KAIULANI by Nancy & Jean Francis Webb

KAIULANI

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is probably the first English biography ever written of the Crown Princess of Hawaii who died more than six decades ago. The author has tapped many original sources to piece together her story -- diaries, personal interviews, letters, etc. When Kaiulani was born, the Hawaiian monarchy was very much in power. Though the Princess met Westerners, any contact with them always inspired great curiosity. On her first trip to Europe she was amazed at the outside world and, since her own islands had not as yet been violated, she could respond to it with enthusiasm. With American intervention in Hawaii and the threat of annexation, Kaiulani returned home to help her family. After the abrogation of the monarchy, corrupt officials had exploited the Islanders to the point where they no longer demanded a return to their old way of life but only the right to some form of autonomy. By granting the Hawaiian people the right to vote the American government quelled complaints and forced them to accept the lesser of two evils. Many readers will criticize the foreign policy of the government during this era since sympathy is directed toward the royal Hawaiian household. Because of the meager evidence available, Kaiulani is not really the central focus of a book which deals mainly with regional historical events.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1962
Publisher: Viking