texts are really being incorporated into Pacific Islander cultures. He also poses the dilemma raised earlier in this review about what historians should do when Islander worldviews clash with their own professional views and agendas as historians. This is a valuable volume, containing a variety of approaches to biography, personal reflection, and history. The contributors are knowledgeable and often display great flair and insights. But the collection is also frustrating in that it often reads more like a conversation between a generation of friends remembering the good old days than a work designed to appeal and offer guidance to other generations to follow. Despite acknowledging that new lines are being drawn based on new boundaries (4), few new voices speak here. There is even a hint of smugness in the assertion, "The founding figures of the field of Pacific history as it developed in the southwest Pacific are, quite uniquely, all present together in this volume, as subjects or authors" (5). Several of my more senior colleagues might disagree with this assessment. This volume tends to be exclusive rather than inclusive and looks back to the days of comfort rather than forward to the challenges that lie ahead.
The Contemporary Pacific – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Aug 31, 2004