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Strangers in Their Own Land: A Century of Colonial Rule in the Caroline and Marshall Islands

By Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1995. 467 pp.1995 History

"The tale [of Strangers in Their Own Land] is one of interplay between four sequential colonial regimes (Spain Germany, Japan, and the United States) and the diverse island cultures they governed. It is also a tale of relationships among islands whose inhabitants did not always see eye-to-eye and among individuals who fought private and public battles in those islands. Hezel conveys both the unity of purpose exerted by a colonial government and the subversion of that purpose by administrators, teachers, islands, and visitors...[The] history is thoroughly supported by archival materials, first-person testimonies, and secondary sources. Hezel acknowledges the power of the visual when he ends his book by describing the distinctive flags that now replace Spanish, German, Japanese, and American symbols of rule. the scene epitomizes a theme of the book: global political and economic forces, whether colonial or post-colonial, cannot erode the distinctiveness each island claims."

"Hezel has written an authoritative and engaging narrative of [a] succession of colonial regimes, drawing upon a broad range of published and archival sources as well as his own considerable knowledge of the region...Hezel demonstrates a fine understanding of the complicated relations between administrators, missionaries, traders, chiefs and commoners in a wide range of social and historical settings."

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Comments (6)

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baron(posted on November 25)


The Mask(posted on November 25)

The public auditor is using his office for political influence? I've heard rumors of that but I thought they were proven to be unsubstantiated. It seems to me that most of the corruption or ineptitude in Government across the States has been brought to light by him. Are you saying that he's turning his back on some of it and only "going after" political opponents of some kind? I don't see it.

jayzee(posted on November 25)

Right, Vix. And thank you for the clarifications. Please, keep it going guys, this is very informative...

Vixen(posted on November 25)

Oun Kitti, just to clarify some points. GMP Hawaii was not selected as the winning bid, but only came in after it was discovered that the firm that had originally won the bid had picked a government employee (engineer) at TC&I as an employee of the firm, and this was apparently included in their bid documents that someone at TC&I overlooked. This was clearly an issue for the selection committee so the firm that came second on the list, which happened to be GMP, was then awarded the contract. I know that the then Secretary Susaia was never a member of the selection committee. Peter Christian was the Congress Speaker then, and he had no influence nor say so in the decision of the selection committee, even if he had tried to. Furthermore, for your ease of mind, the GMP contract has already been terminated, Yatilman is no longer with TC&I and Susaia is currently a consultant of some sort in Palikir. It's time to move past this and concentrate on "actually building the infrastructure" here in FSM. Please do carry on and continue to demand explanations~~


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