King George Tupou V

King George Tupou V of the South Pacific nation of Tonga has died at the age of 63. Tonga is the last Polynesian monarchy, although the king was instrumental in bringing about democratic reform. He had been king since 2006. The following are featured books from some of our collection on Tonga and its history, focussing on the Tongan monarchy and the democratic changes that occured during the reign of King George Tupou V.

Syndetics book coverTonga’s way to democracy / Ian C. Campbell.
“In 2010 after more than a century of oligarchial government Tonga made the bold step to full parliamentary democracy, catching up with the rest of ther island Pacific. This book tells the story of that reform, of the long protest movement that preceded i and how the royal family abruptly espoused democracy.” – (Adapted from back cover)

Syndetics book coverIsland kingdom : Tonga ancient and modern / I.C. Campbell.
“Uniquely among the nations of the Pacific Islands, Tonga was never subject to direct European rule at any point in its history. Since the original settlement of the islands, Tongans have been masters of their archipelago, developing a distinctive and elegant culture. Amid rapid modernisation the ancient kingdom has survived.” – (Adapted from back cover)

Syndetics book coverQueen Salote of Tonga : the story of an era, 1900-1965 / Elizabeth Wood-Ellem.
“A biography of the queen. Her life is seen in the context of political, social and economic developments in Tonga. There is a detailed study of kinship and principles of hierarchy. 125 photographs are included. A glossary of Tongan words and phrases and an alphabetical list of people are provided. The work is based on the author’s doctoral thesis.” – (Syndetics summary)

The new friendly islanders : the Tonga of King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV / Kenneth Bain ; foreword by His Majesty King Taufa-Ahau Tupou IV!.
“A rounded and vivid picture emerges of an ancient South Seas island society of great character and special quality – yet under pressure for change, beset by factional debate and, some also fear, on the brink of popular unrest. So, while the people look critically at themselves and their institutions, Kenneth Bain asks what the future holds for Tongans as they approach the millennium.” – (Adapted from back cover)