on January 4, 2011
"Namoluk Beyond the Reef" is not only a valuable contribution to Oceanian ethnography, but it is also a valuable addition to the literature on immigration to the US and ethnicity. We are in the midst of a national debate on immigration policy and anyone interested in that debate would benefit from reading these very human stories of those who have come here legally from one small island in the Pacific to make their life in America -- with the opportunities and hardships that entails.
Mac Marshall recounts tales of emigration from Namoluk, an atoll in the Caroline Islands, to nearby atolls and high islands, to Guam, Hawaii, and the mainland US over a period of more than thirty years. Namolukese have throughout maintained their ties to their island of origin while adapting to a modern way of life. Their experiences have been varied. Some have been successful, and others not so as they have made their way in a rapidly changing world -- and sometimes found themselves victims of the exploitation that we may have thought was reserved for illegal immigrants.
The book was published in 2006 but only becomes more relevant as the debate over immigration intensifies. Includes maps, tables and photos.