Unfamiliar Fishes

From Ellen Druda
author: Vowell, Sarah
Unfamiliar Fishes
Sarah Vowell’s slightly sarcastic and very personal telling of the Americanization of Hawaii begins with the arrival of Capt. James Cook and  ends in the 19th century, when we annexed the islands. The history throws sharp focus on the natives themselves: their cultural rituals and royalty, the innocent lifestyle and the effect of the many Christian missionaries, and how their lives were changed by America’s Manifest Destiny and the rowdy whalers from around the world. The magnificent beauty and strategic location of the islands play important roles in the story too, which turns out to be a sad condemnation of Western civilization.

Imperial Cruise

From Chris Garland
author: Bradley, James
Imperial Cruise 
In 1905, to further the economic and strategic interests of the United
States, President Theodore Roosevelt green lit Japanese expansion in Asia
without Constitutional or Congressional oversight. In “The Imperial
Cruise”, the author asserts that this policy lit the fuse for the
Asia/Pacific wars that followed later in the 20th century.  The book also
examines the role of Anglo-Saxon views on race and territorial expansion
and how those ideas impacted Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy.