Lost Kingdom by Julia Flynn Siler
Hawaii's Last Queen, the Sugar Kings and America's First Imperial Adventure

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“Lost Kingdom” is not as gripping as it could have been, given the palace intrigue and double dealing it describes.
-NY Times


Around 200 A.D., intrepid Polynesians arrived at an undisturbed archipelago. For centuries, their descendants lived with little contact from the western world. In 1778, their isolation was shattered with the arrival of Captain Cook.

Deftly weaving together a memorable cast of characters, Lost Hawaii brings to life the ensuing clash between a vulnerable Polynesian people and relentlessly expanding capitalist powers. Portraits of royalty and rogues, sugar barons, and missionaries combine into a sweeping tale of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s rise and fall.

At the center of the story is Lili‘uokalani, the last queen of Hawai‘i. Born in 1838, she lived through the nearly complete economic transformation of the islands. Lucrative sugar plantations gradually subsumed the majority of the land, owned almost exclusively by white planters, dubbed the “Sugar Kings.” Hawai‘i became a prize in the contest between America, Britain, and France, each seeking to expand their military and commercial influence in the Pacific.

The monarchy had become a figurehead, victim to manipulation from the wealthy sugar plantation owners. Lili‘uokalani was determined to enact a constitution to reinstate the monarchy’s power but was outmaneuvered by the U.S. The annexation of Hawai‘i had begun, ushering in a new century of American imperialism.


About Julia Flynn Siler

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Julia Flynn Siler is an award-winning journalist and author of The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty . A former foreign correspondent for Business Week and the Wall Street Journal, she is now a contributing writer for the Wall Street Journal, based out of the San Francisco bureau. Her first book, The House of Mondavi, became a New York Times bestseller. She lives in Northern California with her husband and sons. For more information, please visit www.juliaflynnsiler.com.
Published January 3, 2012 by Atlantic Monthly Press. 449 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Malia Boyd on Mar 09 2012

“Lost Kingdom” is not as gripping as it could have been, given the palace intrigue and double dealing it describes.

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