World War II and Environment in the Southern Pacific

Ambitious in its scope and scale, Natives and Exotics: World War II and Environment in the Southern Pacific, by Judith A. Bennett, ranges over rear bases and operational fronts from Bora Bora to New Guinea, providing a lucid analysis of resource exploitation, entangled wartime politics, and human perceptions of the vast Oceanic environment. Although the war’s physical impact proved significant and oftentimes enduring, it shows that the tropical environment offered its own challenges: Unfamiliar tides left landing craft stranded; unseen microbes carrying endemic diseases disabled thousands of troops. Weather, terrain, plants, animals—all played an active role as enemy or ally.

July 2009 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3350-3 / $30.00 (PAPER)