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Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell
In Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell tells this history of Hawaii, particularly the period of the nineteenth century between the arrival of Christian missionaries and the annexation by the United States. When the missionaries arrived, Hawaii had just been merged into one nation, although still savage in many ways. The missionaries brought literacy with them, along with a zeal to convert the native Hawaiians from their pagan past. Whaling ships brought bawdy sailors. U.S. and European corporate interests brought land ownership, farms, and a coup to overthrow Queen Liliuokalani. Unfamiliar Fishes has received mostly positive reviews with BookReporter.com saying, "Unfamiliar Fishes is a charming and sophisticated ode to this complicated paradise."