James A. Michener – Hawaii
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The story of Hawaii, and of this book, is that of disparate peoples struggling to keep their identity and yet living with one another in harmony, ultimately joining together to build the strong and vital fiftieth US state. The Hawaiian islands remained undiscovered and untouched by man for countless centuries until the Polynesians, a little more than a thousand years ago, made the perilous journey to their new home. The Polynesians lived and flourished according to their ancient traditions and beliefs until, in the early nineteenth century, the American missionaries arrived, bringing with them a new creed and a new way of life. The impact of the coming of the missionaries had only begun to be absorbed when other national groups, with many different customs – notably the Chinese, the Japanese, and the Filipinos – began to migrate in great numbers to the islands.