Vanuatu. Marshall Islands. Fiji. The names evoke white-sand beaches, swaying palms and lazy holidays. But in reality these idyllic places are tropical maelstroms of global realpolitik, caught between the world’s superpowers, former colonial masters, and the struggle for independence and cultural survival. Even more importantly, these nations are at the frontline of climate change, as rising sea levels, salinity, cyclones and pollution put their very existence at stake.
Based on his extensive travels in the Pacific, Tom Bamforth shows us the people of the islands, their cultures and their lives. From uprisings in New Caledonia to tsunamis in Tonga, this is a book about interaction, race, colonisation, climate change, nuclear testing, resistance, cultural preservation, urban life, the tastiness of well-roasted pig and the pleasures of canoeing at dusk.
With humour and insight, Tom Bamforth presents both an insider’s and an outsider’s view of contemporary life in the Pacific. Rendered in vivid detail and colour, The Rising Tide masterfully weaves together the stories of Pacific peoples and politics at the forefront of global change.