Lost Kingdom: Hawaii's Last Queen, the Sugar Kings and America's First Imperial Adventure

Front Cover
Grove Press, Jan 3, 2012 - History - 480 pages
12 Reviews
Around 200 A.D., intrepid Polynesians arrived at an undisturbed archipelago. For centuries, their descendants lived with little contact from the western world. In 1778, their isolation was shattered with the arrival of Captain Cook.

Deftly weaving together a memorable cast of characters, Lost Hawaii brings to life the ensuing clash between a vulnerable Polynesian people and relentlessly expanding capitalist powers. Portraits of royalty and rogues, sugar barons, and missionaries combine into a sweeping tale of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s rise and fall.

At the center of the story is Lili‘uokalani, the last queen of Hawai‘i. Born in 1838, she lived through the nearly complete economic transformation of the islands. Lucrative sugar plantations gradually subsumed the majority of the land, owned almost exclusively by white planters, dubbed the “Sugar Kings.” Hawai‘i became a prize in the contest between America, Britain, and France, each seeking to expand their military and commercial influence in the Pacific.

The monarchy had become a figurehead, victim to manipulation from the wealthy sugar plantation owners. Lili‘uokalani was determined to enact a constitution to reinstate the monarchy’s power but was outmaneuvered by the U.S. The annexation of Hawai‘i had begun, ushering in a new century of American imperialism.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4
4 stars
4
3 stars
3
2 stars
1
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - cookierooks - LibraryThing

Started out great. Got bogged down in explanations. But still a fascinating subject. I liked Strange Fishes better, more accessible. Hawaii is such an awesome place with a rich history. On visiting ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - charlie68 - LibraryThing

The author manages to make this era of Hawaii's history come alive with deep insights. Also provides the reader sufficient background to get the full perspective on the reasons of why things turned out the way they did. I won't look at Hawaii the same way again. Read full review

Contents

CAST OF CHARACTERS
INTRODUCTION
Born in Paradise
Progress and Liberty
Aloha
High Chiefs of Sugardom
Peles Wrath
Merrie Monarch
Enemies in the Household
Pious Adventurers
Crime of the Century
Secrets of the Flower Beds
Kingdom Come
Born Under an Unlucky Star
EPILOGUE
A NOTE ON LANGUAGE AND SOURCES

To England
Bayonet Constitution

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Julia Flynn Siler is an award-winning journalist and author of The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty . A former foreign correspondent for Business Week and the Wall Street Journal, she is now a contributing writer for the Wall Street Journal, based out of the San Francisco bureau. Her first book, The House of Mondavi, became a New York Times bestseller. She lives in Northern California with her husband and sons. For more information, please visit www.juliaflynnsiler.com.

Bibliographic information