Today’s selection is Pau Hana by Ronald Takaki. It’s available at Google Books and can be read in it’s entirety online right here at the Research Journal.
I consider this a must read for those working on their family history in Hawaii. The book covers the sugar plantation era. It gives insights into how the sugar industry became so big, how foreign laborers were induced to leaves their homelands for Hawaii, and what life was like on a plantation. You get a sense of the difficulties they faced, such as racism and back breaking work, and why they would give up everything back home for a chance in Hawaii.
There is a section on the Portuguese and mentions throughout the book. Though this book focuses more on the Asian experience, it applies to all those who immigrated as contract laborers.
If you want to find out what it might have been like for your ancestors who went to Hawaii to work on the sugar plantations, you should start with this book. I learned alot from this book. All I can say is life must have been pretty hard back on the Azores because working and living on a sugar plantation was no picnic.
If you would like a larger view of the book, you may also read it on the Google Books website.