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Space and History in the Caribbean

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From Christopher Columbus to the modern vacationer, outside observers have looked upon the Caribbean as a paradise on earth. However, behind the images of sea, sun, sand, and sex are the scars of a troubled history. Oruno Lara presents the story of territories and populations subdued over the past five centuries by a brutal system of social and economic exploitation - a painful heritage shared by generations of Caribbeans. Poets and novelists from the Caribbean sometimes evoke the image of the "Medusa of History," who freezes time and perpetuates the cycle of oppression. Slavery was eventually phased out, but it was replaced by indentured labor. The international drug trade brought a crime wave to the area not seen since the time of the pirates. Early forms of globalization brought the monocultures of sugar and banana plantations; the modern version results in tourist ghettos, sweatshops, and "brain drain." Lara points out that the greater Caribbean was geographically, climatically, and strategically well situated for exploitation by commercial powers. He uses a geohistorical approach to describe its history and current situation, and is critical of traditional academic studies by other established scholars as well as by international organizations. This book is a refreshing, impassioned introduction, enhanced by the local knowledge of the author, a native of the region. It is a voyage through the history, archaeology, economy, culture,and multidimensional complexity of the Caribbean.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558764019
  • Publisher: Wiener, Markus Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/30/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 166
  • Sales rank: 1,439,753
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction - Space and History

Chapter I - The Oceanographic and Geodynamic Continuum
I - The Caribbean Mediterranean
1 - A sea "situated in the midst of land"
2 - Basins and currents
3 - Winds and depressions
4 - Marine biology
II - Geodynamics
1 - General structures
2 - Plate tectonics
3 - Volcanicity and seismicity of the Cordillera arcs
4 - Palaeo-geographical reconstruction

Chapter II - Settlement and Ancient Civilizations
I - New perspectives
II - Glaciation and the human presence
1 - The continental Caribbean
2 - The insular Caribbean
III - The distribution of cultural groups
1 - Intersection
2 - Meso-American group
3 - Andean group
4 - Circum-Caribbean and Andean groups
IV - Problems and hypotheses
1 - Indigenous reconstructions
2 - Foreign contributions

V - Karib resistance
Chapter III - Colonialism and the Slavery system
I - Conquests and monopolies
1 - Shock and after-effects (1492-1561)
2 - European rivalries (1561-1763)
II - Colonial and slavery means of production
1 - The context: trade and war
2 - World markets and accumulation
III - Resistance
Chapter IV - The Destruction of the Slavery System
I - The expansion of free trade
II - Revolution and independence
1 - The Haitian Revolution
2 - Wars of independence in the Spanish Caribbean III - The abolition of slavery and its effects
1 - The Causes
2 - The Decrees
3 - The Effects
IV - Armed struggle in Cuba
1 - The dilemma
2 - Colonial parties and the Cuban Revolutionary Party
3 - The Spanish-Cuban War

Chapter V - Contemporary crises and problems
I - Escalating threats
1 - The crisis of the sugar economy and its social consequences
2 - Political crises
3 - Education and religion
4 - The emergence of Pan-Africanism in the Caribbean
II - Struggles and recession
1 - 1939-1946
2 - 1946-1958
3 - 1958-1962
4 - 1962-1974
5 - 1974-1985
6 - 1985-1995
7 - 1995-2006

Chapter VI - Geopolitical and geo-strategic problems
II - Contemporary crises and problems
1 - The wealth of the Caribbean
2 - Drugs
3 - Economic integration
4 - Social problems
5 - Sugar industry in crisis
6 - Industrialization in underdeveloped countries
7 - Transport
II - Caribbean Mediterranean
1 - Maritime law and the exploitation of ocean resources
2 - Marine pollution
3 - International trade and aid
4 - Militarization
5 - Tourism
6 - Churches and sects
7 - Cultural proliferation

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