New Books Network

In Balancing the Tides: Marine Practices in American Samoa (University of Hawai’i Press, 2020), JoAnna Poblete demonstrates how western-style economics, policy-making, and knowledge building...

In Balancing the Tides: Marine Practices in American Samoa (University of Hawai’i Press, 2020), JoAnna Poblete demonstrates how western-style economics, policy-making, and knowledge building imposed by the U.S. federal government have been infused into the daily lives of American Samoans. American colonial efforts to protect natural resources based on western approaches intersect with indigenous insistence on adhering to customary principles of respect, reciprocity, and native rights in complicated ways. Experiences and lessons learned from these case studies provide insight into other tensions between colonial governments and indigenous peoples engaging in environmental and marine-based policy-making across the Pacific and the globe. This study connects the U.S.-American Samoa colonial relationship to global overfishing, world consumption patterns, the for-profit fishing industry, international environmental movements and studies, as well as native experiences and indigenous rights.

The book is available open access here.

JoAnna Poblete is an Associate Professor of History at Claremont Graduate University.


Holger Droessler is an Assistant Professor of History at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His research focuses on the intersection of empire and labor in the Pacific.