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[ Read Online ] From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean 1492-1969Author Eric Williams – Wildlives.co

From Columbus To Castro The History Of The Caribbean Is About Million People Scattered Across An Arc Of Islands Jamaica, Haiti, Barbados, Antigua, Martinique, Trinidad, Among Others Separated By The Languages And Cultures Of Their Colonizers, But Joined Together, Nevertheless, By A Common Heritage For Whether French, English, Dutch, Spanish, Danish, Or Latterly American, The Nationality Of Their Masters Has Made Only A Notional Difference To The Peoples Of The Caribbean The History Of The Caribbean Is Dominated By The History Of Sugar, Which Is Inseparable From The History Of Slavery Which Was Inseparable, Until Recently, From The Systematic Degradation Of Labor In The Region Here, For The First Time, Is A Definitive Work About A Profoundly Important But Neglected And Misrepresented Area Of The World


10 thoughts on “From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean 1492-1969

  1. says:

    I went to Puerto Rico for New Years in 2007 to visit a friend from college I went expecting to see something familiar, something like the United States, or like Florida, or even like the neighborhood in the Bronx I lived one summer But it was clearly very different from all of those, very much its own culture distinct from what I knew in the U.S and with a history obviously its own When I got back to California I decided to find a book on the history of the Caribbean, and lucky for me this was the first book I stumbled on in a used book store If I were a prepared traveler, of course, I would have read this before my trip to prepare my mind for the experience.Eric Williams was the first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago as well as a serious historian and academic Capitalism was the driving force behind slavery and Williams doesn t shy away from its brutality In addition to the enslavement of generations of people, you can add genocide of almost every indigenous Caribbean islander to the list as well.The scope of this book is pretty huge 500 years of history in the Caribbean as well as all the colonial powers vying for power there But it serves as a great survey, along with some powerful analysis that turned me on to a number of other books on the topic.


  2. says:

    Why do so many Puerto Ricans still speak Spanish Why is the Caribbean economy still developing Why was there so much interest and warfare regarding these small islands Was sugar really important than gold I don t tend to write a lot of reviews often than not, I generally feel that the indicator is enough to determine if a book is worth reading But in this case, I need to make an exception I picked this book up as a casual reader of Caribbean history and culture I don t think I was fully prepared for what Mr Williams had in store.This is one of the best books I have ever read In terms of its breadth and depth of information, its style, its content, and its approach, this book offers a comprehensive view of the Caribbean and is invaluable for anyone in anyway related to the Caribbean education, business, politics, sociology, or even if you just have a Cuban or Puerto Rican or Haitian friend The only caveat is its density There are moments when the detail can seem to overshadow the trajectory of the book However, when taken into account, it deepens the impact The basic chronological flow allows the reader to follow even when discussing multiple countries or economic factors, across several seas and oceans The chapter breakdown makes it an easy supplement for any student of history and facilitates progress for the casual reader This is not an easy book, not something for the beach But, for those times you want to immerse yourself in a story that simultaneously parallels and intersects with the American story, pick it up and then sit down So glad I read this.


  3. says:

    The history of the sugar industry and slave trade really framed most of the history of the Caribbean In that sense, this book was really right on the money It includes everything you ever wanted to know about the two industries and how they influenced the development of the region However, this book was a little hard to swallow It was very heavy on the historical facts and figures, and not so great with the historical narrative In other words, it was very detailed in telling the reader exactly how many sugar plantations were in Haiti in 1853 and how much sugar each plantation produced, but it took some digging to really extract the story behind what the facts and figured really meant.What I enjoyed most about this book was the chapter on Castroism Here in 2009, it is difficult to understand Castro s appeal and why the Cuban people have tolerated him and his policies for so long It also is not entirely clear why Cuba is so staunchly anti American This book presents the case from the Cuban perspective Everything from the US annexation after the Spanish American war, to the takeover of the Cuban sugar industry by US businesses, to the poor social and living conditions that existed under the US supported Batista regime In plain terms, Castro s revolution made sense and was justified once upon a time The problem is that he made too many mistakes in his first few years of leading the country, and he refused to acknowledge or rectify any of them The author did not have the benefit of hindsight that we have today, and he could not have predicted the extent to which Cuba became reliant on the USSR to survive The background that Williams provides gives us sufficient context to understand where Cuba went wrong, and perhaps how to help them get back on track.This book was published in 1970 I would like to see an updated copy to better understand the developments in the past 40 years Many of the predictions he made in the final chapter came true, and many did not Williams had a very unique perspective on the issues of colonialism, the sugar industry, and slave trade, and I would like to get his thoughts on where the region stands today Are they better off than they were 40 years ago Looking at what is currently happening in Haiti and Guadeloupe, it may not seem so Regardless, this book was worth the read for anyone who is really interested in the history of the Western Hemisphere.


  4. says:

    The ex PM of Trinidad and Tobago from independence in 1962 till his death in 1981 wrote what I believe is still an excellent history of the development of the Caribbean states literally as the book s title suggests While Williams is seeing most of the development of these now nations through a Marxist lens, I found his perspective both meaningful and helpful even today almost 50 years after the book finishes Williams throws in the effect of the differing European nations involved in the Caribbean notably the English, French, Spanish, Dutch and later the Americans , with frequent quotes from original sources to back up his points Sugar and the use by often absentee planters of slavery or indentured servants is shown to cast a very long shadow on the region s employment problems So too, despite Williams plea for a integrated political and economic union to provide depth to these small individual markets, is the legacy of individual histories and relationships with former colonial masters and the inherent conflicts between those nations interests and those of the people who have become today s Caribbean citizenry And despite Williams sympathies for Castro, he seems very objective in recounting the lack of economic sense Castro s revolution made and shows that Czech and Russian development experts are every bit as bad as the West s development experts in picking up tools from their countries and trying to force them to fit in the very different contexts which form the Caribbean All in all, while I could have done without the many charts showing the advent of sugar by tonnage in the 18th century and while Williams can veer into some tangents which could distract the reader from the overall purpose of the book NOTE it has taken me nearly 2 years to complete , I recommend heartily this book to those who are interested in the region, and in the histories of the US, UK and Spain A remarkable job wishing there was a book that synthesized the past 50 years as well


  5. says:

    From Columbus to Castro The History of the Caribbean 1492 1969 by Eric Williams, former Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, is one of the best books I have ever read in my life.Eric Williams led his country as Prime Minister from 1962 until his death in 1981, and wrote this book in 1971 Eric Williams was a noted historian, and goes to no end to prove this point of his career in the writing of this book Sugar being an extremely valuable commodity for as long as humanity has existed is explored deeply here in various aspects in his verbatim descriptions of the slave trade The detail noted in each chapter about the various social, economic, and spiritual aspects of the slave trade in the Caribbean is mind boggling.One particularly frightening aspect of this book is the fact that history has continued to go in the same direction as this book originally described in 1971 The emergence of the gig economy, the increasingly isolationist policies being adopted by countries all over the globe, and the general frustration of the public with the stagnation of wages all have roots in the slave trade and the lessons that business owners from those days that made use of slave labor passed down to their future generations.This book is an absolute must read for anyone and everyone looking to understand modern day economics, modern day employment policies, and modern day race relations that resulted from the slavery practices used in the Caribbean.


  6. says:

    A powerful work that vividly portrays the brutality inflicted first on the Taino victims of the conquest and later on the African slaves imported to work the sugar plantations and Asians brought over on term labor agreements after emencipation The book provides the economic, political and social forces that drove the European colonization Focus is 1492 through the 19th century, much less on 20th Very strong on the economics You will learn, for example, the capital in pounds sterling required in the 17th century to purchase the land, machinery, and materials and slave labor necessary to get started on a sugar plantation How technological advances in cane processing and extraction of sugar from beets in Europre affected development.Williams was the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago for than a decade ending in 1981 I read this while camping on St John s where, like much the Caribbean, the evidence of the slavery based sugar economy is everywhere St John s was a backwater, the least productive island of Denmark, a small and late comer to the party it s other two were St Thomas and St Croix The terrain is mountainous and seemingly unsuited to sugar Yet nearly every inch of the island s natural growth forest was felled to make way for terraced cane planting, transforming and degrading the ecology of the island permanently.In 1733 slaves rose up They killed the Danish soldiers and whites who were unable to flee, controlled the island for six months, before they were put down by French troops from Martinique It was the first of a wave of uprisings that swept the Caribbean during the century leading up to emancipation The St John s revolt was sparked by a tightening of the already brutal retribution system for absenteeism, impertinence, shiriking etc It included lashings, pinching branding with a hot iron for first offenses, dismemberment and death for repeat offenders.Much of St John s is owned and managed by the National Park s Service, which sold the book in it its visitor center But an NPS ranger who led a walking tour did a poor job on the history According to her, slaves were left to themselves to work the plantations, kind of like sharecroppers On a beautiful island like this, it almost sounded like a nice way to go back to the land and down shift She said a little of the revolt but you wouldn t know why You really can t leave out the part about the transatlantic voyage where 1 3 perished or committed suicide, whippings, cutting off of ears, noses, and limbs, disease, hanging, and being worked to death in the hot sun.


  7. says:

    Eric Williams belongs to the group of Marxist historians His remarkable work offers the reader deep analysis of Carribean from Colombus to Castro However, he points out mainy mainly economic matters with strong aspect of colonialism Carribean is highly connected with fruits, sugar and thus is oriented to peasans and not industrial level of region As a author of Capitalism and Slavery he tries to find close linkage as well he based this book partly on economic aspect of region Further, it is highly interesting to follow his comments on the USA as shadow and superpower in this region and his interest from material perspective In my opinion, it is clear example of Marxist historian It is worth to read, Although it was published almost 40 years ago It is still first comprehensive history of the area and it is key work to understand the economic and political elements of this region.


  8. says:

    Williams is clearly on top of his research here What is missing, however, is what makes a good history which is also what makes good fiction invention The statistics are important, but there needs to be a narrative history component as well This book lacks any narrative threads The reading is dull and not engaging As for the collection of data and the presentation of it in a well organized and succinct matter, then Williams does a bang up job For the best illustration of this failure turn to the Haitian Revolution Never is there a chapter fit for a story about the players Instead we have reference after reference to primary documents, lacking a unifying thread Despite this, however, the chapter about the Haitian Revolution is the best single account I have read of it yet.


  9. says:

    Although not a conventional beach read, former Prime Minster of Trinidad and Tobago Eric Williams s history of the Caribbean was brisk and comprehensive, especially if you skim the too many chapters on the intricacy of the sugar economy Williams is a path blazing Oxford historian turned politican, who upended the idea that the British were selfless colonizers who emancipated primarily for humanitarian reasons He wades through a lot of economics to make the argument But the core thesis of the book is trimmed by a gripping, beautifully written historical narrative, which helped me understand this misrepresented area of the world and how it fits into the larger history of the Atlantic world.


  10. says:

    Although not a conventional beach read, former Prime Minster of Trinidad and Tobago Eric Williams s history of the Caribbean was brisk and comprehensive, especially if you skim the too many chapters on the intricacy of the sugar economy Williams is a path blazing Oxford historian turned politican, who upended the idea that the British were selfless colonizers who emancipated primarily for humanitarian reasons He wades through a lot of economics to make the argument But the core thesis of the book is trimmed by a gripping, beautifully written historical narrative, which helped me understand this misrepresented area of the world and how it fits into the larger history of the Atlantic world.