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The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the…
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The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai (urspr publ 2005; utgåvan 2006)

av John Tayman (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
5352533,273 (3.82)37
Reveals the untold history of the infamous American leprosy colony on Molokai and of the extraordinary people who struggled to survive under the most horrific circumstances. Tracked by bounty hunters and torn screaming from their families, the luckless were loaded into shipboard cattle stalls and abandoned in a lawless place where brutality held sway. Many did not have leprosy, and most of those who did were not contagious, yet all were caught in a shared nightmare. The colony had little food, little medicine, and very little hope. Exile continued for more than a century, the longest and deadliest instance of medical segregation in American history. Nearly 9,000 people were banished to the colony, trapped by pounding surf and armed guards and the highest sea cliffs in the world. 28 live there still.--From publisher description.… (mer)
Medlem:JamesRDavus
Titel:The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai
Författare:John Tayman (Författare)
Info:Scribner (2006), 432 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai av John Tayman (2005)

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engelska (24)  koreanska (1)  Alla språk (25)
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I had such high hopes for this, as a non-fiction supplement to the excellent historical-fiction book [b:Moloka'i|3273|Moloka'i|Alan Brennert|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1401829578s/3273.jpg|3303291] I just read.

Early on the book had promise. John Tayman gives you a lot of details on the establishment and very early years of the colony, which the novel was only able to touch on briefly. I thought I was prepared for the horrors of this place having read the fiction version. I was so wrong. Details of human experimentation (the patients knowledge and/or consent of course not a consideration), and the horrific treatment of those who were dying were just appalling.

Throughout the book there are lots of personal stories - of the colonists, their various caretakers, doctors and overseers. But this is kind of where it ended up bogging down for me. While I like the individual stories, as a whole the book seems to me to be a case of having lots of descriptions of individual trees, but nothing about the forest they're in. I like a closer examination of the social and political culture in my non-fiction.

This book doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. It's not really just a biography of a place - there's too much that takes place elsewhere - like the Leprosy Hospital in Carrville, Louisiana. And though it does cover the high points, it's not enough to be quite a biography about the Leprosy disease.

In the end, there didn't seem to be any common thread throughout the book that helped pull the story forward and tie all the ends together. Instead it was a boring chronology of the events pertaining to the colony, leprosy treatment and Hawaii. If that's something you like in your non-fiction, then I think you will like this. As for me, it puts me to sleep! ( )
  catzkc | Mar 23, 2018 |
This was a very interesting and enlightening book about those afflicted with leprosy in Hawaii who were exiled to the island of Molokai. It tells the story of the people and the doctors and the politics during the years of the existence of the colony. Development of the treatments of leprosy is also described. Very engaging book which is hard to put down once it is started.
  TKnapp | Jan 3, 2018 |
I listened to the recorded version of Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai by John Tayman. This was a work of non-fiction about the leprosarium on an isolated point of land on the island of Molokai. Hawaii had a high percentage of people afflicted with leprosy and had very strict laws about isolating victims of this disease in hopes of stopping it from spreading. It wasn't until the 1900's when it was discovered the disease was caused by a bacteria, the 1940's before an antibiotic was found that stopped the disease, and not until the 1980's that it was found to have a genetic origin. Until the 1950's all victim's of leprosy in Hawaii were sent to the facility in Molokai to be isolated from contact with healthy people. This book is the story of that facility. It is also the story of some remarkable people who did the best they could in circumstances that were the least favorable for survival possible by people afflicted with this terrible disease.

As a work of history this title was enlightening. As a work of non-fiction it is average in quality. It doesn't glorify or vilify people. It just tells it like it was. I listened to this title, and found the recorded version annoying. The recorded version was made in the early 2000's and the reader tries to do different accents for some of the different characters and it just doesn't work. The reader is not very good at it, so the accents become more of a distraction than an addition. Serviceable is what I would call the recorded version of this title. ( )
  benitastrnad | Jun 6, 2017 |
Leprosy isn't something we think about anymore unless we're reading the Bible, and although the word in scripture is used rather broadly, a stigma has attached to those suffering from Hansen's Disease. John Tayman explains that the skin disease usually affects the colder parts of the body – particularly the hands, feet, ears, and nose – destroying the underlying tissue. Those afflicted suffer a loss of feeling and sometimes a curling in of the fingers or collapse of the nose often resulting in horrific disfigurement. Because the tissue of the eyes is cooler it can destroy eyesight, so it's understandable why people were so fearful of the disease. But not knowing what caused it (bacteria) or how it was spread (it is contagious only for those who are genetically susceptible) led to policies of exile, and Kalaupapa on Molokai is one of the most famous colonies.

A rocky and windswept peninsula on the north coast of Molokai was chosen because escape was difficult. The seas were rough and cliffs thousands of feet tall separated it from the rest of the island. The land was purchased cheap and the earliest exiles were often dropped in the surf and told to swim for shore. A lawlessness pervaded the settlement and given the appearance of some of the exiles, it seemed a hellish place to those sent there and any who saw it. Tayman describes the history of the colony from the early days until the early 2000s. He tells the stories of many who were sent there over the years as well as the efforts of some to alleviate the suffering such as Father Damien, the Catholic priest who eventually shared his flock's fate, and Joseph Dutton, a Civil War soldier who just wanted to do good. A cure for leprosy was found in the late 1940s which can halt or prevent the disease, but cannot reverse the damage already caused, and Tayman sounds a much more hopeful note in his account toward the end.

"The more we suffer, the more strength we have. The more suffering, the closer we are to one another. Life is that way. If you haven't suffered, then you don't know what joy is. The others may know something about joy, but those who have gone through hell and high water, I think they feel the joy deeper."

As much as I enjoy all kinds of histories, I find that those of disease and sickness are often the more human side of history. Toward the end of the book Tayman focuses on four individuals who were exiled in their youth, and he shows them not as 'lepers' but as real people whose ordinary hopes and dreams were interrupted by their disease. I particularly liked the story of Makia who was exiled as a boy and yet earned a college degree after he was cured, in spite of being blind from the disease and not being able to read braille because he didn't have feeling in his fingers. It's a fascinating history told with a very human viewpoint.
( )
  J.Green | Jan 10, 2017 |
The fascinating and horrifying true story of the "leper colony" at Kalawao (and later, Kalaupapa) Moloka'i. Obviously well researched. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 2, 2016 |
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Reveals the untold history of the infamous American leprosy colony on Molokai and of the extraordinary people who struggled to survive under the most horrific circumstances. Tracked by bounty hunters and torn screaming from their families, the luckless were loaded into shipboard cattle stalls and abandoned in a lawless place where brutality held sway. Many did not have leprosy, and most of those who did were not contagious, yet all were caught in a shared nightmare. The colony had little food, little medicine, and very little hope. Exile continued for more than a century, the longest and deadliest instance of medical segregation in American history. Nearly 9,000 people were banished to the colony, trapped by pounding surf and armed guards and the highest sea cliffs in the world. 28 live there still.--From publisher description.

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