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Three Ancient Colonies: Caribbean Themes and Variations (The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures) Hardcover – April 14, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

In this engaging, delightfully readable and provocative work, Sidney Mintz distills a lifetime of pioneering research to illuminate the making of three Caribbean plantation societies and of the creolized cultures that challenged the slave system from within. The work seamlessly brings together history and anthropology, showcasing Mintz's impassioned and encyclopedic knowledge of the Caribbean. A must-read for all those interested in the history of slavery and the Atlantic world. (Laurent Dubois, Duke University)

Drawing upon a lifetime of ethnographic fieldwork in the Caribbean region, Mintz arrives at bold conclusions about the societies and realities of our provocative, complex, and generally undervalued region. (Nicolette Bethel Caribbean Review of Books 2010-07-01)

An engaging, accessible, and masterly work. (R. Berleant-Schiller Choice 2011-01-01)

About the Author

Sidney W. Mintz, Research Professor and William L. Straus Jr. Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, is the author of books including Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History and Tasting Food, Tasting Freedom: Excursions into Eating, Power, and the Past.
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Product Details

  • Series: The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures (Book 8)
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (March 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674050126
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674050129
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,772,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sidney W. Mintz is professor emeritus, department of anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. He founded the department there in 1975. He has done extensive field research in Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Haiti, as well as in Iran. He launched a research program in Hong Kong to study the consumption and production of soybean and examine soy products in the United States.

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Paul Preuss on May 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Sidney Mintz, who headed the anthropology department at Yale and helped found its counterpart at Johns Hopkins, is perhaps best known for his recent studies of food, notably Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History(Viking, 1985). His interest in sugar arose from field work in the Caribbean, which he began in Puerto Rico in the late 1940s while still working on his Ph.D. at Columbia. He soon widened his experience to include Jamaica, Haiti, and other regions.

The astonishing wealth to which the Caribbean colonies gave rise, Mintz writes, resulted from "the acquisitive energy of European masters and the cumulative forced labor of millions of workers, nearly all of them African," producing what he aptly calls "the first commercially marketed soft drugs ... tobacco, coffee, chocolate, and the sugar and molasses needed to sweeten them." Those drugs became instruments of power, used to remodel the class structure of Europe -- not least by supplying sweetened stimulants like sugared tea to fuel workers' punishing hours in mines, mills, and factories.

What interests Mintz far more than the fruits of Caribbean labor is the extraordinary creativity with which the mostly West African slaves and their offspring, torn from their homes and cultures, the sources of their identity, assembled new societies and new identities in the New World. The destruction of their histories gave rise to new histories, each markedly different, intimate, and profound. Mintz is an impatient pragmatist when it comes to questions of how history and anthropology relate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jehyra Asencio on January 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For those interested in Mintz life work and for those who are just beginning to understand caribbean history and relations.
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By Jim on September 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Exactly what I wanted.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By veronica on February 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I choose this rating because i recieve the package fast along with the book being in good conditiion!!!!! worked out great
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