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Sovereign Sugar: Industry and Environment in Hawaiʻi

Carol MacLennan

Hardcover, 392 pp.

Although little remains of Hawaii's plantation economy, the sugar industry's past dominance has created the Hawaiʻi we see today. Many of the most pressing and controversial issues--urban and resort development, water rights, expansion of suburbs into agriculturally rich lands, pollution from herbicides, invasive species in native forests, an unsustainable economy--can be tied to Hawaiʻi's industrial sugar history.

Sovereign Sugar unravels the tangled relationship between the sugar industry and Hawaii's cultural and natural landscapes. It is the first work to fully examine the complex tapestry of socioeconomic, political, and environmental forces that shaped sugar's role in Hawaiʻi. While early Polynesian and European influences on island ecosystems started the process of biological change, plantation agriculture, with its voracious need for land and water, profoundly altered Hawaii's landscape.

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