A meticulous background knowledge is supported by personal experience and enhanced by a real concern not only for the past and present, but for the future of the South Sea Islands. Intensely various in every respect from their degrees of civilization to their economic political set-ups whether under the control of America, Britain, France, the Netherlands, China or, occasionally, themselves, this documented travelogu is hghly readable as well as highly informative for anyone interested in what is going in this significant part of the world. The corrupting influence of the white mn, from Magellan, Bligh and the missionary in general to the present day tourist (most outstanding example is French run Tahiti, the Paris of the South Seas) pitted against the islanders' desire to maintain their simple non-competitive, non-industrialized, individual ways of life is movingly traced. Those now homeless and the atolls left uninhabitable by our atomic bomb experiments since 1954, provide the final ugly comment. The life possible in the days of Gauguin and R.L. Stevenson is long past for both native and for anyone seeking the beauty and serenity which characterized the majority of the archipelagos.