Chicago Boyz

                 
 
 
What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading?
 

 
  •   Enter your email to be notified of new posts:
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Authors:

  • CB Twitter Feed
  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • History of Jamaica Book Suggestions

    Posted by Dan from Madison on June 27th, 2020 (All posts by )

    Ladies and Gents,
    I am looking for recommendations on books about the history of Jamaica, told from a neutral standpoint if at all possible. If you know of a great history of the Caribbean in general that includes Jamaica that is also fine. I recently read James Michener’s “Caribbean” and very much enjoyed it and it inspired me to learn a bit more about the history of the area. Thanks in advance.

     

    6 Responses to “History of Jamaica Book Suggestions”

    1. Gringo Says:

      I don’t know offhand of a book on the history of Jamaica. Here is a book by Trini Nobel Prize winner V.S. Naipaul.The Middle Passage: The Caribbean Revisited.

      The book covers a year-long trip through Trinidad, British Guiana, Suriname, Martinique, and Jamaica in 1961. As well as giving his own impressions, Naipaul refers to the work of earlier travellers such as Patrick Leigh Fermor, who described a similar itinerary in The Traveller’s Tree (1950). Naipaul addresses a range of topics including the legacy of slavery and colonialism, race relations, the roles of South Asian immigrants in the various countries, and differences in language, culture, and economics.

      I haven’t read it, but have read most of his books.

      Richard Dunn: A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia.

      Michael Bundock: The Fortunes of Francis Barber: The True Story of the Jamaican Slave Who Became Samuel
      Johnson’s Heir
      Zora Neale Hurston: Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica
      (Her Barracoon tells the story of one of the last Africans captured and sent to the US in slavery- sent to the US in 1860, in a rogue slaver ship. As Africans sold him into slavery, he didn’t view Africans as only victims in the enterprise.)

    2. Anonymous Says:

      Eric Williams was Trinidad’s first Prime Minister. He was also a highly respected historian of the Caribbean. Look for some of his books that the Wiki article mentions. Though it appears that there is some disagreement on his idea in Capitalism and Slavery that the Brits freed the slaves when slavery became less profitable.

      When Eric Williams died, most expected the opposition party to win, because Williams’s last years in office, I hear, were not very impressive. It turned out that having the party machinery that has won elections for 2 decades counts for something, as the surprise winner of the 1981 election was his party, the People’s National Movement. The PNM has continued as the party in power for most of the subsequent elections. Not quite like Democrats in Boston, but close.

      Penguin’s Betty Goaty is a Soca (soul-calypso) song that discusses the PNM’s victory after Williams’s death. Betty Goaty is a childhood taunt- like nya nya nya nya in the US.

    3. Gringo Says:

      The anonymous comment- mine.

    4. David Foster Says:

      For a fictional portrait, one of the Hornblower books has the protagonist in Jamaica, where he is captured by pirates.

    5. Mike K Says:

      Sabatini’s “Captain Blood” has a theme of slaves kin Jamaica but the problem is they are white slaves, sentenced for being in Monmouth’s Rebellion.

      The novel is based on history.

      Sabatini based the first part of the story of Blood on Henry Pitman, a surgeon who tended the wounded Monmouth rebels and was sentenced to death by Judge Jeffreys, but whose sentence was commuted to penal transportation to Barbados where he escaped and was captured by pirates.[1] Unlike the fictional Blood, Pitman did not join them, and eventually made his way back to England where he wrote a popular account of his adventures.[3] For Blood’s life as a buccaneer, Sabatini used several models, including Henry Morgan and the work of Alexandre Exquemelin, for historical details.

      Barbados has an interesting history, both of slavery and the consequences of ending it.

      Many of the Panama Canal workers were from Barbados.

      The French had employed many from Jamaica but when the Americans began, the Jamaica workers were unwilling.

    6. Gringo Says:

      Link corrected. Eric Williams.

    Leave a Reply

    Comments Policy:  By commenting here you acknowledge that you have read the Chicago Boyz blog Comments Policy, which is posted under the comment entry box below, and agree to its terms.

    A real-time preview of your comment will appear under the comment entry box below.

    Comments Policy

    Chicago Boyz values reader contributions and invites you to comment as long as you accept a few stipulations:

    1) Chicago Boyz authors tend to share a broad outlook on issues but there is no party or company line. Each of us decides what to write and how to respond to comments on his own posts. Occasionally one or another of us will delete a comment as off-topic, excessively rude or otherwise unproductive. You may think that we deleted your comment unjustly, and you may be right, but it is usually best if you can accept it and move on.

    2) If you post a comment and it doesn't show up it was probably blocked by our spam filter. We batch-delete spam comments, typically in the morning. If you email us promptly at we may be able to retrieve and publish your comment.

    3) You may use common HTML tags (italic, bold, etc.). Please use the "href" tag to post long URLs. The spam filter tends to block comments that contain multiple URLs. If you want to post multiple URLs you should either spread them across multiple comments or email us so that we can make sure that your comment gets posted.

    4) This blog is private property. The First Amendment does not apply. We have no obligation to publish your comments, follow your instructions or indulge your arguments. If you are unwilling to operate within these loose constraints you should probably start your own blog and leave us alone.

    5) Comments made on the Chicago Boyz blog are solely the responsibility of the commenter. No comment on any post on Chicago Boyz is to be taken as a statement from or by any contributor to Chicago Boyz, the Chicago Boyz blog, its administrators or owners. Chicago Boyz and its contributors, administrators and owners, by permitting comments, do not thereby endorse any claim or opinion or statement made by any commenter, nor do they represent that any claim or statement made in any comment is true. Further, Chicago Boyz and its contributors, administrators and owners expressly reject and disclaim any association with any comment which suggests any threat of bodily harm to any person, including without limitation any elected official.

    6) Commenters may not post content that infringes intellectual property rights. Comments that violate this rule are subject to deletion or editing to remove the infringing content. Commenters who repeatedly violate this rule may be banned from further commenting on Chicago Boyz. See our DMCA policy for more information.