Ambitious in its scope and scale, this environmental history of World War II ranges over rear bases and operational fronts from Bora Bora to New Guinea, providing a lucid analysis of resource exploitation, entangled wartime politics, and human perceptions of the vast Oceanic environment. Although the war's physical impact proved significant and oftentimes enduring, this study shows that the tropical environment offered its own challenges. At the heart of ""Natives and Exotics"" is the author's analysis of the changing visions and perceptions of the environment, not only among the millions of combatants, but also among the Islands' peoples and their colonial administrations in wartime and beyond. Judith Bennett reveals how prewar notions of a paradisiacal Pacific set up millions of Americans, Australians, New Zealanders, and Japanese for grave disappointment when they encountered the reality. She shows that objects usually considered distinct from environmental concerns (souvenirs, cemeteries, war memorials) warrant further examination as the emotional quintessence of events in a particular place.