The Island Edge of America: A Political History of Hawaii

Paperback: $21.99
ISBN-13: 9780824826628
Published: February 2003

Additional Information

440 pages


  • Winner of the Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards (various categories), 2004
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  • About the Book
  • In his most challenging work to date, journalist and author Tom Coffman offers readers a new and much-needed political narrative of twentieth-century Hawaii. The Island Edge of America reinterprets the major events leading up to and following statehood in 1959: U.S. annexation of the Hawaiian kingdom, the wartime crisis of the Japanese-American community, postwar labor organization, the Cold War, the development of Hawaii's legendary Democratic Party, the rise of native Hawaiian nationalism. His account weaves together the threads of multicultural and transnational forces that have shaped the Islands for more than a century, looking beyond the Hawaii carefully packaged for the tourist to the Hawaii of complex and conflicting identities–independent kingdom, overseas colony, U.S. state, indigenous nation–a wonderfully rich, diverse, and at times troubled place.

    With a sure grasp of political history and culture based on decades of firsthand archival research, Tom Coffman takes Hawaii's story into the twentieth century and in the process sheds new light on America's island edge.

  • About the Author(s)
    • Tom Coffman, Author

      Tom Coffman is a political reporter and author of six books, including Nation Within and Catch a Wave. His widely aired documentaries include First Battle, Arirang, and Ninoy Aquino and the Rise of People Power. He is a three-time recipient of the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association’s award for nonfiction, and for his cumulative work he received the Hawai‘i Award for Literature.
  • Reviews and Endorsements
    • Combining standard historical reporting with revealing anecdotes, Coffman sketches the principal developments of the earlier years of the century and then commences one of the best interpretations to date of the period from World War II through the first several decades of statehood. . . . [This] book is a major work that charts important new historical territory while offering fresh interpretive insights. No serious student of modern Hawaii can afford to ignore it.
      —American Historical Review
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