Pre-World War II AJA History Helped Coffman Understand Contemporary Hawai‘i

Richard Borreca
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

Acclaimed Hawai‘i author and historian Tom Coffman realized what would become the signature theme for his writing in a surprisingly successful meeting more than thirty years ago in the koa-paneled office of Hawai‘i’s governor.

The meeting was odd because, as Coffman wrote in “Catch a Wave: A Case Study of Hawaii’s New Politics,” his first book on local politics, then-Gov. John A. Burns “wanted as little contact with the working press . . . as possible.” In the 1960s and early ’70s, Coffman was a government and politics reporter for The Honolulu Advertiser and, later, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

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