autai is the story of a man who came from the edge of a mighty empire and then challenged it at its very heart. This biography of Taâ€™isi O. F. Nelson chronicles the life of a man described as the â€œarchenemyâ€ of New Zealand and its greater whole, the British Empire. He was SÄmoaâ€™s richest man who used his wealth and unique international access to further the SÄmoan cause and was financially ruined in the process. In the aftermath of the hyper-violence of the First World War, Taâ€™isi embraced nonviolent resistance as a means to combat a colonial surge in the Pacific that gripped his country for nearly two decades. This surge was manned by heroes of New Zealandâ€™s war campaign, who attempted to hold the line against the groundswell of challenges to the imperial order in the former German colony of SÄmoa that became a League of Nations mandate in 1921. Stillborn SÄmoan hopes for greater freedoms under this system precipitated a crisis of empire. It led Taâ€™isi on global journeys in search of justice taking him to Geneva, the League of Nations headquarters, and into courtrooms in SÄmoa, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Taâ€™isi ran a global campaign of letter writing, petitions, and a newspaper to get his peopleâ€™s plight heard. For his efforts he was imprisoned and exiled not once but twice from his homeland of SÄmoa. Using private papers and interviews, Oâ€™Brien tells a deeply compelling account of Taâ€™isiâ€™s life lived through turbulent decades. By following Taâ€™isiâ€™s story readers also learn a history of SÄmoaâ€™s Mau movement that attracted international attention. The authorâ€™s care for detail provides a nuanced interpretation of its history and Taâ€™isiâ€™s role in the broader context of world history.
|Place of Publication||Honolulu|
|Publisher||University of Hawai'i Press|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|