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Pathways to the Present

Mansel G. Blackford

Publication Year: 2007

Ranging from the Hawaiian Archipelago to the Aleutian Islands, from Silicon Valley to Guam, Pathways to the Present is a thoroughly researched and concisely argued account of economic and environmental change in the postwar "American" Pacific. Following a brief survey of the history of the Pacific, the author takes the Hawaiian Islands as the center of American activities in the region and looks at interactions among native Hawaiian, developmental, military, and environmental issues in the archipelago after World War II. He then turns to land- and water-use problems that have intersected with more nebulous quality-of-life concerns to generate policy controversies in the Seattle region and the San Francisco Bay area, especially Silicon Valley. Economic expansion and environmentalism in Alaska are examined through the lens of changes occurring along the Aleutians. From there the study considers Hiroshima after its destruction by the atomic bomb in 1945, looking at residents’ desire to combine urban-planning concepts. The author investigates the effort to remake Hiroshima as a high-tech city in the 1990s, an attempt inspired by the perceived success of Silicon Valley, and postwar planning on Okinawa, where American influences were particularly strong. The final chapter takes into account issues raised on Guam regarding the growth of tourism and the use of the island for military purposes and links these to developments in the Philippines to the west and American Sâmoa to the south.

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press


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pp. vii-vii

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pp. ix-xi

I have long been fascinated by the Pacific. As a child, I grew up in Seattle during the 1940s and 1950s, decades noted for the dominance of the Boeing Company in the Pacific Northwest. During those years, my father captained a fishing vessel that pioneered in the opening of Alaska’s king crab industry, and I had the opportunity to visit the north on several occasions. I attended...

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pp. 1-9

Writing in his diary on May 29, 1943, Dr. Paul Nobuo Tatsuguchi of the Japanese Imperial Army observed, “All the patients in the hospital were made to commit suicide. I am only 33 years old and am to die. Have no regrets. Banzai to the Emperor. I am grateful that I have kept the peace of my soul which Enkist [Jesus Christ] bestowed on me at 8 o’clock.” The medical officer stationed with the Japanese occupation force on Attu, one of Alaska’s far-western Aleutian Islands, Tatsuguchi correctly foresaw his future. He tried to surrender to American soldiers who were...

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Chapter 1: Pacific Developments

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pp. 11-26

In 1976, native Hawaiians and others sailed the Hōkūle‘a, a replica of a Polynesian twin-hulled voyaging canoe, using only traditional navigational techniques, to and from Tahiti, two thousand miles in each direction. In doing so, they demonstrated the feasibility of earlier large-scale migrations by canoe throughout the Pacific. Equally important, their actions helped unite many indigenous Pacific peoples in a consciousness of their common heritage. Some fifteen thousand celebrants met the Hōkūle‘a when ...

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Chapter 2: The Hawaiian Islands: The “Healing” of Kaho‘olawe

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pp. 27-62

I n the late 1960s and early 1970s, American fighter-bombers training for the Vietnam War repeatedly swept down on targets placed on Kaho‘olawe, the smallest of the eight major islands of the Hawaiian archipelago and the only one then being used as a live-fire range. Between 1968 and 1970, the warplanes dropped 2,500 tons of bombs on Kaho‘olawe, and in the latter year alone they bombarded the island for 315 days, solidifying its reputation as “the most bombed island in the Pacific.” The American military had used ...

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Chapter 3: The Pacific Coast: Seattle and Silicon Valley

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pp. 63-94

Writing in 1967 about the Seattle area, Philip Herrara, a journalist for Fortune Magazine, observed that the region was “a lovely land blessed with a mild, moist climate” and “tall, rugged mountains.” The area was, however, “in the grip of a tremendous boom” about which the “two million presumed beneficiaries seem to have decidedly ambivalent feelings.” The reason for doubt was not far to seek, Herrara thought...

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Chapter 4: Alaska:The Aleutian Islands

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pp. 95-126

Returning to her home port of Cordova, Alaska, on April 28, 1976, the king crab boat Master Carl developed mechanical problems in the face of a fierce storm, a blow featuring waves more than thirty feet high. Water entered the vessel’s hull as she passed near Montague Island just outside of Prince William Sound, and at midnight the ship’s flooded engine died. Tossed by waves, the Master Carl rolled onto her side and her...

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Chapter 5: Southern Japan during American Occupation: Hiroshima and Okinawa

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pp. 127-165

At 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb destroyed Hiroshima. Michihiko Hachiya, the director of the Hiroshima Communications Hospital, described what he saw in his diary: “The morning was still, warm, and beautiful . . . shimmering leaves, reflecting sunlight from a cloudless sky, made a pleasant contrast with shadows in my garden.” Then came the bombing: “Suddenly, a strong flash of light startled me . . . garden shadows disappeared. The view where...

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Chapter 6: Guam, the Philippines, and American Samoa

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pp. 166-201

Writing on behalf of the Guam Legislature in 1971, that body’s secretary and speaker jointly observed, “The dominance of America’s presence in the Pacific explains so much of Guam’s economic growth and current land problems.” Continuing, they noted, “Although the U.S. interest in the Pacific dates back to the mid-19th century, it was really World War II that precipitated the major involvement by the Americans in the Far East and Pacific realms.” Finally, they observed that “for the central...

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pp. 203-207

It is worth repeating in closing that the Pacific—one-third of the globe, encompassing millions of square miles and millions of people—has always been, and remains, a large, complex region composed of subregions. Even Oceania, one of the subregions, is itself conventionally divided into Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. The complexity of the Pacific makes generalizations difficult and fraught with possibility for error. Restricting the scope of investigations to some of the regions owned or controlled by the...


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pp. 209-251

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Bibliograhic Essay

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pp. 253-255

I have indicated the major primary and secondary sources consulted in my research in the copious endnotes to this volume. In this bibliographic essay, I want simply to highlight those sources that have been most important for me and that might best lead readers into additional avenues of thought. I have utilized many types of primary sources. Among the most important for anyone interested in recent debates on public issues having to do with business development and environmental protection issues are environmental...


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pp. 257-267

E-ISBN-13: 9780824863906
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824830731

Publication Year: 2007

OCLC Number: 256658072
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Pathways to the Present

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Subject Headings

  • United States -- Insular possessions -- History.
  • Islands of the Pacific -- Relations -- United States.
  • United States -- Relations -- Islands of the Pacific.
  • Pacific States -- Economic conditions.
  • Pacific States -- History.
  • Islands of the Pacific -- Economic conditions.
  • Islands of the Pacific -- History.
  • United States -- Territories and possessions -- History.
  • Aleutian Islands (Alaska) -- History.
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