Hawaii is really American!

Hawaii cover page

Hawaii USA
1954 revised 3rd printing 1959

This was still in circulation as of this writing. Much like our Alaska book previously featured, this book is woefully out of date. Hawaii became a state in 1959, so this particular edition was updated enough to acknowledge statehood. For the life of me, I cannot understand why this book is still in a public library. I am willing to go out on a limb and say that the Hawaii of 1959 is not the same as Hawaii of 2021. Seriously, why would anyone want a 60 plus year old book on Hawaii?

Just reading this book made me cringe at the discussion of race. The book spends an inordinate amount of time “convincing” us that Hawaii is really American. Hawaii had just become a state, but it still seems like overkill to keep on asserting that Hawaii is indeed American. Perhaps Hawaii and the real Alaskans can put out a sequel called Yes, we are in fact Americans.


Young Hawaii Speaks

new Hawaiians

Farming in Hawaii



  1. My husband grew up in Hawaii and has many tales of tourists being surprised they could use American dollars in Hawaii (in the early 2000s) so an updated version is not such a bad idea.

  2. I had a conversation a couple of years ago with a dimwitted neighbor who was swearing me down people from New Mexico were not Americans.

    1. New Mexico Magazine has a regular column titled “One of Our Fifty is Missing”, where they collect examples of those. Often from big companies who should know better, and confused postal workers who insist you have to pay international rates to send something there.

      Funny how they never have that problem with New York, Hampshire, England, etc.

      1. I don’t think many of those confusable people know where original York, Jersey, and Hampshire are, and New England isn’t a state (NE being NEbraska to the post office). Mexico, though, is a country, so I don’t think it is a valid comparison.

        1. The one thing these all have in common are people who refuse (?) to get simple facts straight regardless the nation abroad or the local state with US borders. I’m sure some people believe if Hawaii doesn’t use USD then it must be a foreign country. Their self-satisfaction that they’ve learned all they need to know betrays their hubris.

  3. Ooh, yes, we’re all one big happy family. Except for the native Hawaiians who were driven from their land by the haole businessmen when they staged the coup, and the giant amount of land still owned by white people like the Dole family.

    Also, Peg wouldn’t have led off with “it’s just like here” if she’d gone to college in Michigan. She’d have started with “IT’S RIDICULOUSLY COLD SO MUCH OF THE YEAR!” Snow all winter, tornadoes in hot weather, and in 1959, almost all of her college classmates would have been white. She’d have gotten a lot of anti-Asian comments and been bored AF by the food.

    Librarians need to go through and remove every single book of this series. Begone, “Eskimos”, Filipino child labor, and Quebecois girls with their own priests.

  4. I recall reading that Hawaiian statehood was held up (or threatened to be) by southerner-types in Congress because it wouldn’t be majority white.

  5. -Considering the fact that Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961 (only a few short years after this book was published) this book MIGHT still be of interest today as a historical perspective of what the 50th U.S. state was like back in the fifties, even thought much of the content of this book is surely outdated by now.

    1. Or perhaps as proof that Hawaii WAS IN FACT a state before 1961, which seems to have confused so many people.

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