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Breaking ThroughEssays, Journals, and Travelogues of Edward F. Ricketts$
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Edward Ricketts

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520247048

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520247048.001.0001

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“Outline and Conspectus” for a Book on the Mandated Islands

“Outline and Conspectus” for a Book on the Mandated Islands

(p.215) Chapter 8 “Outline and Conspectus” for a Book on the Mandated Islands
Breaking Through

Katharine A. Rodger

University of California Press

Edward F. Ricketts's interest in the Japanese Mandated Islands—in particular the Palau Islands east of the Philippines—began in the early 1940s and continued through World War II. Though he initially hoped to assist the United States Navy by gathering data about the region from published studies by Japanese scientists, Ricketts's correspondence and encounter with military officials—portrayed by John Steinbeck in “About Ed Ricketts”—were less than fruitful. Ricketts turned his attention instead to assembling a popular book that would help American citizens understand the history and culture of the region's inhabitants. In the five-page typescript he drafted in 1944, “Outline and Conspectus,” one of the most thorough of his proposals, he presents a comprehensive overview of the book's projected content and structure. Ricketts's studies of the Mandated Islands marked a temporary shift into an unfamiliar geography and seldom-worked social and political territory, and the aside enriched and deepened his unified field hypothesis for precisely that reason.

Keywords:   Edward F. Ricketts, John Steinbeck, Mandated Islands, Palau Islands, Outline and Conspectus, unified field hypothesis

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