A gripping narrative history of the entire Caribbean, from first exploration to today, by a talented British American historian
A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day
“A marvelously rich and inclusive panorama of five centuries of Caribbean
978-0-8021-2431-9 • $20.00 • Paperback • Nov. 2015
history.” Library Journal (starred review)
“Required reading for everyone with a fascination for the Caribbean; recommended for all who wish to acquire one.” Peter Chapman, author of Bananas: How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World
Ever since Christopher Columbus stepped off the Santa Maria and announced that he had arrived in the Orient, the Caribbean has been a stage for projected fantasies and competition between world powers. In Empire’s Crossroads, British American historian Carrie Gibson offers a vivid, panoramic view of this complex region and its rich, important history.
After that fateful landing in 1492, the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, and even the Swedes, Scots, and Germans sought their fortunes in the islands for the next two centuries. Gibson opens with these fraught years of discovery and settlement, which gave way to a booming age of sugar, horrendous slavery, and extravagant wealth, and in turn the Haitian Revolution and the long struggles for independence that ushered in the modern era.
From Cuba to Haiti, from Jamaica to Trinidad, the story of the Caribbean is not simply the story of slaves and masters, but of fortune seekers, pirates, scientists, and tourists. Gibson tells not only of imperial expansionEuropean and Americanbut also of life as it is lived in the islands, from before Columbus through the tumultuous twentieth century. Evocatively written, Empire’s Crossroads reinterprets five centuries of history that have been underappreciated for far too long.