Hawaii: Restless Rampart

By Joseph Barber, Jr.
To the average American traveler Hawaii is a land of ukuleles, leis, hula dances, grass skirts, and surf bathing, a possible retreat from the cares and vexations of the world. Mr. Barber shows the other side of this group of islands in the Pacific which constitute a key point either for offense or for defense in an American war with Japan. The Navy has put a quarter of a billion, the Army half a billion dollars into Hawaii, with the result that Pearl Harbor is one of the most formidable naval bases in the world and Hawaii is better defended with air and mechanized forces than any other single area under American sovereignty. Mr. Barber tells briefly the history of Hawaii and shows at length the forces which are at work in the islands: the ‘ Big Five,’ a group of industrial, commercial, and banking combines which traditionally dominate the life of the islands; the growing demand of the Army and Navy for control of such an important defensive region; the difficult, sometimes almost tragic position of the hundred and fifty thousand Japanese in the islands, whose position does not become easier as American-Japanese tension rises. A sound, readable, entertaining yet reliable picture of an American overseas possession that will certainly be more and more in the news if storm clouds continue to thicken over the restless Pacific. W. H. C.