Photo: Clarence Maki
Hot curl boards, Makaha
Froiseth and Downing. Photo: Maki
In the years between the world wars, Hawaii discovered that its most valuable export was itself. During the Depression, Honolulu’s union-busting Big Five business cartel—in charge of sugar, shipping, banking, the utilities, politicians, and nearly everything in-between—closed rank and did a good job at protecting their island fiefdom from the era’s worst economic miseries, while movies, newsreels,...