Tip of the Spear: Land, Labor, and US Settler Militarism in Guåhan, 1944-1962
Published by: Cornell University Press
Imprint: Cornell University Press
Sales Date: 2023-09-15
Published: September 2023
228 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.94 in, 17 b&w halftones
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In Tip of the Spear, Alfred Peredo Flores argues that the US occupation of the island of Guåhan (Guam), one of the most heavily militarized islands in the western Pacific Ocean, was enabled by a process of settler militarism. During World War II and the Cold War, Guåhan was a launching site for both covert and open US military operations in the region, a strategically significant role that turned Guåhan into a crucible of US overseas empire. In 1962, the US Navy lost the authority to regulate all travel to and from the island, and a tourist economy eventually emerged that changed the relationship between the Indigenous CHamoru population and the US military, further complicating the process of settler colonialism on the island.
The US military occupation of Guåhan was based on a co-constitutive process that included CHamoru land dispossession, discursive justifications for the remaking of the island, the racialization of civilian military labor, and the military's policing of interracial intimacies. Within a narrative that emphasizes CHamoru resilience, resistance, and survival, Flores uses a working class labor analysis to examine how the militarization of Guåhan was enacted by a minority settler population to contribute to the US government's hegemonic presence in Oceania.