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Book Review: David Hanlon. Making Micronesia: A Political Biography of Tosiwo Nakayama. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2014. Pp. xiv, 312. $55.00.

Sturma, M. (2015) Book Review: David Hanlon. Making Micronesia: A Political Biography of Tosiwo Nakayama. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2014. Pp. xiv, 312. $55.00. The American Historical Review, 120 (4). pp. 1471-1472.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ahr/120.4.1471
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Abstract

In discussing the concept of “Micronesia” in Making Micronesia: A Political Biography of Tosiwo Nakayama, David Hanlon states that he finds the prefix “micro” to be “belittling” for a region spread over three million square miles. He suggests that “Macronesia” would apply more suitably. An underlying theme of the book is that the island world should be perceived as large rather than diminutive. Nevertheless, the term “Micronesia” is part of the colonial baggage of the region and Hanlon is resigned to using it. The term is further problematic because of the diversity it embraces. The inhabitants and island groups of the area see themselves as distinct from one another, so the question on how they might form a unified government is complex. Despite participation in a Constitutional Convention in 1975, Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands held strong separatist sentiments and chose to remain outside the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). That the FSM (consisting of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae) emerged at all, Hanlon argues, was due principally to the work of Tosiwo Nakayama.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Arts
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright: © 2015 The American Historical Association
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/29650
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