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Download Lost Kingdom: Hawaii's Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America's First Imperial Adventure Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Lost Kingdom: Hawaiis Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and Americas First Imperial Adventure (Unabridged), by Julia Flynn Siler
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (252 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Julia Flynn Siler Narrator: Joyce Bea Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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First colonized around 200 A.D. by intrepid Polynesian islanders, Hawaii existed for hundreds of years in splendid isolation. Foreigners did not visit the islands until 1788, when Captain Cook, looking for the fabled Northwest Passage, stumbled upon this nation with its own belief system and culture. Three decades later, fourteen Calvinist missionaries left Boston bound for Hawaii, and when they arrived they converted the royal family to Christianity, and set up missionary schools where English was taught.

A thriving monarchy had ruled over Hawaii for generations. Taro fields and fish ponds had long sustained native Hawaiians but sugar plantations had been gradually subsuming them. This fractured, vulnerable Hawaii was the country that Queen Lili'uokalani, or Lili'u, inherited when she came to power at the end of the nineteenth century. Her predecessor had signed away many of the monarchy's rights, but while Lili'u was trying to put into place a constitution that would reinstate them, other factions were plotting annexation. With the help of the American envoy, the USS Boston steamed into Honolulu harbor, and Marines landed and marched to the palace, inciting the Queen's overthrow. The annexation of Hawaii was extremely controversial; the issue caused heated debates in the Senate and President Cleveland gave a strongly worded speech opposing it. This was the first time America had reached beyond the borders of the continental U.S. in an act of imperialism. It was not until President McKinley was elected and the Spanish-American War erupted, that Hawaii became a critical strategic asset, and annexation finally passed Congress in 1898.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Renee | 2/3/2014

    " A must read!!! A truly heartbreaking story and I daresay, a story that most do not know. Well written and gripping. Textbook like in some places, but the emotional nature of the situation was always at the forefront and tears, for me bubbled over in places!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kate | 2/2/2014

    " This is an interesting subject about which not much has written for a general audience. Siler's research is very thorough, and she does a good job of portraying life in Hawaii during it's brief existence as a unified kingdom prior to annexation by the United States. She presents a sympathetic and nuanced biography of Lili'uokalani, Hawaii's last queen. Unfortunately she never really integrates the biography with another theme put forth in her subtitle, "America's First Imperial Adventure", and the result is a narrative that feels disorganized. The book also suffers from very sloppy editing, with far too many typos and grammatical and syntactical errors; the author was not particularly well served by the publisher. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Christina | 1/7/2014

    " Interesting subject and I loved that I found this book just before I went to Hawaii for the first time. It gave me a much better sense of Hawaiian history and culture. At the same time, it was actually rather a dry recitation of the story and didn't keep my interest. I finished it more out of obligation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Meghann | 1/5/2014

    " Would have been five stars, but there were too many typos. "

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About the Author
Author Julia Flynn Siler

Julia Flynn Siler is the New York Times bestselling author of The House of Mondavi. Her most recent book, Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure, was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller. An award-winning journalist, she lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons.