Synopses & Reviews
Ferdinand Magellan's fateful landfall on Guam, the first inhabited Pacific island known to Europeans, ushered in the age of European exploration in the Pacific and led inexorably to foreign domination of every traditional island society throughout Oceania. In the centuries after Magellan's landing in 1521, Guam became a small green oasis for alien priests, soldiers, traders, pirates, and other expatriates. Destiny's Landfall tells the story of this colorful cavalcade of outsiders and of the indigenous Chamorro people who, in a remarkable feat of resiliency, maintained their language and their identity despite three centuries of colonial domination by three of history's most powerful nation-states: Spain, Japan, and the United States. Today, international airlines, nuclear-powered submarines, and satellite tracking stations have replaced Spanish galleons. But though Americanized, modernized, and multiethnic, Guam continues to fulfill the geopolitical role imposed on it by outsiders. In this comprehensive look at one of the world's last colonies, Robert E. Rogers evokes the dramatic but little-known saga of Guam's people - from the precontact era to Spanish domination, from colonial rule under a U.S. naval government to the massive military invasions of World War II, and on through the booms and busts, the scandals and victories experienced by Guamanians in their still-unfulfilled quest to regain control of their future.