Tag Archives: The Plantation System

A Pre- Emancipation History of the West Indies [ A Book Review]


West Indies History

It is probably the most concise discussion that I have read on the West Indies, from European exploration to the end of slavery. I am definitely recommend the book to anyone interested in West Indian early history. Even if you have never read on the topics but suddenly feel like it, you have a good book here.  It is a History Nonfiction, but it does not read like the diplomatic dry and sometimes difficult tone of some History text. It is a comfortable read, the definitions and explanations are simple, making it easy to understand.

Although, the author does not go into advanced details for topics such as The Mercantile System to help you write a 10, 000 thesis, he does offer enough information for a shorter essay. Enough to understand the underlying terms, preparing anyone for more technical terms in other research material. Furthermore, I appreciate the holistic treatment of the West Indies and not dwelling mostly/ only on the British colonies. Furthermore, it is not a case  study of each island except when examples are necessary but the examples did touch on the  Danish, Dutch, Spanish, British and French colonies.

The author’s style of including a conclusion after every section, helps you recall what you read and pulls out the key terms of that segment. There are also questions following each conclusion, fabulous tool to help the reader revise the content recently read. At the end of the book there are Examination Questions based on each section, such as questions on Discovery and Rivalry. In addition, the author included a list of short topics from the book and other suggested subjects not addressed in the book. The topics break the sections into more details to aid in further research and for revision.