Captive Paradise

Captive Paradise

A History of Hawaiʻi

Book - 2014 | First edition
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A narrative history of Hawaii profiles its former existence as a royal kingdom, recounting the wars fought by European powers for control of its position, its adoption of Christianity, and its annexation by the United States.
The most recent state to join the union, Hawaii is the only one to have once been a royal kingdom. After its "discovery" by Captain Cook in the late 18th Century, Hawaii was fought over by European powers determined to take advantage of its position as the crossroads of the Pacific. The arrival of the first missionaries marked the beginning of the struggle between a native culture with its ancient gods, sexual libertinism and rites of human sacrifice, and the rigid values of the Calvinists. While Hawaii's royal rulers adopted Christianity, they also fought to preserve their ancient ways. But the success of the ruthless American sugar barons sealed their fate and in 1893, the American Marines overthrew Lili'uokalani, the last queen of Hawaii. James L. Haley's Captive Paradise is the story of King Kamehameha I, The Conqueror, who unified the islands through terror and bloodshed, but whose dynasty succumbed to inbreeding; of Gilded Age tycoons like Claus Spreckels, who brilliantly outmaneuvered his competitors; of firebrand Lorrin Thurston, who was determined that Hawaii be ruled by whites; and of President McKinley, who presided over the eventual annexation of the islands. Not since James Michener's classic novel Hawaii has there been such a vibrant and compelling portrait of an extraordinary place and its people.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : St. Martin's Press, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780312600655
Branch Call Number: 996.9 Hale
Characteristics: xxxvii, 405 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm
Contents: The loneliness of a God
"Disobey, and die"
The suicide of Kapu
Abhorring a vacuum
The new morality
Becoming little Americans
A sweet taste
Captains and cannons
A nation among nations
The Great Mahele
The Anglican attraction
Useful marriages
Mountains of sugar
Taffy triumphant
A voice like distant thunder
Queen at last
The coup
The inscrutable Mr. Blount
Countercoup and annexation
Angry Luaus


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Nov 19, 2017

I thought this was a very thorough historical look at the Islands of Hawaii, intricate in detail the average visitor would likely never realize. Having been there a few times, known locals, seen the very old film & read Michener's book, this goes so far beyond it makes all previous reads almost like a brief paragraph.

I can recommend it for a more serious understanding of the island's, culture, history, etc. The part that twisted my guts is how the great white man always destroy the original, with the 'his' ideas of what should be.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at PLYMC

To Top