MICHAEL E. O'NEAL, Ph.D., an anthropologist and a former college president, currently serves as Senior Research Fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Island Resources Foundation and as a director of a family business in the British Virgin Islands.
Slavery, Smallholding and Tourism: Social Transformations in the British Virgin Islandsby Michael E. O'Neal
SLAVERY, SMALLHOLDING AND TOURISM explores the political economy of development in the British Virgin Islands - from plantations, through the evolution of a smallholding economy, to the rise of tourism. The study argues that the demise of plantation economy in the BVI ushered in a century of imperial disinterest persisting until recently, when a new "monocrop" - tourism - became ascendant. Using an historical and anthropological approach, O'Neal reveals how the trend toward reliance on tourism and other dependent industries affects many BVIslanders called the “Belongers” in ways that echo their historical and economic heritage.
From the new Foreword: "Read in the historical context of tourism and Caribbean research, O'Neal's work stands out as an early and significant contribution. But even apart from its pioneering status, this is an important book. A quarter of a century after the original research, the work is fresh, innovative, and ethnographically rich... an in-depth account of the transformations activated by tourism, as they are happening." - Colleen Ballerino Cohen, Professor of Anthropology & Women's Studies, Vassar College; author, 'Take Me to My Paradise'
From the new Afterword: "O'Neal's book is a story of tourism, not finance. But it was written right at the beginning of the emergence of this 'second pillar' of the British Virgin Islands' economy-financial services-and the tantalizing references to that industry in this book, as well as the rich discussion of the enduring influence of the plantation complex, provide...commentary on value, its circulation, and its deep histories, histories that O'Neal's volume helps us better to discern." - Bill Maurer, Professor of Anthropology & Law, University of California, Irvine; author, 'Recharting the Caribbean'
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