Characteristics: 1036 [10] p. : geneal. tables ; 18 cm.

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r
ReadingIsLiving
Mar 25, 2020

Amazing book!

m
mikey69
Oct 25, 2019

Dedicated to all the peoples who came to Hawaii, Michener's account of the rich history of the fiftieth state resonates with a mythology all its own. A classic, with genealogical charts to help the reader keep the characters straight.

m
maiki69
Oct 24, 2019

Born of violent deep-sea eruptions over millions of years, the islands of Hawaii eventually emerged above the surface of the ocean as one of the grandest archipelagos the world has known. Life did not come easy to those volcanic reefs. It took millions of more years for life to catch a foothold there, and but a brief moment on the geological clock to all but eradicate the islands of the pagan wildness they once with teemed.

In HAWAII, James A. Michener delivers a passionate historical account of the Hawaiian islands. It's a monumental book, both in the epic grandeur of the tale (it begins several million years before Man) and in the type of storytelling Michener attempts with it. Before HAWAII, his books lacked the historical fortitude that readers have come to associate with Michener; books such as THE SOURCE, THE COVENANT, SPACE, and others in which the author merges fiction with history to deliver a grand, new mythology on the subject.

HAWAII is not so much a story about how the islands affected the people who claimed them for themselves, but rather how the people affected the islands. Though Michener recounts four major migrations to the islands, each bringing with them customs and practices that tweaked Hawaiian culture, the enduring character throughout is the island chain itself.

The first migrants to Hawaii were the Polynesians. They were a fierce pagan people who relied on omens from their gods for guidance. The original Hawaiians, they fled Bora Bora in search of Havaiki, a mythological island that would prove to be a five thousand mile trek away. They reached it under power of sail, in a time when the rest of the world rarely ventured from lands sight.

The second migrants, a thousand years behind the first, were New England missionaries, an intolerant breed of Puritanical Christians who settled in Hawaii for religious purposes. They were a fierce, God-fearing bunch who relied on signs from their god for guidance, while berating their pagan charges for relying on theirs. The Missionaries and Polynesians couldn't have been more different, yet they both were in Hawaii for religious reasons; one to save themselves, the other to save savages.

The third and fourth migratory groups were the Chinese and Japanese, respectively. Like the Polynesians and Missionaries before them, they had more in common than either would have admitted.

As the story progresses, a picture of a besieged land emerges. Out of the first arrival of Europeans, the sandalwood trade was established and the Hawaiians proceeded to degrade their forests, flooding (and thus devaluing) Asian markets with the coveted wood. The arrival of large scale agriculture brought with it the draining of wetlands, and the relentless search for new sources of fresh water. By the 1920's Hawaii was in the spiral all successful civilizations find themselves: Growth was hammering the ecology. The jewel of the Pacific was being reigned in geographically, even as the population experienced a cultural metamorphosis.

The fifth and final "migration" was an inner one. Developed from a sociological concept of a man forged in the islands out of Eastern and Western influences, the so-called Golden Man was both ancient yet in tune with modernity. He was, in all practicality, a modern god, as mythological in existence as the men who left the first footprints in the island sand; as tangible as all the other god-like characters that fill the pages of HAWAII. Hoxworth Hale, descendent of the first missionaries describes him:

". . . I thought that the Golden Man concept referred to the coloring of the new man . . . in time I realized that this bright, hopeful man of the future, this unique contribution of Hawaii to the rest of the world, did not depend for his genesis upon racial intermarriage at all. He was a product of the mind. His was a way of thought, and not of birth, and one day I discovered . . . that for several years I had known the archetypes of the Golden Man . . ."

d
Dianne
Oct 23, 2017

I read this excellent novel on my phone and loved having it available in this small format. I was struck by the way we have repeated history of racial bias and over and over made assumptions about the intelligence of other peoples. Will this pattern never end?

p
PamMcPhail
Apr 24, 2015

This novel is just too long. I cannot devote the amount of time necessary to read from cover to cover ... even though I enjoyed Michener in my younger years.

m
Merlin55_0
Dec 10, 2014

A perfect read for anyone on a long vacation with plenty of beach or pool time. Excellent historic overview of the islands.

l
largott07
Sep 29, 2012

Michener not only opens up history, but observes relationships, especially racial relationships, revealing not merely bigotry, but the essential humanity of even the bigots.

g
Gonzo_McFly
May 24, 2010

Another great Michener historical novel.

Summary

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m
mikey69
Oct 25, 2019

Born of violent deep-sea eruptions over millions of years, the islands of Hawaii eventually emerged above the surface of the ocean as one of the grandest archipelagos the world has known. By the 1920's Hawaii was caught in the spiral all successful civilizations find themselves: Growth was hammering the ecology. The jewel of the Pacific was being reigned in geographically, even as the population experienced a cultural metamorphosis. The fifth and final "migration" was an inner one. Developed from a sociological concept of a man forged in the islands out of Eastern and Western influences, the so-called Golden Man was both ancient yet in tune with modernity. He was, in all practicality, a modern god, as mythological in existence as the men who left the first footprints in the island sand; as tangible as all the other god-like characters that fill the pages of HAWAII. Hawaii will go on.

m
maiki69
Oct 24, 2019

With HAWAII (Fawcett, $7.99), James A. Michener delivers a passionate historical account of the Hawaiian islands. It's a monumental book, both in the epic grandeur of the tale (it begins several million years before Man) and in the type of storytelling Michener attempts with it. Before HAWAII, his books lacked the historical fortitude that readers have come to associate with him; books such as THE SOURCE, THE COVENANT, SPACE, and others in which the author merges fiction with history to deliver a grand, new mythology on the subject.

HAWAII is not so much a story about how the islands affected the people who claimed them for themselves, but rather how the people affected the islands. Though Michener recounts four major migrations to the islands, each bringing with them customs and practices that tweaked Hawaiian culture, the enduring character throughout is the island chain itself.

Quotes

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m
mikey69
Oct 25, 2019

[T]he so-called Golden Man was both ancient yet in tune with modernity. He was, in all practicality, a modern god, as mythological in existence as the men who left the first footprints in the island sand; as tangible as all the other god-like characters that fill the pages of HAWAII.
http://www.penhead.org/

m
maiki69
Oct 24, 2019

I thought that the Golden Man concept referred to the coloring of the new man . . . in time I realized that this bright, hopeful man of the future, this unique contribution of Hawaii to the rest of the world, did not depend for his genesis upon racial intermarriage at all. He was a product of the mind. His was a way of thought, and not of birth, and one day I discovered . . . that for several years I had known the archetypes of the Golden Man . . ."
-Hoxworth Hale, decendent of the first missionaries to Hawaii, HAWAII, by James Michener

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