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This collection of thirteen original essays by experts in the field of Caribbean studies clarifies the diverse elements that have shaped the modern Caribbean. Through an interdisciplinary examination of the complexities of race, politics, language, and environment that mark the region, the authors offer readers a thorough understanding of the Caribbean's history and culture. The essays also comment thoughtfully on the problems that confront the Caribbean in today's world.

The essays focus on the Caribbean island and the mainland enclaves of Belize and the Guianas. Topics examined include the Haitian Revolution of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries; labor and society in the nineteenth-century Caribbean; society and culture in the British and French West Indies since 1870; identity, race, and black power in Jamaica; the "February Revolution" of 1970 in Trinidad; contemporary Puerto Rico; politics, economy, and society in twentieth-century Cuba; Spanish Caribbean politics and nationalism in the nineteenth century; Caribbean migrations; economic history of the British Caribbean; international relations; and nationalism, nation, and ideology in the evolution of Caribbean literature.

The authors trace the historical roots of current Caribbean difficulties and analyze these problems in the light of economic, political, and social developments. Additionally, they explore these conditions in relation to United States interests and project what may lie ahead for the region. The challenges currently facing the Caribbean, note the editors, impose a heavy burden upon political leaders who must struggle "to eliminate the tensions when the people are so poor and their expectations so great."

The contributors are Herman L. Bennett, Bridget Brereton, David Geggus, Franklin W. Knight, Anthony P. Maingot, Jay R. Mandle, Roberto Marquez, Teresita Martinez Vergne, Colin A. Palmer, Bonham C. Richardson, Franciso A. Scarano, and Blanca G. Silvestrini.

The Caribbean ranks among the earliest and most completely globalized regions in the world. From the first moment Europeans set foot on the islands to the present, products, people, and ideas have made their way back and forth between the region and other parts of the globe with unequal but inexorable force. An inventory of some of these unprecedented multidirectional exchanges, this volume provides a measure of, as well as a model for, new scholarship on globalization in the region.

Ten essays by leading scholars in the field of Caribbean studies identify and illuminate important social and cultural aspects of the region as it seeks to maintain its own identity against the unrelenting pressures of globalization. These essays examine cultural phenomena in their creolized forms--from sports and religion to music and drink--as well as the Caribbean manifestations of more universal trends--from racial inequality and feminist activism to indebtedness and economic uncertainty. Throughout, the volume points to the contending forces of homogeneity and differentiation that define globalization and highlights the growing agency of the Caribbean peoples in the modern world.


Contributors:
Antonio Benitez-Rojo (1931-2004)
Alex Dupuy, Wesleyan University
Juan Flores, City University of New York Graduate Center
Jorge L. Giovannetti, University of Puerto Rico
Aline Helg, University of Geneva
Franklin W. Knight, The Johns Hopkins University
Anthony P. Maingot, Florida International University
Teresita Martinez-Vergne, Macalester College
Helen McBain, Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean, Trinidad
Frances Negron-Muntaner, Columbia University
Valentina Peguero, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Raquel Romberg, Temple University

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