As the volcanic eruption continues to ease, enjoy these 8 reviews on Hawaii.

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Chang, David A. The world and all the things upon it: Native Hawaiian geographies of exploration. Minnesota, 2016. 320p index afp ISBN 9780816699414, $94.50; ISBN 9780816699421 pbk, $27.00; ISBN 9781452950303 ebook, contact publisher for price.
Reviewed in CHOICE January 2017

In this well-crafted study, historian Chang (Univ. of Minnesota) examines how the Hawaiian people (Kanaka) actively explored the world during the 19th century, effectively demonstrating that exploration was not just a Western phenomenon. He argues that the Kanaka created a global geographic order that placed Hawai’i at the center. Chang begins by establishing how the Kanaka understood the world prior to European contact, and then demonstrates that they actively engaged Cook, rather than passively encountering him. The rest of the book investigates how Hawai’i was drawn into the US colonial sphere and how the Kanaka shaped and contested this process, with chapters exploring the roles of Christianity, education, labor, and race. Chang not only provides a voice to the history of the Hawaiian people, he also enriches the understanding of world history and global exploration by revealing ways that local peoples globalized their own world. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. —T. Anderson, Merrimack College

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Detours: a decolonial guide to Hawai’i, ed. by Hōkūlani K. Aikau and Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez. Duke, 2019. 432p ISBN 9781478005834, $109.95; ISBN 9781478006497 pbk, $29.95; ISBN 9781478007203 ebook, contact publisher for price.
Reviewed in CHOICE November 2020

This important book challenges readers to think critically about the violence of colonialism that is expressed through tourism. Images and ideas of Hawaiʻi as a place for tourist consumption ignore the reciprocality of what aloha actually means and misappropriate the term as an invitation to gratify colonial appetites. Legal scholars, artists, humanities scholars, scientists, social scientists, and, crucially, Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian) leaders and activists contribute to this varied collection. In the vein of more prosaic guidebooks, it examines particular places, events, and practices, but rather than attempt to make an unfamiliar place more accessible to the outsider, it advocates an ontological shift from colonial ways of approaching and understanding Hawaiʻi to Kanaka ʻŌiwi ways. This pushes the reader to join in the decolonial project of reimagining sovereign Hawaiʻi. Offering decolonial tours that a reader visiting the islands may use, part 3 is particularly effective, demonstrating how visitors can help work toward a decolonial future. Detours is valuable not only to those studying Hawaiʻi, but more broadly to scholars of indigenous studies and anyone interested in the colonial legacies of tourism. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels. —L. Kessler, Consortium for History of Science, Technology & Medicine

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Fujikane, Candace. Mapping abundance for a planetary future: Kanaka Maoli and critical settler cartographies in Hawai’i, ed. by C. M. Kaliko Baker. Duke, 2021. 304p bibl index ISBN 9781478010562, $104.95; ISBN 9781478011682 pbk, $27.95; ISBN 9781478021247 ebook, contact publisher for price.
Reviewed in CHOICE March 2022

Pulsating with the wave-like rhythms of the Kanaka Maoli (native Hawaiian) perspective, this ethnographic atlas presents a dialogic way of knowing the land, with a loving commitment to community, terms seldom seen in Western economic and political analyses. Conveyed with a sense of poetry, loss, and hope, the indigenous idea of protecting abundant ecosystems, along with their guardian elementals (deities of the land and waters), is contrasted with a shortsighted capitalistic view of scarcity as determinative of value, resulting in exploitation and toxicity. Writing in a similar vein to entries found in The Environmental Justice Reader as edited by Joni Adamson, Mei Mei Evans, and Rachel Arizona (CH, Apr’03, 40-4582), Fujikane (Univ. of Hawai’i at Mānoa) articulates a grassroots vision of kinship with the Earth that highlights potential, care, and abundance, conflicting with short-term “settler logic” and the invasive cartography of the “occupying state,” which has undermined ancestral knowledge. Layering decolonization with collective action to oppose “enclosure and containment,” the essence of the Kanaka Maoli response is that with every new wave that comes to shore, people have to adapt to continue their long-term relationships. As expressed by Fujikane, this more organic view is synchronized to the kapuna (a stream, or water source) generating a different response to climate events. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates. Graduate students and faculty. General readers. —S. E. Wiegand, Saint Mary’s College

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Kauanui, J. Kēhaulani. Hawaiian blood: colonialism and the politics of sovereignty and indigeneity. Duke University, 2008. 241p ISBN 9780822340584, $79.95; ISBN 9780822340799 pbk, $22.95. 
Reviewed in CHOICE November 2009

Kauanui (Wesleyan Univ.) examines the legislative history of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (HHCA) of 1921, and critically reflects upon how the racializing blood quantum language adopted within debates about, and in the text of, the HHCA continues to play a problematic role in Hawaiian independence and sovereignty movements. In this excellent volume, Kauanui has given us a much-needed historically and anthropologically grounded rendering of the interests at play in creating the HHCA. Importantly, the book examines the emergence of blood quantum rules for Hawaiian identity, as opposed to kinship and genealogical criteria, and places such an emergence firmly within a racialized discourse of Americanism, whiteness, anti-Asian sentiment, deservingness, entitlement, and competing understandings of indigeneity. Kauanui’s work is in dialogue with critical race theory, and offers unique and important extensions of that theory in her examination of who “counts” as Hawaiians. This book will be of interest to upper-division and graduate students in a wide variety of disciplines, as well as to general readers seeking a deep understanding of the politics of the HHCA and current Hawaiian independence and sovereignty movements. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers, upper-division undergraduate students, and above. —R. A. Cramer, Drake University

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Kauanui, J. Kēhaulani. Paradoxes of Hawaiian sovereignty: land, sex, and the colonial politics of state nationalism. Duke, 2018. 275p bibl index ISBN 9780822370499, $99.95; ISBN 9780822370758 pbk, $25.95; ISBN 9780822371960 ebook, contact publisher for price. 
Reviewed in CHOICE April 2019

Many native Hawaiians seek self-determination, but the paths to that goal are fiercely debated. Some Hawaiians prefer that the Hawaiian Kingdom to be restored and that they be recognized as Hawaiian nationals rather than US citizens. Others prefer that they be recognized as Indigenous people under a Native Hawaiian governing entity, with “internal self-determination” in a relationship with the US and the state of Hawai‘i. Kauanui (American studies and anthropology, Wesleyan Univ.), a native Hawaiian and a participant in the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, sees many problematic contradictions and paradoxes in this debate and subjects them to close analysis. These problems include, for example, the hierarchy implicit in a Hawaiian monarchy, which places elites over the people; the positioning of indigeneity within a nation-state; the conflict, in the West, between concepts of state and sovereignty; the role of colonialism and its settler colonialism variant, the privatization of land; and the influence of Christianity on biopolitics regarding gender, sexuality, and coverture. Preferring a non–state-centered approach, Kauanui opts for, as she writes in the conclusion, “decolonizing relations to land, gender, and sexuality,” a process that strengthens cultural practices for the renewal and well-being of the Hawaiian people. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. —F. Ng, emeritus, California State University, Fresno

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A Nation rising: Hawaiian movements for life, land, and sovereignty, ed. by Noelani Goodyear-Ka’opua, Ikaika Hussey, and Erin Kahunawaika’ala Wright. Duke, 2014. 399p bibl indexes afp ISBN 9780822356837, $99.95; ISBN 9780822356950 pbk, $27.95. 
Reviewed in CHOICE March 2015

This is a very timely (indeed, almost overdue), comprehensive examination of Hawaiian resistance movements and efforts by Natives and their allies to reject the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 and the US’s illegal annexation of the Hawaiian Islands in 1897.  The editors aim to historicize and mobilize efforts to regain Indigenous control of land and rights to self-determination in culture, language, and sovereignty.  In addition to an informative general introduction by Goodyear-Ka’opua (political science, Univ. Hawai’i at Mānoa), one of the book’s coeditors, there are individual chapters written by academic experts in Hawaiian politics, history, ethnic studies, law, and anthropology.  Many further contributions, biographical portraits, and photo illustrations represent the experiences and voices of “ordinary” citizens and activists who have struggled for decades and generations to regain access to their homes, gardens, and sacred sites.  The collection of essays is particularly impressive for its intermingling of information on historical processes, ongoing economic and ownership debates (including controversies associated with biocolonialism), and prospects for future mobilization and legal/policy victories against illegal occupation and misappropriation of the Hawaiian Islands.  Quite eye opening, especially for “mainlanders,” colonizers, and their descendants. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. —B. Tavakolian, Denison University

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Schulz, Joy. Hawaiian by birth: missionary children, bicultural identity, and U.S. colonialism in the Pacific. Nebraska, 2017. 222p bibl index ISBN 9780803285897, $50.00; ISBN 9781496202376 ebook, contact publisher for price.
Reviewed in CHOICE February 2018

Although it is well known how the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) started their missionary enterprise in Hawai‘i, historian Schulz (Metropolitan Community College in Omaha) provides a new perspective by focusing on how the children of the missionaries raised there formed their worldviews and became agents for US expansionism. The native Hawaiian elite accepted the missionaries, believing that their efforts would lead to progress and moral life in the islands. However, while the missionary children benefited from the financial favors the elite bestowed on their parents, the elite was also part of a colonial project that led to the US annexation of Hawai‘i in 1898. Neglected by their parents and culturally separated from the local Hawaiians, the children who attended Punahou School saw flaws and contradictions in the lives of their parents and that of the native Hawaiians. While the children, such as Samuel Armstrong, John Gulick, and Sanford Dole, identified with Hawai‘i and preferred its life to that in the US, they opposed Hawaiian leaders and overthrew their queen in 1893. A thoughtful treatment fusing the study of childhood with imperialism. Suitable for all readership levels. Summing Up: Recommended. All public and academic libraries. —F. Ng, California State University, Fresno

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Voices of social justice and diversity in a Hawai‘i context: grandparents, grandchildren, schools, communities, and churches, ed. by Amarjit Singh, Manumaua Luafata Simanu-Klutz, and Mike Devine. Brill | Sense, 2019 (c2020). 619p bibl ISBN 9789004387539, $240.00; ISBN 9789004387546 ebook, contact publisher for price.
Reviewed in CHOICE May 2020

This collection delves into themes of social justice and diversity in Hawai‘i, primarily through the relations between grandparents and their grandchildren. Pairing oral histories and writings by grandparents and grandchildren, editors Singh, Devine (both, Memorial Univ., Canada), and Simanu-Klutz (Univ. of Hawai‘i at Manoa) emphasize the role of elders in transmitting values and history to younger generations. The linkages are not always harmonious or without conflict, however, as different generations in Hawai’i grapple with contrasting views on migration, assimilation, tradition versus change, racism, social inequality, schooling, churches, and community. The diverse groups treated encompass a spectrum of Asian Americans, including Japanese, Filipinos, Koreans, and Chinese as well as white Americans. Pacific Islanders, ranging from Samoans to Fijians, Tongans, Marshallese, and native Hawaiians are also included. The issue of Hawaiian sovereignty is treated in the text, as all those included in the study acknowledge it as a sensitive and important political issue for native Hawaiians. Overall, this is a useful compendium with interesting insights, although it could have benefited from more careful proofreading and editing. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. —F. Ng, emeritus, California State University, Fresno