6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Written more in sorrow than in anger,, 11 May 2001
the late great Alan Moorehead evocatively recounts the almost inevitable tragic consequences for the native people and cultures of the South Pacific when Western man "discovered" them, even when the discover, Cook, was no conquistador and had come with high hopes of peaceful and productive co-existence. It was, however, Thucydides' Athenians vs Melians all over again. Moorehead tells the melancholy tale with a deft touch and without heavy breathing. A highly recommended overview for those interested in the history of western civilization's impact on the south Pacific: as one writer put it, a history of paradise found--and lost.