Fighting in Paradise

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Fighting in Paradise

SKU: 835491

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Fighting in Paradise Product Description:

Powerful labor movements played a critical role in shaping modern Hawaii, beginning in the 1930’s, when International Longshore and Warehouseman’s Union (ILWU) representatives were dispatched to the islands to organize plantation and dock laborers. They were stunned by the conditions they found in Hawaii, where the majority of workers – Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino in origin – were routinely subjected to repression and racism at the hands of white bosses.


The wartime civil liberties crackdown brought union organizing to a halt, but as the war wound down, Hawaii workers’ frustrations boiled over, leading to an explosive success in the forming of unions. During the 1950’s, the ILWU came under McCarthyite attacks and persecution. In the midst of these allegations, Hawaii’s bid for statehood was being challenged by powerful voices in Washington who claimed that admitting Hawaii to the union would be tantamount to giving the Kremlin two votes in the U.S. Senate, while Jim Crow advocates worried that Hawaii’s representatives would be enthusiastic about pro-civil rights legislation.


Hawaii’s extensive social-welfare system and the continuing power of unions to shape the state politically are a direct result of those troubled times. Based on exhaustive archival research in Hawaii, California, Washington, and elsewhere, Gerald Horne’s gripping story of Hawaii workers’ struggle to unionize reads like a suspense novel as it details for the first time how radicalism and racism helped shape Hawaii in the twentieth century.

Sub Title Labor Unions, Racism, and Communists in the Making of Modern Hawaii
Page Count 488 pages
Publisher University of Hawaii Press
Publish Date July 2011
Dimensions 9.0" x 6.0" x 0.8"
Author Gerald Horne
About the Author Gerald Horne is Moores Professor of History and African-American Studies at the University of Houston.
Binding Softcover
UPC 9780824835491

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