Gem of the Pacific

I finished reading the first book of the Hitchhiker's Guide series yesterday so I took a timeout to read my newly acquired book Hawaii, Gem of the Pacific by Oscar Lewis.

I had forgotten that the Hawaiian Islands were once know as the Sandwich Islands. Evidently The Earl of Sandwich was a good friend (or boss) of Captain James Cook so when Cook bumped in to the Hawaiian Islands on his third voyage he named them for John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. In an amazing coincidence I had just eaten a bacon and tomato (real tomatoes) sandwich for lunch.

The book talks about poi a lot. The more I read about poi, the more I really don't want to try it.

I looked for tikis. Not surprisingly there's no mention of them but I'd sort of hoped to find one in one of the illustrations. Nope. This illustration was nice though:

I found it interesting that the entire island of Lanai was bought by "one of the leading firms of pineapple growers" (Dole) in the 1920's. Evidently the pineapple industry is being phased out (pineapples aren't native to the Hawaiian Islands anyway) so tourism there is starting to increase.

On the whole it was a nice read. I don't really get along with history books too well but this one was made for kids and kept it pretty simple for me. :)

I also noticed that although the copyright date is 1954, the book goes all the up to 1960 in the last chapter so this has to be a later version. I thought they copyright was updated when there were reprints with additions but I guess I don't really understand how all that works.

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