Further Reading and Resources | The Nation


Further Reading and Resources

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The indispensable work of traditional Hawaiian historiography is the three-volume The Hawaiian Kingdom by Ralph Kuykendall, University of Hawai'i Press, 1938, 1953 and (posthumous) 1967. The standard academic history of the overthrow and annexation is the two-volume treatment by William Adam Russ Jr., The Hawaiian Revolution (1893-1894), 1959, and The Hawaiian Republic, 1894-1898, and Its Struggle to Win Annexation, 1961, both republished by Associated University Presses, 1992. The standard articulation of the antisovereignty position is Hawaiian Sovereignty: Do the Facts Matter? by Thurston Twigg-Smith, Goodale, 1998. The indispensable works of contemporary historiography by scholars associated with the Hawaiian revival are Lilikalā Kame'eleihiwa's Native Land and Foreign Desires, Bishop Museum Press, 1992; Davianna Pōmaika'i McGregor's Nā Kua'āina: Living Hawaiian Culture, University of Hawai'i Press, 2007; Jonathan Kay Kamakawiwo'ole Osorio's Dismembering Lāhui: A History of the Hawaiian Nation to 1887, University of Hawai'i Press, 2002, and Noenoe Silva's Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism, Duke, 2004. Recently published is legal scholar Jon Van Dyke's definitive Who Owns the Crown Lands of Hawai'i? University of Hawai'i Press, 2007, certain to become the standard reference for that question. The best single book on annexation is Tom Coffman's Nation Within: The Story of America's Annexation of the Nation of Hawai'i, Epicenter, 1998. Coffman's The Island Edge of America: A Political History of Hawai'i, University of Hawai'i Press, 2003, offers general political background. A useful anthropological study is Timothy Earle's How Chiefs Come to Power: The Political Economy in Prehistory, Stanford, 1997, which looks at two other chiefdoms besides Hawai'i, one in Denmark, the other in the Andes. Other valuable works include Niklaus Schweizer's Turning Tide: The Ebb and Flow of Hawaiian Nationality, Peter Lang, 2005, which examines Hawaiian history in relation to worldwide historical forces from the fifteenth century on; Michael Dougherty's To Steal a Kingdom, Island Style Press, 1992, which is credited with bringing many of the suppressed issues in Hawaiian history to widespread attention; John Dominis Holt's groundbreaking 1964 essay "On Being Hawaiian," republished by Ku Pa'a Publishing, 1995; Haunani-Kay Trask's 1993 From a Native Daughter, one of the strongest and most influential texts of the sovereignty movement, republished by University of Hawai'i Press, 1999; Islands in Captivity: The International Tribunal on the Rights of Indigenous Hawaiians, edited by Ward Churchill and Sharon Venne, South End Press, 2005, which contains original articles and reports as well as transcripts of the Tribunal's hearings; and Ho'Iho'i Hou: A Tribute to George Helm & Kimo Mitchell, edited by Rodney Morales, Bamboo Ridge Press, 1984, an intimate look at the fight for Kaho'olawe. In a class by itself is Liliu'okalani's autobiography, Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen, first published in 1898, currently Mutual Publishing, Honolulu.

About the Author

Elinor Langer
Elinor Langer, a member of The Nation editorial board, is the author of Josephine Herbst and A Hundred Little Hitlers:...

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The first overseas acquisition of the United States was not Hawaii, but Midway, claimed under the Guano Act of 1856.

Here's how the US Congress addressed the issue.

There is also an invaluable video archive. Many important events in the evolution of the sovereignty movement, including the 1993 Tribunal, have been documented by filmmakers Joan Lander and Puhipau of Nā Maka o ka 'āina, who have also produced widely seen historical films such as Act of War--The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation, about the annexation struggle. Their catalog is available at namaka.com. A series of historical videos with a cultural focus is available from musician Eddie Kamae's Hawaiian Legacy Foundation at hawaiianlegacy.com. A video of Tom Coffman's Nation Within is available at nativebookshawaii.com, also an excellent starting place for a general online browse.

Resources available on the web include the entire 1,400-page Blount Report (libweb.hawaii.edu/digicoll/annexation/blount.html), the 800-page Morgan Report (morganreport.org), the 1897 anti-annexation petitions (libweb.hawaii.edu/digicoll/annexation/petition.html) and most of the other important documents in Hawaiian history, from international treaties to President Cleveland's "Act of War" speech. See, for instance, hawaiiankingdom.org for comprehensive documentation and argument about historical and present developments. Timelines are at hawaiianhistory.org/ref/chron.html and huiohawaiiponoi.org, among other places. For an antimilitary focus in a sovereignty context see afschawaii.org. For an environmental focus see kahea.org. For the Hawaiian language-recovery program see ahapunanaleo.org. For a contrary view of almost everything in this essay, historical and political, see angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/ and grassrootinstitute.org. All this is only a start. If there is a limit to what is out there, I have not yet found it.

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