Read • Think • Stand
a dialogue on political turmoil in Paradise.

On May 19, 2000, the tiny island nation of Fiji in the South Pacific suffered a complete breakdown of their rather tenuous democratic system. Fuming from the loss of millions in commissions from the sale of the world's largest farm-able mahogany crop, George Speight, a mixed-race Fijian managed to stir up unrest by convincing others to join him in taking the Prime Minister and the entire Parliament hostage on the pretense of protecting "indigenous rights", though they were already strongly protected by their constitution. The violent takeover was accompanied by riots and looting in the streets, a complete collapse of their economy, and an 8-week breakdown of law and order that lead to the first shooting deaths in Fiji in many years. As I sat in my comfortable home back in Michigan exchanging emails with dear friends and "family" back in Fiji, I tried to offer them words of comfort while also trying to keep the channels of broader communication open. This book includes text by one of those dear friends and by me, as we tried to make sense of paradise lost.