The book takes a humorous tone and examines the fulfillment of American imperialist manifest destiny
at the end of the 19th Century as the United States annexed Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Guam and invaded Cuba and the Philippines in 1898 in an attempt to become a global power. Vowell then tells
the story of the culture clash that ensued following Christian missionaries who then moved in
swiftly to try to convert the laid back native Hawaiians to the American way. The title comes from
a reference of David Malo.
About the Author
is an American author, journalist, essayist and social commentator. Often referred to as a
"social observer," Vowell has written six non-fiction books on American history and culture.
She was a contributing editor for the radio program This American Life on Public Radio
International from 1996 to 2008, where she produced numerous commentaries and documentaries
and toured the country in many of the program's live shows. She was also the voice of Violet
in the animated film The Incredibles