Friday, December 09, 2005

Strangers in their Own Land

Last night I finished reading the book "Strangers in their Own Land" by Francis X. Hezel. I cannot believe that this book was written by someone I know. How could one person possibly gather and organize the information about so many islands and present it in such a clear way? I'm amazed. His other book "The First Taint of Civilization" is also a knock-out.

The history of Micronesia is as much reflection on the world as it is the story of Micronesia. A place as small as these islands seems defenseless, and yet they survived disease, wars, colonizers and much more and still have hold of their land, language and many traditions.

But it is sad how the huge powers of the world try to take advantage of "weaker" places like these islands, forcing disease, religion, language and government on them.

This book made me more than a little humiliated to be an American, and there are plenty of reasons to be embarrased these days! We had an opportunity and the responsability to do something great out here, but chose not to.

I am so glad this book, and it's companion, exist.


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