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Pineapple Culture

A History of the Tropical and Temperate Zones

Gary Y Okihiro (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 272 pages
ISBN: 9780520265905
June 2009
$26.95, £21.95
Plucked from tropical America, the pineapple was brought to European tables and hothouses before it was conveyed back to the tropics, where it came to dominate U.S. and world markets. Pineapple Culture is a dazzling history of the world's tropical and temperate zones told through the pineapple's illustrative career. Following Gary Y. Okihiro's enthusiastically received Island World: A History of Hawai`i and the United States, Pineapple Culture continues to upend conventional ideas about history, space, and time with its provocative vision. At the center of the story is the thoroughly modern tale of Dole's "Hawaiian" pineapple, which, from its island periphery, infiltrated the white, middle-class homes of the continental United States. The transit of the pineapple brilliantly illuminates the history and geography of empires—their creations and accumulations; the circuits of knowledge, capital, labor, goods, and the cultures that characterize them; and their assumed power to name, classify, and rule over alien lands, peoples, and resources.

1. Mapping Desires
2. Empire's Tropics
3. Tropical Fruit
4. Pineapple Diaspora
5. Hawaiian Mission
6. Tropical Plantation
7. Hawaiian Pine
8. Pineapple Modern

Gary Y. Okihiro is Professor of International and Public Affairs and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University. Among his books are Island World: A History of Hawai'i and the United States (UC Press) and Common Ground: Reimagining American History.
“Seamlessly fusing geography with anthropology, horticulture with international politics, Okihiro draws a comprehensive portrait of how a singular fruit can unite a world.”—Booklist
“Take a lesson from this wondrous tropical fruit and read on.”—Natural History
“Superbly researched and girded by a strong theoretical framework.”—Choice
“It is certainly a good read.”—Agricultural History
“Okihiro’s global approach is fascinating.”—Chana Kraus-Friedberg Canadian Journal Of History
“Okihiro’s narrative is filled with juicy tidbits of pineapple lore.”—Natural History
"Pineapple Culture is an imaginative reframing of world history with Hawaii and its best known tropical product at its center. By turns philosophical and historical, it interrogates the tropes and tropical hermeneutics, as well as the structures and practices of empire."—Edmund Burke III, coeditor of Genealogies of Orientalism: History, Theory, Politics

"By excavating the career of the pineapple as tropical desire and trophy of empire, Okihiro masterfully situates Hawaii within discussions of imperial commerce, multiracial plantation economies, domestic science and gendered modernist culture. A stunning model of inclusive global history!"—George J. Sanchez, author of Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945

"In his innovative history of the pineapple, Gary Okihiro challenges historians to rethink their allegiance to a linear narrative. Blending labor history, cultural studies, food history, and the transnational turn, he has produced a stunning interrogation of the pineapple as desirable commodity and cultural symbol and in the process situates Hawaii within a world driven by commerce."—Vicki L. Ruiz, author of Cannery Women, Cannery Lives and From Out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in 20th Century America

"Not just another commodity history, not just another overblown claim that some commodity or other changed the world. Weaving together different epochs and distant places, this is the tale—far-flung, exciting, touching, and at times saddening—of what went into placing tropical pineapple on the tables of the temperate world. Eye-opening."—Rachel Laudan, author of The Food of Paradise: Exploring Hawaii's Culinary Heritage
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Interview with the author, Gary Y. Okihiro

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