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The First Taint of Civilization: A History of the Caroline and Marshall Islands in Pre-Colonial Days, 1521-1885

By Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1983. 365 pp.1983 Government History

"Hezel has written a lively, even lusty history of island and Western civilizations coming into contact, and neither being the same afterwards. In Hezel's work a colorful cast parades before the reader: the crafty Palauan Ibedul who used a succession of Western ship captains for his own ends; the opportunistic seafarer Andrew Cheyne whose dreams of a Pacific trading empire dissipated in the tropical heat; the Hawaiian Protestant missionary Hezekiah Aea who for the first time taught Marshallese to read in their own language; the rogue Bully Hayes who professed to finding God while keeping numerous mistresses. Hezel is an accomplished writer who manages to portray history as it should be (and as relatively few historians seem able to do): as the rich story of the human condition."

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Comments (8)

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voilet(posted on April 12)

My New Days should start with a good communication between my good friends, family and maybe even the ones we struggle to know daily......Marriage!! hhhmm gotta find the right kind of male that knows how to put his foot down, sits you down good and let you handle financial strageties. All his got to do is be loving and caring toward your hard work to keep the fire burning.......and please stay away from alcohols and cigarettes....although would help get rid of it too. Each time he's a sleep take a few of those cigarettes and break them in half toss them in the trash bins, then slowly go back to bed...

sau nalan(posted on April 12)


lodup(posted on October 19)

There you go, Marry an educated lady; preferabley from outside the realm and bring in some new blood. Excellent outlook. If not then just by traveling outside our perimeters, even a stint as a seaman on a freighter will do the trick. Let's everyone be on the lookout for the global embrace for the purpose of the local upgrade. I believe it is the quickening of communication that makes local problems so similar to many other situations around the globe. Our kids are growing up with the same video games as the kid in New York, or Seoul for that matter. Conversing on the internet now can easily span the globe. Surprisingly alcohol is a problem, around the world alike and so are cigarettes. MmmMMM...mmm! lodup

Macintosh(posted on October 19)

No, back then we also had our doubts and frustrations with our leaders. Let us not forget that during Nakayama and Bethwel's prime time, there was also the late Kalisto Refolopei, and no politician can yet match up to his abusing strength and manupulation in congress. Back then we were dealing with different problems and issues too such as: allowing U.S. military in our islands, choosing the right form of govt, fighting the growing rate of suicide, bloody and deadly fights, etc. The only difference is that the U.S. had their people involve in our administrations and they were the guiding force and check and balance. Our courts were not as corrupt then and the govt staff (teachers, directors, doctors, etc.) was of much better quality because there was a percentage of outsiders that overlooked the jobs. The deadly disease in our govt and islands today is our islanders' personality: very lazy and laid back people with very slow and bad work habits, high tolerance of filthy environment, and not so wise and honest. We grab anything that will give us fast cash and more time not working, not caring much about integrity. Not to mention the fact that we are now such alcohol suckers, from parents and kids at home to bosses and staff at work, so much so that our minds are most of the time foggy, inactive and incapable than capable. Anywhere in the world, when prioritities come down this low, hopeless disaster doom follow. We need outsiders to come in and help us out, and we need the ones who migrated to the U.S. to pick-up better work and living habit standards and then come home to integrate with the rest of our population. Better yet, have more inter marriages with outsiders that will bring some improvement to our island species.


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