MP3 Audio Sample
In Shoal of Time, the all time bestselling history of the islands, Gavan Daws tells the real-life story: how the winds of change, blowing from the big world, gusted through human life in Hawai'i for more than two centuries, at hurricane force.
The Hawaiian kingdom was tiny, and the big world was huge. The nineteenth century was the high water mark of Western imperialism, worldwide, and the great powers were planting their flags across the Pacific. Hawai'i was in their sights. By late in the century, two strong American currents were running, one east from the islands, one west from the continent.
Sugar plantations had become Hawai'i's biggest moneymaker. And many of the biggest names in the business were of American blood—the sons of missionaries, devout capitalists.
At the same time, the United States was beginning to envision itself as an imperial naval power in the Pacific. This was the doctrine of Manifest Destiny, and Hawai'i's Pearl Harbor was a strategic key. In 1893, they forced Queen Lili'uokalani to surrender the kingdom to them, and straight away they offered Hawai'i to the United States. The Hawaiians resisted, but they could not hold off the big world.
From warrior culture to constitutional government, to unstable monarchy, to revolution, to provisional government, to republic, to annexation, it had taken barely a hundred years.
Finally, in 1959, Hawaii was admitted the Union . . . Fiftieth Star . . . Aloha State.
Running time 21 hrs