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Remaking Micronesia: Discourses over Development in a Pacific Territory, 1944-1982
America's efforts at economic development in the Caroline, Mariana, and Marshall Islands proved to be about transforming in dramatic fashion people who occupied real estate deemed vital to American strategic concerns. Called "Micronesians," these island people were regarded as other, and their otherness came to be seen as incompatible with American interests. Economic development, then, became a series of strategies designed to provide a new, more comfortable, malleable, and reassuring identity for the inhabitants of this prime piece of strategic real estate.
Remaking Micronesia stands as an important, imaginative, much needed contribution to the study of Micronesia. American policy in the Pacific, and the larger debate about development. It will be an important source of insight and critique for scholars and students working at the intersection of history, culture, and power in the Pacific.
David Hanlon is associate professor of history at the University of Hawai'i and editor of The Contemporary Pacific: A Journal of Island Affairs
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