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The Last Queen Of Hawaii

George Clooney plays descendent of Hawaiian royals in Hollywood. We’ll look at the real last queen of Hawaii.

Native Hawaiians march in front of Iolani Palace in Honolulu, Hawaii on September 2, 2002. The march was a celebration of Queen Liliuokalani's birthday.(AP)

Native Hawaiians march in front of Iolani Palace in Honolulu, Hawaii on September 2, 2002. The march was a celebration of Queen Liliuokalani's birthday.(AP)

Hawaii is big again in Hollywood.  In his new film “The Descendants,” a harried George Clooney plays a descendant of Hawaiian royalty embroiled in very contemporary family troubles and a big decision over selling a chunk of Kauai.  It’s a good movie.

But the real story of how Hawaii went from ancient Polynesian monarchy to American territory and state is much wilder, deeper, more arresting.  A story of royalty, rogues, sugar barons, missionaries – and guns.  A new book tells that story.

This hour, On Point: history through the eyes of the last queen of Hawaii, Lili’uokalani.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Julia Flynn Siler, author of the new book Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings and America’s First Imperial Adventure. You can read an excerpt here.

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal “One of the most poignant moments in the new George Clooney movie, “The Descendants,” is when Clooney, who plays the attorney Matt King, gazes down at a pristine sweep of coastland on Kauai. The land has been owned by the King family for generations.”

Playlist

“Kalena Kai” by Keola Beamer & George Winston
“Auwe” by Ray Kane
“Ka Mele Oku’u Puuwai” by Sol Hoopii’s Novelty Trio
Paka Ua” by Ozzie Kotani & Daniel Ho
“Hi’ilawe” by Sonny Chillingworth
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

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