ISLAND PEOPLE: The Caribbean and the World

ISLAND PEOPLE: The Caribbean and the World

JOSHUA JELLY-SCHAPIRO    Book Number: 88442    Product format: Hardback

The Caribbean islands: Columbus called them 'the most beautiful land that human eyes have ever seen'. The azure sea and the accompanying collection of islands were not only the subject of fantasies, myths and daydreams, but also places where societies were built to enrich old Europe and their beaches splashed across billboards and holiday brochures. This fascinating book explores the islands which were home of the Rastafarian faith, Che Guevara's stomping ground and the birthplace of reggae. Joshua Jelly-Schapiro is the perfect tour guide, a geographer and writer whose work has appeared in The New York Review of Books, Harper's, the Believer, Artforum, and The Nation. In this book, transport yourself across the islands, from "spice island", now known as Grenada, which was best known for nutmeg before the revolution, to the village of Aboukir, St Ann where Harry Belafonte was sent to by his mother to save her rambunctious son from Harlem. Meet a community in Haiti who saw Jean-Jacques Dessalines set the people on course to independence in 1803 when he ripped the white strip from the French tricolor flag, erasing the stain of 'whiteness' on the island - something which remains the basis of Haiti's flag today. Dance at Trinidad's carnival which, like Brazil's and New Orleans' own festivities, was born in a joining of French Catholic masquerade balls and the festive traditions of slaves. Uncover the history of these sunny isles including the great treasure fleet of Spain which gathered in Havana in the mid-1500s to deliver gold and silver from Mexico and from Potosí back across the Atlantic to Seville. This guide also explores dark conflict on these islands including Jamaican powers' concerns about allowing tourists to wander the ghetto districts in Trench Town, the injustices inflicted upon Dominicans who were given blankets infected with mumps and portrayed as cannibals by Columbus, and the tragic past of Westmoreland which was best known for its slave ports where people from Africa were delivered to the island. The journey through the Caribbean takes readers to Montserrat and their familiarity with volcanic eruptions which led to T-shirts screen-printer with the phrase "Warning! Pyroclastic flow inside", to El Barrio in New York where Puerto Rican communities became a psychic and physical home of Nuyorican immigrants who would shape the feel and sound of latinidad, such as Salsa. With a black and white map of David and Guillaume Sanson's Les Isles Antilles (1703) on which the eager reader can trace Jelly-Schapiro's journey, this book explores the extraordinary islands which have produced some of the world's most famous artists, activists, writers and sportsmen, from Usain Bolt and Bob Marley, to V. S. Naipaul and Toussaint Breda. Map, 456pp.
Published price: £22
Bibliophile price: £6.50

Additional product information

ISBN 9781782115588
Browse these categories as well: Travel & Places, History

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