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Traditional Micronesian Societies: Adaptation, Integration, and Political Organization 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0824832483
ISBN-10: 0824832485
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  • Traditional Micronesian Societies: Adaptation, Integration, and Political Organization
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Editorial Reviews

Review

This overview of Micronesian traditional societies, based on more than 30 years of research, is one of the most significant contributions to Pacific studies of the past decade.... He targets three audiences: students in college and university anthropology classes covering Pacific Island societies; Micronesians, particularly youth who seek "an accessible, reliable and respectful account of their ancestors' lives"; and scholars of Oceanic societies. All three will find value in the work.... [The] volume will become the standard by which future synthetic treatments of Micronesia are judged. Summing Up: Essential. --Choice, May 2010 (47:9)

About the Author

Glenn Petersen is professor of anthropology and international affairs at Baruch College, City University of New York.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 278 pages
  • Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press; 1st edition (June 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824832485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824832483
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.1 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: #2,111,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
The author was a rare bird, an American enlisted man in the air over the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam. On his way home he flew over island paradise and resolved to return. He made it as an anthropologist, eventually on the United Nations commission to de-colonize his people. They are proud to have achieved their freedom without war and I am tickled that a Viet Nam veteran was in their ranks. This is a real ethnography, a life's work, by one of our crazy bright enlisted guys who got a superior education. Not to be missed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author is an anthropologist who has focused on the prehistory of that part of the Pacific known as Micronesia, which extends from Kiribati (the former Gilbert Islands) and the Marshall Islands in the east through Kosrae (Kusaie), Pohnpei (Ponape), Chuuk (Truk), Guam and the Mariana Islands, Yap, and Palau to the west, and how the area of Micronesia differs from Polynesia and Melanesia further south. What society flourished at one time in the past and built the magnificent stone ruins of Kosrae and Pohnpei? How did the many atolls of the area get the breadfruit trees that support their dense populations? In what way did the matrilineal clans and lineages of their societies contribute to the homogeneity of peoples who speak a dozen or more different languages. If you are interested in questions such as these, this is the book for you.
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Format: Hardcover
With no training in anthropology or background in Micronesia, I didn't think I'd last 10 pages when I delved into this scholarly work. But Petersen is that rare academic who can write complex and nuanced analyses in utterly clear, elegant, engaging prose. Two arguments he puts forward I found particularly rich: the efficacy of dispersed matrilineal clans in helping typhoon-tossed islanders survive; and his discovery of the "breadfruit revolution" that coincided with a burgeoning of Micronesian culture. While these developments are specific to Micronesia, Petersen's approach opens up a way of seeing how culture works that is rich and illuminating.
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