Liked It2 of 2 members found this review helpful
“If Sarah Vowell was my aunt, I would want to travel the world with her and have her orate every historical marker and museum we would visit; instead of putting on those nasty headsets they generally give you. But alas, I'm likely older than Ms. Vowell and also not her niece. (Okay! I looked up...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“I loved The Wordy Shipmates, but this book fell flat for me. Vowell researches how American Christian missionaries paved the way for the eventual (unfair) annexation of Hawaii by the US, but there is a lot of detail and some skipping around that made reading arduous.”see full review » see other reviews »
“I loved The Wordy Shipmates, but this book fell flat for me. Vowell researches how American Christian missionaries paved the way for the eventual (unfair) annexation of Hawaii by the US, but there is a lot of detail and some skipping around that made reading arduous.”Joanne M wrote this review 2 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Can't recommend this. Too bad, interesting subject, writing at times annoying. ”Thomas Tileston wrote this review 5 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I listened to the audio version. I wasn't sure about hearing Sarah Vowell's voice for 7 discs, but it grows on you. And you know the inflections are how the author intended. Also, she has some great cameo readers.
Way back when I was in high school, I thought I didn't like history as a subject. I now realize I didn't like the way history was taught. Vowell's history of Hawaii is one of the most entertaining non-fictions books I've ever encountered. Some of the history is grim, and she doesn't skip that. But she keeps it so interesting.
This book is thoroughly researched and even-handed. At times I laughed out loud and at other times I was just appalled at some happenings. I most appreciated her penchant for including a broader context for all the anecdotes.
Also, me hearing how much water it takes to grow sugar cane might be very good for my diet.
“Aloha!”Cam Pritekel wrote this review Thursday, September 27, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“kind of a slog. I learned a ton but it was really hard to get through. Also the sequence of how things were covered was confusing. ”Ruth Nicholson Klepfer wrote this review Monday, September 24, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Bored with U.S. History class? Skip it and just read Sarah Vowell. This one's about how the U.S. took over Hawaii.”JMW wrote this review Tuesday, July 17, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A bit more dreary than her previous collections. ”Tim Muren wrote this review Sunday, April 22, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A history of Hawaii in which Christian missionaries ruin what is beautiful about Hawaii. A story I was/am particularly interested in, as my Scottish ancestors showed up in the Islands in the 1880's when they were still known as the Kingdom of Hawaii. As it happens, my ancestors were not missionaries, but teachers, and this is only very slightly better from a historical-cultural perspective than being missionaries. The book is certainly biased, but it is a bias I share. I found the Europeans need to systematically "re-educate" the "Natives" as to the cultural superiority of America and Europe, to be shameful. But it appears that the Hawaiian royalty was, until it was too late, complicit in this endeavor, and that was heartbreaking as well. A well told and humorous account of Hawaiian history. ”Jocelyn P wrote this review Tuesday, April 17, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The author of this book is clearly so bitter. I could not hear the story through her bitter voice. Big disappointment.”Annie Moren wrote this review Sunday, April 15, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“When I bought this book, I actually cannot recall if I even knew what the subject of the book was. I bought it on the reputation of Vowell's past work, which I have enjoyed. For those who are looking for a bit more knowledge than I had, the book is about the history of Hawaii during the 19th century, from the first missionaries arriving in the 18-teens, to the annexation of the nation in the late 19th century.
The book was a bit more of a narrative than some of her previous books, which did help with getting a solid picture of the overall narrative, which was one that any student of American history is familiar with. The book raises some interesting questions at the end about the legality of the Hawaiian annexation, that I would have enjoyed reading a bit more about, but that's the subject for another book out there.
An enjoyable read.”