Jean-Marie Tjibaou is arguably the most important post–World War II Oceanic leader. His intellectual abilities, acute understanding of both Melanesian and European civilizations, stature as a statesman, commitment to nonviolence, and vision for Melanesia’s potential contributions to the global community have all contributed to the creation of a remarkable and enduring legacy. Until now, no substantial English-language study has existed of Tjibaou, who was assassinated in 1989. This biography, by Eric Waddell, takes an essentially chronological approach to the Kanak (New Caledonia) leader—from his beginnings in the mountains of northern New Caledonia and his studies at the Sorbonne to his leadership of the independence movement in the Territory. The work focuses on the spiritual, cultural, and intellectual sources of Tjibaou’s ideas and actions as well as on those who were a source of inspiration to him.
Pacific Islands Monograph Series, No. 23
Published in association with the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i
September 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3314-5 / $25.00 (PAPER)