A Brief History of the Caribbean: From the Arawak and the Carib to the Present
The first complete history of the Caribbean islands, Rogozinski's comprehensive volume takes the reader and student through more than five hundred years of Caribbean history, beginning with Columbus's arrival in the Bahamas in 1492. A Brief History of the Caribbean traces the people and events that have marked this constantly shifting region, encompassing everything from economic booms and busts to epidemics, wars, and revolutions, and bringing to life such important figures as Sir Francis Drake, Blackbeard, Toussaint Louverture, Fidel Castro, the Duvaliers, and Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
This superbly written history, revised and updated, with new chapters that reflect the islands' most recent social, economic, and political developments, is a work of impeccable scholarship. Featuring maps, charts, tables, and photographs, it remains the ideal guide to the region and its people.
Spain, Holland, England, France, and Denmark possessed Caribbean colonies as recently as a century ago, and the United States emerged as the dominant power in this century. The result is a polyglot region, culturally rich but politically fragmented and economically dependent, with a long colonial history and a far shorter experience as independent nations. It is this unique history that forms the subject of Jan Rogozinski's new book, which synthesizes recent research and writing into a readable and concise account of the Caribbean's course since Columbus's first landfall in 1492....
Rogozinski's brief account of this complex history is a model of clarity and condensation. He provides an up-to-date synthesis of scholarship, organized in a logical fashion and summarized in readable prose. Most of his book focuses on the economic and political history of the region, with particularly strong chapters on the struggle for personal and political freedom, but his section on slavery shows his mastery of the literature on social history as well. Moreover, Rogozinski not only offers a comprehensive overview of the major islands in each historical era, but he also summarizes the experiences of the smaller islands.
In short, this is a book for people who love the Caribbean and for those who want to learn about it. It is a treasure trove of information on everything from the buccaneers of Jamaica to the financiers of Grand Cayman. It can be read on a beach or consulted on a reference shelf.
Peter Winn, Tufts University
This work is a veritable sourcebook of information about the Caribbean, ranging from the climate to vegetation to colonial history to politics. The book, in five parts, covers Spanish rule, the northern European influence, the sugar empire, independence, and post-World War I development. Textual clarity and access to straightforward tables will prove useful to the reader looking for a ready reference source. The author delivers on his claim to provide analysis as well as description, and the reader will find many interesting interpretations.
Roderic Camp, Tulane University