Hawaii Summary

Pulitzer Prize–winning author James A. Michener brings Hawaii’s epic history vividly to life in a classic saga that has captivated readers since its initial publication in 1959. As the volcanic Hawaiian Islands sprout from the ocean floor, the land remains untouched for centuries—until, little more than a thousand years ago, Polynesian seafarers make the perilous journey across the Pacific, flourishing in this tropical paradise according to their ancient traditions. Then, in the early nineteenth century, American missionaries arrive, bringing with them a new creed and a new way of life. Based on exhaustive research and told in Michener’s immersive prose, Hawaiiis the story of disparate peoples struggling to keep their identity, live in harmony, and, ultimately, join together.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from James A. Michener's Centennial.
Praise for Hawaii
“Wonderful . . . [a] mammoth epic of the islands.”The Baltimore Sun
“One novel you must not miss! A tremendous work from every point of view—thrilling, exciting, lusty, vivid, stupendous.”Chicago Tribune
“From Michener’s devotion to the islands, he has written a monumental chronicle of Hawaii, an extraordinary and fascinating novel.”Saturday Review
“Memorable . . . a superb biography of a people.”Houston Chronicle

Book Reviews

Daniel Brand

Michener doesn’t Disapoint5 star

Great history of Hawaii. Interesting breakdown of the ethnic influences - Polynesians, haoles (whites), Chinese, and Japanese.55


Outstanding tale!5 star

I first read this book 50 years ago when I was in high school for a class assignment. I remember reading it over a long holiday weekend. My teacher did not think that I could possibly have read this entire book in four days, but I answered every question she asked me about it accurately and in detail. How did I manage that? Simply put, I couldn’t put the book down. From the formation of the islands from underwater volcanoes through the arrival of the Polynesians to the arrival of the missionaries, Chinese and Japanese laborers, World War II and into the post war era and statehood, this book will keep your attention.55


Hawaii5 star

Michener weaves an epic accounting of Hawaii through the ages. He speculates on the birth of the islands and their evolution through the uninhabitable volcanic eruptions to the lush tropical paradise they become. Tales of brave Polynesian sailors who travel unexplored seas foreshadow later travels of brave missionaries and their difficult ocean journey. Descendants of both groups merge to become the founding peoples of Hawaii. This is their story. It is a story of struggles and solutions, as each new wave of Chinese, Japanese and others blend in to form the fabric of the culture that becomes Hawaii.55

Sal Iodice

Hawaii5 star

Great reading. If you have ever been to Hawaii and enjoyed the festivities, the people, the “way” that’s great. However, having met and befriended some and then you read this book, now all becomes clearer of who they are and why they are who they are. Difficult to simply explain, you must live it to comprehend. Nice people, nice spirit, great history.55


Hawaii5 star

Could not put this book down. Masterful storytelling, enchanting, informative. I knew when I was captivated by the geological formation of the islands in the beginning that it was going to be good. It just got better and better. Epic multi-generational account of the the islands and the unique struggles and experiences of its immigrants. Amazing story.55

Duffs 071

Hawaii5 star

One of the best books written by James Michner. This is not the first time I've read this book and it not be the last.55


Hawaii5 star

This will be my third reading of this wonderful, informative saga. At 82 years I can not carry such a tome around but was delighted to find it here. Michener is a wonderful author and makes everything come alive through words.55

Other Books by James A. Michener & Steve Berry



4.5     156
The Source


The Source
4     169


4.5     163

   Users Online