The islands of the Pacific have a rich and varied history that begins with the rise of indigenous people, as early as 2000 BC, and the arrival of Austronesian settlers from southeast Asia. European explorers, most from Spain, began arriving in the 1500s and the local populations were soon brought under Spanish colonial rule. Germany gained possession of most of the Spanish colonies in the Pacific through a treaty of 1899. At the same time, Guam came under American control as a result of the Spanish-American War. Most of the Pacific islands were captured by Japan during World War II. However, by the end of the War, the Marshall Islands, the Caroline Islands (Micronesia), Palau, the Mariana Islands, and Guam had been liberated from Japanese control by the United States and other Allied countries. Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands eventually chose to remain territories of the United States, while Palau, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands chose to become independent nations. American Samoa remained the only American territory south of the Equator and, by 1959, Hawaii had become the 50th state.
From 1997 to 2001, Arnold was assigned to provide supervisory oversight of the operations of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s audit office on Guam. During that 5-year period, the Guam staff completed a total of 30 audits on local government operations in Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau. They also completed two audits of U.S. Department of the Interior operations in Hawaii.
In this second in a series of photobooks, Arnold presents visual tours of the Pacific islands associated with the United States. The tours comprise a total of more than 340 full color photographs, 13 maps, and short histories of each island group. Most of the photos (Chapters 1 to 4) were taken by Arnold during his on-site visits to meet with the Guam audit staff and with officials of the various island governments. Chapter 5 presents photos that Arnold’s brother Steven (who is also an auditor) took during more recent business trips to Oahu, Hawaii to attend conferences organized by the U.S. Department of the Interior for members of the Association of Pacific Island Public Auditors (APIPA), of which Steven is a member. Chapter 6 includes a few public domain photos of Palau and American Samoa, two Pacific island groups that are on Arnold’s “to visit” wish list.
This photobook highlights the beauty of the Pacific islands in hundreds of full color photos and also presents summaries of the sometimes violent histories of the islands. The photobook would be a great souvenir for anyone who wants a keepsake of a treasured visit to the Pacific islands or a “wish list” for a future visit.