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Andrew Robson, Professor Emeritus, Department of English

Prelude to Empire: Consuls, Missionary Kingdoms and the Pre-Colonial South Seas Seen Through the Life of William Thomas Pritchard

by Andrew E. Robson

Prelude to Empire by Andrew Robson

Prelude to Empire is more than a biography. It tells the story of William Pritchard, who was born in Tahiti of missionary parents in 1829, who was given extraordinary power by Fijian chiefs, who changed Fijian history, and who was tried and dismissed by a British government in a gross miscarriage of justice. Drawing extensively on letters, memoranda and memoirs written by those involved, it also paints a picture of an extraordinary time when the people of Polynesia and the West were getting used to dealing with each other but when most of Polynesia remained self-governing. The region was in a fascinating state of flux in which political outcomes remained uncertain, populations declined quite dramatically, introduced technology radically affected the way wars were fought, and a new religion was gradually embraced. Chiefs and foreigners used each other to their own advantage, but relations were not scarred by the rigidities and attitudes of the later colonial period. William Pritchard's first wife was Samoan, and her identity is revealed in this book, as is the previously untold story of his relations with missionaries, chiefs, and officials in London, some of whom conspired to bring him down. Pritchard's adventurous life had more than its share of travails and sadness, but his life in Tahiti, Samoa and Fiji tells us much about an extraordinary period of Pacific history.
(from the book cover)

Distributed in the United States by Transaction Publishers (August, 2005) ISBN: 3825869997

Thinking Globally: Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum

by Andrew E. Robson

Book Description

This innovative reader takes a content-based and global approach to writing-across-the-curriculum. Recognizing that composition courses are the natural place in the college curriculum for the disciplines to meet, Thinking Globally offers students a variety of exciting opportunities to read and write about substantial and challenging essays from a wide range of disciplines. The text also features comprehensive treatment of writing and research concerns.


  1. Provides an outstanding collection of essays selected for their academic usefulness, their intrinsic interest, and their demonstration of good writing techniques.
  2. Features a global perspective to help students develop an informed sense of the world.
  3. Incorporates unique annotations with every reading which give lively and helpful comments for readers, without assuming prior content knowledge.
  4. Includes numerous maps, cartoons, etymologies, and other illustrations that present information in effective, graphic, and intellectually stimulating ways.
  5. Provides helpful coverage of the writing and research process and a truly flexible pedagogy which includes informal and formal writing assignments, from short, think on paper exercises to summaries and essays, to research papers.


Innovative in format and content, with academically valuable articles, this text includes visuals, cartoons, formal and informal writing exercises, and much more; it also offers students a global, multicultural, interdisciplinary look at the world. Most articles are annotated, offering instruction in points of language, etymology, organization, and style, as well as explanations, additional

information, and comments on the content. The instructor's manual includes useful overhead transparency masters, bibliographic references, and other practical materials.


Students like the way Thinking Globally covers topics that they will meet again in other subject areas, offering a great opportunity to pick up "prior knowledge" that helps them in other classes.

This new approach to composition integrates the teaching of reading, writing, and content. Students receive a lot of help with reading and writing, and they learn a lot about the world at the same time. Thinking Globally is really something new, and students like its immediate relevance to their work at college or university. Many of the articles were suggested by colleagues in different disciplines who would like their students to have read these pieces before they start their classes. The articles
provide students with significant general knowledge in history, physical and human geography, anthropology, human rights, international development, art, biodiversity, demography, environmental issues, and much more. Topics include the origins of the universe, human origins, plate tectonics, maps, cultural relativism, human rights, the daily life of a woman in a West African village, international economic, health, and educational data, art, environmental issues, humor, and much
more. It's perfect for a two-part composition sequence.

Paperback - 672 pages (January 23, 1997) McGraw-Hill Higher Education; ISBN: 0070533989

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