While the sea, sun and sand representation is a true one -some of the most beautiful places on earth are found in the Caribbean - the pan-Caribbean is much more intricate and fascinating than that. Where else in the world do French, Spanish, Dutch and English-speaking worlds co-exist alongside indigenous peoples and cultures? Where else have cultures of carnival, music and dance become so integrated into national and regional identities? The Caribbean is a crucible of diversity and semblance and a space that is both contradictory and harmonious.
Introduction to the Pan-Caribbean has been written by people who are either from the region or have spent much of their working lives there. It is an excellent introduction and is your map through one of the most extraordinary and remarkable parts of the world.
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.
Written by Jamaicans the island receives needed attention in this work. The history of Jamaica is well covered, from pre-Colombian times through slavery, to the impact of social activist Marcus Garvey, and the relatively new state of independence. Rastfarianism to Revivalism are covered as Jamaica's multitude of religious denominations is outlined. Various topics such as geography, demography, climate, cuisine, and the visual and performing arts are detailed. Accompanied by a chronology, this magical country comes to life in this wide-ranging volume. Anyone with an interest in Jamaica and its culture and customs will be indebted to the authors for their timely presentation. Students and general readers will find this volume indispensable.