Capitalism and Slavery
Americans view the Caribbean as a place apart, ideal for a beach vacation, but I see it as a region settled by the English in the same era and for the same reasons as the “Thirteen Colonies,” and separated less by physical distance than by the fact that the West Indies chose not to enter the American Revolution. Questions about racial identity and the effects of slavery play out there in ways both comparable to and distinct from these processes in the U.S. I have studied the English Caribbean for 25 years, and am especially interested in how its histories connect with those of colonial America and Georgian Britain.
Settler Society is the first study of the history of the federated colony of the Leeward Islands – Antigua, Montserrat, Nevis, and St. Kitts – that covers all four islands in the period from their independence from Barbados in 1670 up to the outbreak of the American Revolution, which reshaped the Caribbean as well as the mainland American colonies.
Natalie A. Zacek emphasizes the extent to which the planters of these islands attempted to establish recognizably English societies in tropical islands based on plantation agriculture and African slavery. By examining conflicts relating to ethnicity and religion, controversies regarding sex and social order, and a series of virulent battles over the limits of local and imperial authority, this book depicts these West Indian colonists as skilled improvisers who adapted to an unfamiliar environment, and as individuals as committed as other American colonists to the norms and values of English society, politics, and culture.
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We think you will like From Where We Stand: Recovering a Sense of Place, Letter to My Daughter, and The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic if you like this list.
From Jonathan's list on The best books about rural life in upstate New York.
As books by academics are apt to be, this wonderfully rich account of the history of New York’s Finger Lakes region is replete with references, quotes, and poetic stories. Tall begins with the manner in which the Iroquois Confederacy was divided and driven out during the Revolutionary War, and progresses through the influences of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, a heavily guarded military base, and struggles with blight in Geneva, New York. “Place” is explored through the lenses of the natural environment, language, religion, psychology, racism, and more. Indeed, Tall’s approach to understanding the community she adopted can be replicated on lands all over the world.
From Bobi's list on The best books that will leave your heart, mind, and spirit inspired.
This book is written by the late, great Maya Angelou and it is a must-read. As an African American woman the wisdom passed on by our matriarchs is not only needed but essential. Letter to My Daughter, is just that, a letter to me. It encompasses the wisdom of a well-lived life and a strong desire to pay it forward. This is not just a book it is a teaching tool that will leave its reader with a sense of grounding that only a long afternoon conversation with a wise elder can. Grab a glass of sweet tea and glean.
From Jared's list on The best radical history books that rocked my world.
Charting the revolutionary Atlantic through the stories of mutinous seamen, radical soldiers, unruly women, slaves, pirates, and common workers, this is a rip-roaring example of ‘history from below.’ By revealing the hidden history of resistance and how it weaves back and forth through time and across oceans, The Many-Headed Hydra showed me the power of history told through the lives of everyday people. It’s engaging. Sweeping. Political. A deserving sibling of EP Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class. And a great example of how pulling at threads can reveal surprising connections. A must-read and one I pull off the shelf whenever I’m in need of inspiration.