As always, Sarah Vowell's enthusiasm for her subject succeeded in getting me excited about history- this time about the history of Hawaii. I listened to the book read by the author to get the full effect of Vowell's deadpan humor. I came away from the book intrigued by whale oil and sugar, and, for the first time in my life, excited about reading Moby Dick. Some Cherokee blood runs in Vowell's veins, and she makes a very personal connection to the fate of the native Hawaiians who lost their land and lives to the unfamiliar fishes that washed up on their shores. If anything, her genuine feeling for the loss of the Hawaiian way of life saps a little of her normal humor, takes just a little of the edge off her funny, sarcastic voice.