Penguin.com (usa)

Unfamiliar Fishes

Sarah Vowell - Author

Paperback | $16.00 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9781594485640 | 256 pages | 06 Mar 2012 | Riverhead | 8.26 x 5.23in | 18 - AND UP
Additional Formats:
Summary of Unfamiliar Fishes Summary of Unfamiliar Fishes Reviews for Unfamiliar Fishes An Excerpt from Unfamiliar Fishes

From Puritans to heathens-Sarah Vowell takes on Hawaii in this New York Times bestseller.

Of all the countries the United States invaded or colonized in 1898, Sarah Vowell considers the story of the Americanization of Hawaii to be the most intriguing. From the arrival of the New England missionaries in 1820, who came to Christianize the local heathens, to the coup d'état led by the missionaries' sons in 1893, overthrowing the Hawaiian queen, the events leading up to American annexation feature a cast of beguiling, if often appalling or tragic, characters. Whalers who fire cannons at the Bible-thumpers denying them their god-given right to whores; an incestuous princess pulled between her new god and her brother-husband; sugar barons, con men, Theodore Roosevelt, and the last Hawaiian queen, a songwriter whose sentimental ode "Aloha 'Oe" serenaded the first Hawaiian-born president of the United States during his 2009 inaugural parade.

With her trademark wry insights and reporting, Vowell sets out to discover the odd, emblematic, and exceptional history of the fiftieth state. In examining the place where Manifest Destiny got a sunburn, she finds America again, warts and all.

Watch a Video

To keep up-to-date, input your email address, and we will contact you on publication

Please alert me via email when:


The author releases another book