Synopses & Reviews
"Thigpen's book makes significant contributions to American religious history, the history of American missions, and American women's history, and it converses with works in Hawaiian studies and studies of colonialism. Some previous scholars have studied missionary women, other previous scholars have studied Native Hawaiian women's engagement with the mission, but no previous scholar has made the relationship between these two groups an object of study. Thigpen demonstrates convincingly that the relationship between these two groups of women is crucial to understanding why the New England mission to Hawai'i took the shape it did."--David Chang, author of The Color of the Land: Race, Nation, and the Politics of Landownership in Oklahoma, 1832-1929
"An interesting, carefully researched and well-written book that revisits an area of United States history that is currently the focus of considerable scholarly analysis. It will be of value for students and scholars of United States western history and for Pacific historians, who will be informed and engaged in nineteenth -century Hawai'ian history."--Patricia Grimshaw, University of Melbourne
In the late eighteenth century, Hawai'i's ruling elite employed sophisticated methods for resisting foreign intrusion. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, American missionaries had gained a foothold in the islands. Jennifer Thigpen explains this important shift by focusing on two groups of women: missionary wives and high-ranking Hawaiian women. Examining the enduring and personal exchange between these groups, Thigpen argues that women's relationships became vital to building and maintaining the diplomatic and political alliances that ultimately shaped the islands' political future.
About the Author
Jennifer Thigpen is assistant professor of history at Washington State University.