Hawaii by: James MichenerWhat does the book Hawaii by James Michener tell you about the geography of Hawaii?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that you really have to look at the impact of human beings on the geography here.  One of the major things that happens in the book, geography-wise, is when "Wild Whip" and Kamejiro Sakagawa drive the tunnel through the mountains to bring water to the leeward side of O'ahu.  By doing this, they completely transform the geography of the island, particularly in the area of Waipahu and all the other places that used to be pineapple fields back in the old days.

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pacorz | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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This book also sheds some light on the impact of geographic isolation. The Hawaiian islands were essentially settled twice - once by the Polynesians, and then a second time by the white traders, explorers, and missionaries - and Michener takes you through both settlement processes.

Physical isolation has long been recognized as a factor that can drive biological evolution. In this book, Michener shows us how it can drive the evolution of a society as well.

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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You also learn about how the lifestyle of the inhabitants was affected by the geography of the islands. Certain groups farmed for certain crops. Other groups gathered various types of products from the ocean. Building materials, resources to make everyday implements and items, and other aspects of daily life were shaped through the impact exerted by the geography of the area.

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is one of those interesting books where the setting is a character. We learn how each island was formed, as well as which groups settled on Hawaii and where. Thus we learn about the physical geography and how the land was formed and the political geography of the cities.

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