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

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

by Julia Flynn Siler

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

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802194886
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 01/03/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 517,185
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Julia Flynn Siler is an award-winning journalist. Her book, The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty was a New York Times bestseller. She has written for Business Week and The New York Times, and is now a contributing writer for The Wall Street Journal in San Francisco. She lives in Northern California with her husband and sons.

Read an Excerpt

The queen was back at the palace, just a few blocks from Honolulu Harbor, having been rebuffed two days earlier in her attempt to introduce a new constitution. Hearing the beat of the American military drums, she stepped onto the veranda and watched from above as the troops marched from the harbor. As they kicked up dust in the unpaved streets, she could see they were heavily weighed down with double belts of cartridges. The sun sank and the skies over Honolulu darkened. The blue-jacketed sailors approached the palace.

Beneath the town’s newly installed electric streetlamps, Lili‘uokalani could see them pushing a revolving cannon and a fearsome Gatling gun that could rip through a large crowd. Following their movements in the streets, she felt fear. Why had the troops landed when everything seemed at peace? The air was heavy with the scent of gardenias. Mosquitoes were drawn to the sweat of the blue-jacketed sailors. As the troops marched past the palace grounds, accompanied by drum rolls, they hoisted their rifles to their shoulders and seemed to point them in the queen’s direction.

Were their weapons drawn and ready to fire, as Lili‘uokalani later recalled? Or were they merely signaling their respect for Hawai‘i’s queen by marching past and beating the drums in a royal salute, as one of their commanding officers later insisted? Whatever their intention, this brash display of military power ignited a crisis that would change the course of American history.

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Lost Kingdom: Hawaii's Last Queen, the Sugar Kings and America's First Imperial Adventure 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a Hawaii born native hawaiian living on the mainland I was intrigued to see this new book. I bought it for my nook, and had to force myself to put it down. I was raised on the stories of the illegal overthrow of the monarchy, and the conflicts that followed. In my family the monarchy was always the good guy, but as usual when you delve more deeply into history, you find that they also contributed to their downfall. I enjoyed reading about the differant characters, and seeing their strenghts, and weaknesses.
Rusty-Spinner More than 1 year ago
A great read that was hard to put down, with the exception of the very annoying question marks (?) that appear throughout many of the Hawaiian names an words. Is this just and early Nook edition issue? Paid too much money to have this annoyance in an otherwise good book, and lowers my rating by at least one star.
Jack_Tamar More than 1 year ago
This is an A+ piece of work. It is well researched, thorough, but also easy to read. In reference to the ? that appear in the Hawaiian names on the nook version, they can be eliminated by changing the font type in the nook settings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very detailed, heartbreaking tale about the ending of Old Hawaii and its traditional chief system, at the treacherous hands of the United States. At times, the writing was textbook like but the emotional nature of the situation prevailed....and tears were always close to the surface. A must read!!!
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My place is nect result
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No poyo. *the penguin with its wizard hat on studies alex* penguin poyo.