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This second edition of America's Virgin Islands by William W. Boyer is the only history of the United States' territory covering the period from 1492 to 2010. Especially emphasized is the period since 1917 when the U.S. acquired the Islands from Denmark. Constituting three small Caribbean islands—St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John—each is unique, but together they are widely known as a favorite tourist destinationfeaturing sun, sand and surf. In many respects, the territory is a microcosm of the human family. The diversity of its physical environment is matched by the diversity of its people. The focal point of the book is a record of the struggle of the Islanders' greater number as slaves, then serfs, and lastly as citizens to gain control of their own destiny. Broadly conceived, this is a history of human rights and human wrongs. The author does not merely portray the history of the Islands and their people; he also shows how the Islanders share the same aspirations as other colonial subjects. In so doing he taps previously unused sources. The relationship between the USA and the Virgin Islands has been marked by indifference and vacillation on the part of American officials. Moreover, thousands of tourists who flock to the territory annually are unaware of the Islands' checkered and rich history. For many, the Islands are simply a tropical paradise. America's Virgin Islands is a fascinating, extensively documented, and detailed source of information, valuable to those interested in a political and cultural perspective, to those interested in African American or Caribbean history, and likewise to those who live in or visit the Islands.
Posted June 14, 2013
Returned from a trip to St. Thomas, I shopped for the most comprehensive history book I could easily find and this book was it. I was pleased with my selection. I came away from reading America's Virgin Islands much informed. Of course, the history of St. Thomas is more tragic and disturbing than I had even imagined . . .Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.