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Missionaries in Hawai'i: The Lives of Peter and Fanny Gulick, 1797-1883 Hardcover – April 26, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press (April 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558497358
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558497351
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,999,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This book is extremely well researched and well written. I think it will make a lasting contribution to the history of missionaries in Hawai'i. --Paul Burlin, author of 'Imperial Maine and Hawai'i: Interpretative Essays in the History of Nineteenth-Century American Expansion'

This well written and readable work includes seven chapters that are divided both chronologically and, more importantly, according to the geographical location of the Gulicks. Thus, it starts with Peter and Fanny's early life and upbringing in New England and New York, continues with the couple's mission work at various stations in Hawai'i, and ends with their move to Japan and their eventual deaths in that country. . . . Putney s monograph will be most appreciated by the general public and scholars of missionary history in Hawai i. --The Hawaiian Journal of History

Putney tells the Gulicks' life stories with an assurance born of meticulous research and attention to contextual detail. . .. there is not doubt that Putney does well what he set out to do. His achievements are considerable. . . .Putney's study makes a decidedly constructive and welcome contribution to the field. --American Historical Review

About the Author

Clifford Putney is assistant professor of history at Bentley University and author of 'Muscular Christianity: Manhood and Sports in Protestant America, 1880-1920.'

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Francis Kyle, Uncommon Christian Ministries on October 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Putney's "Missionaries in Hawai'i" endeavors to take a balanced and "empathetic rather than hagiographic or condemnatory" approach in studying the lives of Peter and Fanny Gulick (5). He seeks to avoid the celebratory, saint-like status that some evangelicals may bestow upon the couple in light of their successful efforts at christianizing the islanders (the majority of the populace converted to American-style Protestantism). He also seeks to avoid the opposite extreme propounded by some Hawaiian nationalists that accuse the "intolerant meddlers" of exploiting the natives by being "advance agents of U.S. imperialism." Putney argues that the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) missionaries did much good for Hawaii yet they were not without their faults and motives of spreading American capitalism and democracy.

In researching the Gulicks, Putney's sources are impressive thanks to the large amount of preserved Gulick writings. The family papers are so numerous that Putney can state "that they make the Gulicks one of the best documented middle-class families in American history" (6). The author also spent two summers doing on-site research in Hawaii.

Some of the book's many strengths are its excellent research, lucid writing, unbiased approach, and skillful interweaving of the Gulicks' theologically conservative yet socially progressive beliefs with a narrative of their practical "jack-of-all-trades" missionary work. Regarding Putney's fair-minded approach, an example is how he portrays, through the eyes of their children and grandchildren, Peter and Fanny Gulick as parents and missionaries.
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Format: Hardcover
Missionaries in Hawai'i: The Lives of Peter and Fanny Gulick, 1797-1883 is a biography of two pioneer missionaries to Hawai'i. Clifford Putney (assistant professor of history, Bentley University) evenly weighs historical evidence of the full role that Peter and Fanny Gulick - and many others like them - played in Hawaiian history. Hawaiian missionaries have been criticized for being the advance guard to American imperialism in the island culture, yet Putney also focuses on how the missionary enterprise helped protect and preserve key elements of the Hawaiian way of life, including the Hawaiian language. Drawing upon letters, journals, and a wealth of other primary sources, Missionaries in Hawai'i offers a balanced, informed and informative overall picture, and is a strongly recommended contribution to Hawaiian history and biography shelves.
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I liked the book, I already knew a bit about the mission family and know a lot more now. Any Hawaii History buff will benefit from this book. It is well researched and will add some knowledge to your undersanding of Hawaii.
Pretty easy to understand, not too academic thought it does have a huge bibliography which is useful to other researchers.
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