Thursday, November 10, 2011

Zine Review: Hawaii 1778-1959 From Western Discovery to Statehood

Hawaii 1778-1959
From Western Discovery to Statehood
The Simple History Series #5
By J. Gerlach
34pp / $4  available from microcosm

So what did we learn in school today? I’m a New Englander and Hawaii was never even mentioned in my schoolbooks when I was growing up. Decades of American history get ignored, and as a culture we’re so distracted that we barely even know our recent past. Who, other than those whose lives were directly affected by it, can relate the recent history of Hurricane Katrina, for example, and the government’s non-response to those left ravaged, homeless and heartbroken in its wake?

We need to know where we came from, and what lessons can be learned from the past, in order to comprehend the present and chart course for the future. The Simple History Series #5 distills the history of Hawaii from Captain Cook through becoming the 50th state. This is a brief, well written primer on Hawaii, and we learn about its tribes, kings, queen, and American economic and military conquests of the island. Native Hawaiians culture has been decimated, and this zine begins to explain how. It is a good point of departure, and invites deeper research and learning. 

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