Author(s): I.C. Campbell
The Pacific Islands remain for most people a region of obscurity or puzzlement. The attention of news media is attracted by untypical events such as political violence that contradict the peaceful tourist image of sun, sea and smiling faces. Journalists, travellers, business people and the general public have few paths to access specialised knowledge about the complex and changing 'neighbourhood' to New Zealand's north.For many years Ian Campbell's History of the Pacific Islands has served this purpose, and now after a tumultuous decade in the Pacific, it has been completely revised, largely rewritten and expanded to bring the story of the Pacific Islands up to the present. It offers a concise, straightforward narrative in a clear, readable style, spanning the entire subject from the first settlement by Pacific Islanders through the centuries of European contact, cultural influence and colonialism, to the coming of independence and the developments since then. Dr Campbell eschews the contemporary fashion for 'post-modern' or 'cultural studies' approaches, and for the jargon of the social sciences. This book has not been written for fellow academics but for the many people who want to know 'what happened'. Ian Campbell is Associate Professor of History at the University of Canterbury, and draws on a lifetime of personal knowledge, academic research and teaching in, as well as about, the Pacific Islands.