Empire of Love: Histories of France and the Pacific

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Oxford University Press, Dec 16, 2004 - History - 240 pages
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In this broad-ranging survey of Paris, Tahiti, Indochina, Japan, New Caledonia, and the South Pacific generally, Matt Matsuda illustrates the fascinating interplay that shaped the imaginations of both colonizer and colonized. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources, Matsuda describes the constitution of a French Pacific through the eyes of Tahitian monarchs, Kanak warriors, French politicos and prisoners, Asian revolutionaries and Central American laborers, among others. He argues that French imperialism in the Pacific, both real and imagined, was registered most forcefully in languages of desire and love--for lost islands, promised wealth and riches, carnal and spiritual pleasures--and political affinities. Exploring the conflicting engagements with love for and against the empire in the Pacific, this book is an imaginative and ground-breaking work in global imperial and colonial histories, as well as Pacific histories.

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Histories ofFrance and the Pacific 3
Geopolitics of Desire 43
Martyrs and Memories 69
Afterword The Lost Continent 185

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About the author (2004)

Matt K. Matsuda is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, where he teaches Modern European and Asia and Pacific comparative histories. He is the author of The Memory of the Modern (OUP, 1996).

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