In Tautai: Sāmoa, World History, and the Life of Ta’isi O.F. Nelson (University of Hawai’i Press, 2017), O’Brien chronicles the life of a man described as the “archenemy” of New Zealand and the British Empire. He was Sāmoa’s richest man who used his wealth and unique international access to further the Sāmoan cause and was financially ruined in the process. In the aftermath of the First World War, Ta’isi embraced nonviolent resistance as a means to combat a colonial surge in the Pacific that gripped his country for nearly two decades. Ta’isi ran a global campaign of letter writing, petitions, and a newspaper to get his people’s plight heard. For his efforts he was imprisoned and exiled not once but twice from his homeland of Sāmoa. Today, Taʻisi is remembered as one of the founding fathers of independent Sāmoa.
Patricia O’Brien is an Associate Professor of History at Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.
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. wpi.edu/people/faculty/hdroessler @HolgerDroessler