Caribbean: An Intellectual History, 1774-2003, The

Denis Benn
"In a panoramic survey, Professor Benn has succeeded in systematising for the first time the elements that may be said to constitute the intellectual tradition of the Caribbean from the end of the 18th century to the present. That tradition may be divided into two parts: an older tradition which was confined mainly to the white planter class that sought to elaborate a political philosophy in defence of their political and economic privileges, best represented in the writings of Edward Long and Bryan Edwards. In this context, the ideological underpinnings of Crown Colony government, which succeeded the Old Representative System, are also analysed. In the newer tradition which emerged during the nineteenth century there have been three main intellectual influences in the figures of Marcus Garvey, C.L.R. James and Eric Williams. Garvey developed the perspective based on racial consciousness as the basis for political action. James represents the tradition of radical intellectual dissent influenced by Marxist and neo-Marxist perceptions while Williams epitomises the nationalist intellectual ethos which sees the nation as an indivisible entity and as the ultimate basis of political action. This book presents a comprehensive overview of the history of political thought in the Caribbean and is suitable for both academics and students of Political Thought and Comparative Politics. "


Reviewed: 2016-05-10
Item Posts
No posts