Federal Government’s Search for Communists in the Territory of Hawaii

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This volume describes the situation in the Territory of Hawaii in its post WWII years. It is an accounting of the roles of the Department of Justice, Congress, and Hawaii’s Big Five sugar companies in claiming that Communists were seeking control of the Hawaiian islands, in response to the post-war growth of the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen Unions. Melendy is the first historian to use Department of Justice and FBI documents as well as to research papers of various Congressmen. These sources throw new light on the search for Communists in the Territory.


“Pulling these varied threads together into a rational whole is no easy task, but Melendy has done a good job of making sense out of the pieces. . . . the reader is taken through a series of events: political races, accusations and counter accusations of communism, labor strikes, the trial of the Hawaii Seven, to list a few, to show how complicated the issue of Hawaiian statehood became. By using Hawaii as a case study about the United States in the Cold War, and by using sources previously untouched, the FBI riles are only one example, Melendy has pieced together a book both local and national in importance. Melendy’s book shows how the fear of communism affected the United States during the Cold War; as a bonus, the reader is treated to a good presentation of how a territory becomes a state.” – Larry Knight

“. . . well researched and presents to the reader for the first time an insight to the machinations of both the federal executive branch and Congress. . . . I commend this history to those who are interested in the last years of the territory.” - Gerald E. Wheeler

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
1. The Federal Government and Communism in Hawaii
2. Early Fears of the Communist Menace
3. A Territorial Alert
4. Territorial Political Turmoil
5. The Butler Inquiry
6. The ILWU Flexes its Muscles
7. The House Un-American Activities Committee Storm
8. The Department of Justice Takes Charge
9. Uncertainty Haunts the Department of Justice
10. The Confusion Continues
11. The Hawaiian Seven Trial and Its Problems
12. Congress Continues Its Search for Communists
13. The Conservatives’ Last Efforts
14. Passions Cool
15. Conclusions
Appendix A; Bibliography; Index

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