Empire's Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day


Product Details

$20.00  $18.40
Grove Press
Publish Date
5.9 X 1.3 X 8.9 inches | 1.2 pounds

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An Observer (UK) Best History Book of the Year
A Hudson Booksellers' Best Nonfiction Book of the Year

"Gibson knows how to hold a reader's interest with gems of fact and sometimes poetic prose."
--New York Times Book Review, "Editors' Choice"

"Carrie Gibson has written a judicious, readable and extremely well-informed account of a part of the world whose history is seldom acknowledged. Too many people know the Caribbean only as a tourist destination; she takes us, instead, into its fascinating, complex and often tragic past. No vacation there will ever feel quite the same again."
--Adam Hochschild, author of To End All Wars and King Leopold's Ghost

"Ambitious. . . . With rare narrative verve and a gift for synthesis, Gibson compresses the islands' histories into a wide-ranging, vivid narrative."
--Observer (UK), "Best History Books of 2014"

"A rich and thorough history of the Caribbean from colonialism to the present day . . . Carrie Gibson's thoughtful and extensively researched Empire's Crossroads is a revelation. It is both a readable and in-depth study . . . a valuable work that is required reading for scholars and students . . . impassioned and anecdotally rich."
--Christian Science Monitor

"Gibson's social history focuses heavily on the destructive legacy of slavery, the bitter divisiveness of racism, and the brutality and inequalities of the opulent sugar plantations that dominated Caribbean economies for 300 years . . . Gibson tells [the story] in fluid, colorful prose peppered with telling anecdotes."
--Foreign Affairs

"Required reading for everyone with a fascination for the Caribbean; recommended for all who wish to acquire one."
--Peter Chapman, author of Bananas: How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World

"A marvelously rich and inclusive panorama of five centuries of Caribbean history. . . . A work that brings fresh energy, assurance and insight to an area that is not often the focus of historians. Gibson's study is sure to gratify academics, history buffs, and anyone intrigued by the Caribbean's colorful, volatile, and multifaceted societies."
--Library Journal (starred review)

"Gibson synthesizes and integrates some of the most important insights from recent historical scholarship on slavery, capitalism, and empire into an accessible survey of over five centuries of Caribbean history. The Cambridge-educated author combines the careful reflexivity and nuance of a seasoned historian with the verbal dexterity and attention to current events of an accomplished journalist, producing a book that is both readable and thought provoking, regionally specific and globally aware, historical yet exceedingly relevant to today's most pressing issues. . . . An excellent introduction to Caribbean history for non-specialists."

"Gibson manages to weave 500 years of complex history into a brilliantly coherent and thematic narrative. . . . [A] strikingly assured debut."
--Observer (UK)

"[An] epic history of the Caribbean . . . vivid and thought-provoking."
--Spectator (UK)

"Who knew that King James (the Bible one) was one of history's first anti-smoking activists? Who could have guessed in advance that tourist promoters would turn a desolate isle in Haiti, the hemisphere's poorest nation, into 'paradise' behind a chain link fence? In Empire's Crossroads, Carrie Gibson shows how seemingly isolated anecdotes, in the right hands, can be used to form a mosaic that shows us the meaning of history."
--T.D. Allman, author of Finding Florida

"Carrie Gibson asks not just how Europe shaped the Caribbean, but how the islands in turn shaped Europe and the rest of the world. Her approach is fresh and important. Empire's Crossroads skillfully shows the complexity of the Caribbean and its striking ability to adapt to and push back against the forces that have shaped the region."
--Michele Wucker, author of Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola

"A panoramic view of this complex region and its rich history."
--Publishers Weekly

"An ambitious work bringing together fragmented histories of more than 20 different islands across an area of 3,000 miles . . . bolstered by her travel experiences in St. Martin, Trinidad, Guyana and other places."
--Kirkus Reviews

"With such variegated histories, the islands of the Caribbean would seem to defy a unified treatment, yet Gibson identifies themes common to large ones, such as Hispaniola, and small ones, such as Montserrat. . . . Sympathetically attuned to the hard actualities of life in ostensibly paradisiacal tropics, Gibson delivers a fine, faceted history for general-interest readers."

"[A] sharp, gripping new overview of the region's history. . . . Empire's Crossroads is a great read about some fantastically absorbing--and to many people, little-known--history. . . . An exceptionally impressive debut."
--Literary Review (UK)

"Carrie Gibson has written a compelling history of the Caribbean, rightly placing it at the heart of European imperialism. This is a gripping account by a gifted scholar and story-teller."
--Tristram Hunt, British Shadow Secretary of State for Education and author of Marx's General, The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels

"There can never be too many books about the Caribbean, a region whose diversity and cultural richness is unparalleled, and Carrie Gibson's new offering is a welcome addition to the canon."
--BBC History (UK)