While trade, population movements, and security considerations have traditionally been the three main components of U.S.-Caribbean relations, the chapters in this contributed book emphasize the importance of a fourth-culture. U.S.-Caribbean relations influence and are influenced by Caribbean perceptions of themselves and of the United States; perceptions that are being transformed by American telecommunications, the movements of American tourists to the Caribbean and of Caribbean immigrants to America. Out of these interactions, a new Caribbean cultural identity is emerging, one that will influence the traditional relationship between the U.S. and the Caribbean.
Navigating a rich mélange of cultures and histories, Blouet unearths a complex narrative that is frequently overlooked in histories of the Americas. In stark contrast to widely-read guidebooks, this chronicle unflinchingly probes two strikingly different worlds in the Caribbean islands—those of the haves and the have-nots—created by the volatile mixture of colonial politics, racial segregation, and economic upheaval. The strategic political relations between Caribbean nations, Cuba in particular, and the world powers during the Cold War; the economic transformations instigated by tourism; and the modernizing efforts of Caribbean nations in order to meet the demands of a globalizing twenty-first century market are among the numerous issues explored by Blouet in her efforts to redress the historical record’s imbalance. The Contemporary Caribbean also explores the proud histories of the region's many nations in sports such as cricket and baseball, as well as their famed cuisines, and the uneasy balance today between local traditions and the vestiges of colonial influence.
Topics include, history, economy, politics, social stratification, race relations, cultural highlights, religion, and notable figures. Readers will discover the broad range of languages, political systems, racial makeup, historical uniqueness, and cultural offerings that shape the Caribbean. A chronology, glossary, and photos enhance the text.