Detailed portrayals of Filipinas in Hawaii that, despite occasionally weak writing, offer valuable information on an...


FILIPINAS! Voices from Daughters and Descendants of Hawaii's Plantation Era

An anthology of nonfiction stories about Filipina immigrants, written by their children and grandchildren.

In this history collection, Brown (Kula San, 2010) brings together dozens of family stories about women who emigrated from the Philippines to Hawaii in the first half of the 20th century. The author’s introduction places the memoirs in context, demonstrating that studies of the Filipino community have largely omitted these women’s experiences. There are common threads that run through these tales—traditional food, frugality, the practice of smoking the lit end of Toscani cigarettes—but there’s also a diversity of viewpoints, socioeconomic backgrounds, career paths and family environments. Most of the stories tell of women who joined their husbands on rural sugar plantations, but a few were middle-class housewives, and several pursued successful careers in real estate, fashion and catering. The writing is uneven, with some contributors producing far more fluent and polished prose than others, but all the narratives remarkably capture the rhythms and language of the Hawaiian Filipino dialect, with its elements of English, Hawaiian, Tagalog, Ilocano and Visayan: “No need go back! No need go backwarrds, always go porrwarrds! Why you like go back? You was derr already. Go someplace you neberr go yet. Datis how you learrn!” The stories are also notable for their range of attitudes about the past: few ever approach nostalgia, but not all condemn its world of plantation economics, substandard housing and tolerance for corporal punishment. All display how the Filipina experience shaped a substantial portion of today’s Hawaiians, which will make this book valuable to researchers. Although the book as a whole is limited by its stylistic shortcomings, it’s still a rich contribution to the literature on Hawaii’s diverse history. (Each story features recent and historical black-and-white photographs.)

Detailed portrayals of Filipinas in Hawaii that, despite occasionally weak writing, offer valuable information on an unexplored segment of society.

Pub Date: Dec. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-1500539009

Page Count: 382

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2016

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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