“Biologist Mark Rauzon, who spent many years studying documents related to the Pacific Project, has come to understand that the scientists themselves may have been guinea pigs for defense tests. Over fifty germ warfare tests were conducted in the Pacific during the 1960s, with substances ranging from harmless bacteria to rabbit fever. In the course of the tests, passengers on Pacific Project ships, which transported both military personnel and associated biologists, were exposed to harsh chemical cleansers, and the “harmless” bacteria have since been linked to a variety of debilitating conditions. Veterans who suffered adverse effects have been unsuccessful in requesting government compensation. Though no POBSP personnel have reported health effects, many may have been exposed. Rauzon’s efforts led to the release of many of the military’s documents related to the project, but complete records may never be provided.”
The Island Studies Journal review of Isles of Amnesia calls it “an interesting, thought-provoking and entertaining read” and “a good resource for scholars interested in these lightly-studied islands.” See the full review by downloading the PDF of the ISJ book review section (scroll down).
Isles of Amnesia: The History, Geography, and Restoration of America’s Forgotten Pacific Islands
by Mark J. Rauzon
A Latitude 20 Book | 2016 | 288 pages | 71 b&w illus.
Paperback | ISBN 978-0-8248-4679-4 | $24.99
Jim Tranquada, coauthor of The ‘Ukulele: A History, had a minute of fame on the CBS Sunday Morning Showthat aired October 14 across the U.S. The entire six-minute segment by reporter Seth Doane and producer Kay Lim featured international uke star Jake Shimabukuro, the Kamaka ‘ukulelefactory, and teacher Roy Sakuma (impresario of the annual Ukulele Festival Hawaii). Tranquada shared that the instrument now widely identified as a Hawaiian icon actually was introduced by Portuguese immigrants from the island of Madeira, off the coast of Morocco.
As related news, The ‘Ukulele: A History has received thumbs-up reviews from Library Journal and ForeWord Magazine. The former recommends the book for “any comprehensive music collection (and, really, for any popular music collection),” while the latter calls it “a fascinating musical and social history that not only supports Tranquada and King’s argument for a rehabilitation of the instrument’s image, but also sets the stage for a full-scale ‘ukulele revival.” Read the full reviews: Library Journal | ForeWord
Roughly half a world away, on another island, the “Uke Ireland & Ukuhooley Blog” has posted a comparative review of Tranquada and King’s history with Ian Whitcomb’s recent Ukulele Heroes (Hal Leonard Books). Embedded within that blog post is a video review by Ukester Brown, a ‘ukulele player in Minnesota, who recommends both books, for different reasons. According to the information on the Uke Ireland site, every Saturday there’s a UkuHooley Meetup at the Dun Laoghaire Club in Dublin—perhaps another example of how the ‘ukulele has become an international cultural phenomenon!
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