- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (Jan. 3 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802120016
- ISBN-13: 978-0802120014
- Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 16.2 x 3.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 703 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #574,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Lost Kingdom: Hawaii's Last Queen, the Sugar Kings and America's First Imperial Adventure Hardcover – Jan 3 2012
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A "San Francisco Chronicle" Bestseller A sweeping tale of tragedy, greed, betrayal, and imperialism The depth of her research shines through the narrative, and the lush prose and quick pace make for engaging reading absorbing. "Library Journal" (Starred review) Richlysourced [Siler is] able to color in many figures who had heretofore existed largely in outline or black and white a solidly researched account of an important chapter in our national history, one that most Americans don t know but should an 1893 New York Times headline called [the annexation] the political crime of the century. "The New York Times Book Review" Julia Flynn Siler's "Lost Kingdom: Hawaii's Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America's First Imperial Adventure" is a well-told history of the U.S. acquisition of Hawaii. The central figure is Lili'uokalani, who had the misfortune of being queen when Uncle Sam closed his grasp on the islands. "The Seattle Times" [A] well-researched, nicely contextualized history . . . It was indeed, as Siler characterizes it, one of the most audacious land grabs of the Gilded Age. "LA Times" [Julia Flynn] Siler captures what Hawaii was then and what it has evolved into today. What happened to the islands is known as one of the most aggressive takeovers of the Gilded Age Siler gives us a riveting and intimate look at the rise and tragic fall of Hawaii's royal family [It] is a reminder that Hawaii remains one of the most breathtaking places in the world. Even if the kingdom is lost. Fortune Siler rehearses the dark imperial history of how Americans first arrived in the islands, how they rose in power and how they deposed the queen and took everything This is mostly the story of white entrepreneurs and missionaries who came and conquered A well-rendered narrative of paradise and imperialism. "Kirkus Review" This imperial land grab in our not so distant past is far too little known. I hope that Julia Flynn Siler s lively, moving, colorful account will help restore it to the place in our national memory where it ought to be. Adam Hochschild, author of "To End all Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918" and "Kings Leopold s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa" Only one American state was formally a sovereign monarchy. In this compelling narrative, the award-winning journalist Julia Flynn Siler chronicles how this Pacific kingdom, creation of a proud Polynesian people, was encountered, annexed, and absorbed. Kevin Starr, Historian, University of Southern California, and author of "California: A History" Siler skillfully weaves the tangled threads of this story into a satisfying tapestry about the late 19th-century death of a small nation [with] sympathetic detail. "Publisher s Weekly" The takeover of Hawaii is a disturbing and dramatic story, deftly captured by Julia Flynn Siler [S]he vividly depicts a cast of characters driven by greed, desperation, and miscalculation How the queen lost her kingdom says as much about America and its new era of overseas expansion as it does about Hawaii. T.J. Stiles, author of "The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelious Vanderbilt," winner of the Pulitzer Price and National Book Award Julia Flynn Siler s Lost Hawaii is a riveting saga about Big Sugar flexing its imperialist muscle Its impossible not to be impressed with the breadth of Silers fine scholarship. A real gem of a book. Douglas Brinkley, author of "The Quiet World: Saving Alaskas Wilderness Kingdom 1879-1960" Too many Americans forget our 'island paradise' was acquired via a cynical, imperious land grab By the 1890s, American businessmen, especially the sugar kings, dominated the Hawaiian economy [C]ombined with the flowering of American naval ambitions, Hawaii s status as an independent kingdom was doomed. Siler s narrative concentrates on the efforts of Queen Lili okalani to stave off American annexation. The missionary-educated [queen s] efforts to straddle both the modern and traditional Hawaiian worlds proved futile. This is a well-written, fast-moving saga. "Booklist""
About the Author
Julia Flynn Siler is an award-winning journalist. Her book, The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty was a New York Times bestseller. She has written for Business Week and The New York Times, and is now a contributing writer for The Wall Street Journal in San Francisco. She lives in Northern California with her husband and sons.
No Bio --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Siler lays the groundwork by reporting the background of how the kingdom united by Kamehameha I gradually became the multi-cultural society that it is today. From the 1820s on, Hawaii attracted Christian missionaries from the United States and political overtures from western powers, particularly Britain, France, Germany and the United States, who were then establishing their empires. This book explains the interests of each power in the islands and how the succession of Hawaiian monarchs responded to the advances of each. The identification of Hawaiian royalty with the British Royal Family makes for interesting reading. The reader comes to realize that history could have turned out differently with Hawaii becoming attached to a European nation or even the leader of a Polynesian Empire.
The central character of the drama is Lili'uokalani, the last Queen of Hawaii. Referred to throughout the book as Lili'u, the name used by her friends, she emerges as a figure who tried mightily to defend the interests of the crown and her people, the natives of Hawaii. Growing up as an ali'I, of the ruling class, but not an obvious heir to the throne, Lili'u came closer to power as the Kamehameha line declined and died out. The reader will notice the short life-spans and reigns of her predecessors.
Like many stories of nations stolen and natives dispossessed, the story of Hawaii is a complex one. Many of them were of mixed blood, heirs to both Hawaiian and European heritage. As Europeans and Americans brought disease and commerce, they gradually acquired power from native Hawaiians. By the latter parts of the Nineteenth Century the whites, known locally as haoles, grasped for the power to control the destiny of Hawaii by annexation to the United States. Even that would not be a clean transfer. While U.S. Marines aided the haole revolution, it was done in a way so as to embarrass the Cleveland administration to the point that annexation was resisted. It would take several years of negotiations and uncertainty before the missionary and sugar conquest would be complete and the Stars and Stripes would be firmly planted on Hawaiian shores.
"Lost Kingdom" tells a fascinating story in a well written manner. The Cast of Characters and Glossary in the front of the book make it much easier to follow for the reader who is unfamiliar with Hawaiian terms and history. My enthusiasm for the book was never sapped by dense or obscure prose. The reader will come to better understand the Hawaii that was and is as well as the United States. Whether or not you have a particular interest in Hawaii, this is a story and a book that you will not want to miss.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com
I myself visited Hawaii and needless to say I fell in love with Hawaii. So, I can see why many in the United States were so keen for the United States to claim Hawaii. For the most part, the reasons were an economic and strategic one. In a way Queen Liliuokalani's story is sad because she was deposed not only the the United States, but by some of the Hawaiian people themselves. Money talked even way back in the late 19th century. One reads of Queen Liliuokalani's upbringing, her royal ancestery, her rise to the throne of Queen of Hawaii, to her overthrow, and to her life afterward. Despite being betrayed by some of her own people Queen Liliuokalani has been given justice. She lived to an old woman, and was revered as a sacred link to Hawaii's past. She is still revered to this day. So much in fact that some native Hawaiians still feel bitterness over the overthrow of their kingdom.
The Kingdom of Hawaii may be no more. Hawaii is now a state and part of the United States. However, Hawaii has its own history and this book is an excellent tool for one to come to grasp with Hawaii's sacred past.