Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Amazon's Book Reviews: Caribbean Authors — Richard Hart

Richard Hart (13 August 1917 – 21 December 2013) was a Jamaican historian, solicitor and politician. He was a founding member of the People's National Party (PNP) and one of the pioneers of Marxism in Jamaica. He also served as attorney-general in Grenada under the People's Revolutionary Government in 1983. Hart was the author of several notable books on Caribbean history - including Towards Decolonisation: Political, Labour and Economic Developments in Jamaica 1939–1945 (1999), Slaves who Abolished Slavery: Blacks in Rebellion (2002) and The Grenada Revolution: Setting the Record Straight (2005) - and lectured on the subject at universities in the West Indies, the US, Canada and Europe. Rupert Lewis once called him "the most consistent Caribbean activist". Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Hart_(Jamaican_historian_and_politician)

This is a review for Towards Decolonisation: Political, Labour and Economic Developments in Jamaica 1938-1945 by Richard Hart - "Towards Decolonisation" starts with a description of conditions in Jamaica in the 1930s and of the social upheaval that occurred in 1938. It describes and accounts for the emergence of the leaders who came forward at this time of need, and the organizations they formed and led.  Repercussions to the outbreak of war in 1939 are considered. The relationships, rivalry and conflicts between popular organizations in the 1940s are discussed. Labour struggles, trade union activities and the policies of the rival political parties are recorded and examined. Renewed demands for constitutional reform in 1941 and the rejection of the British Government's inadequate response to these demands are discussed. Read more: http://www.amazon.com/dp/9768125330?tag=carijour-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=9768125330&adid=1GANWM8TMKK5PEWPH8P9

This is a review for Occupation & Control: the British in Jamaica 1660-1962 by Richard Hart - The net introduction of enslaved Africans up to the time that the importation of slaves became illegal in 1808 was estimated by the cleric historian W. J. Gardner at 800,000. A census in 1844 recorded a surviving population of 377,433 consisting of 293,128 Blacks, 68,529 free Coloureds and 15,776 Whites. Until 1865 Jamaica s inhabitants were controlled partly by the British Government and partly by local white residents, many of whom regarded themselves as Englishmen (or Welshmen, Scots or Irishmen) overseas. From 1866 until 1944 control was almost entirely in the British Government s hands. Thereafter, until political independence came in 1962, Jamaicans were permitted a gradually increasing participation in the affairs of state. How was it that a resident ethnic minority and a government over four thousand miles away, with only a handful of agents stationed in the colony and a garrison of less than a thousand white soldiers were able to dominate and control the lives of the very much larger black majority? This book, Occupation and Control: The British in Jamaica 1660 1962, examines both the constitutional and franchise structure employed to exclude that majority from participation in the processes of administration, and the instruments of force and means of persuasion relied upon to achieve this. It describes the institutional, social and armed means by which control was maintained for three centuries Read more: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/9769530425?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=9769530425&linkCode=xm2&tag=carijour-20

This is a review for The End of Empire: Transition to Independence in Jamaica and Other Caribbean Region Colonies by Richard Hart - In End of Empire (sequel to Time for a Change) which covers the period from 1955 to Independence, relevant facts are provided from which the reader will be able to make his or her own assessments of the policies introduced following the 1955 change of government in Jamaica. My conclusion is that, under Norman Manley s leadership as Chief Minister and Premier, the only fundamental policy changes introduced were in relation to the system of taxation on land and the protection of the public s right of access, by nationalisation of so-called foreshore land, to the island s beaches. There were no changes in domestic or foreign policies. As he confirmed in a radio broadcast, he had been advocating the change in the system of land taxation to one of taxation on the land's unimproved value for some 16 years and an attempt to introduce it had actually been commenced and abandoned some ten years previously by an earlier administration. Other domestic policies and foreign policy remained the same as under the previous government. On looking more closely into the development of the West Indies Federation, and reading the insider account of the federal negotiations by the Federal Secretary, John Mordecai, I however realised that political developments in Jamaica had been considerably influenced by the federal interlude and that this was an important part of Jamaican history. Read more: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/9768189789?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=9768189789&linkCode=xm2&tag=carijour-20

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