Discusses the national narratives developed historically in Trinidad and Tobago. Author describes how the past has been interpreted differently, for different purposes, and by different ethnic groups. She first pays attention to 2 hegemonic historical narratives during the colonial era: the British imperial historical narrative and the French Creole one, associated with political and/or planter elites. Next, she discusses how since the mid-20th c. the anticolonial, nationalist movement responded to this, including academics, resulting in the Eric Williams-led Afro-Creole narrative, dominant in the decades since the 1961 independence, connecting Trinidad as a nation with African-descended Creoles. Further, she highlights challenges to the dominant Afro-Creole narrative, mainly since the 1970s, emerging partly in the domain of "public history", and mostly ethnicity-based. She discusses the politics of (Amerindian) indigeneity in Trinidad, the Tobago narrative, related to its distinct history, the Afrocentric narrative, and the Indocentric narrative, the latter including a more recent extreme Hinducentric narrative. Author points out that the Afro-Creole master narrative, and subsequent (ethnic) counternarratives eclipsed (at least academically) increasing class-based, or gendered historical narratives.
[First paragraph]Empire and Antislavery: Spain, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, 1833-1874. CHRISTOPHER SCHMIDT-NOWARA. Pittsburgh PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999. xv + 239 pp. (Cloth US$ 50.00, Paper US$ 22.95)Beyond Slavery: Explorations of Race, Labor, and Citizenship in Postemancipation Societies. FREDERICK COOPER, THOMAS C. HOLT & REBECCA J. SCOTT. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000. xiii + 198 pp. (Cloth US$ 34.95, Paper US$ 15.95)From Slavery to Freedom: Comparative Studies in the Rise andFall of Atlantic Slavery. SEYMOUR DRESCHER. New York: New York University Press, 1999. xxv + 454 pp. (Cloth US$ 45.00)Terms of Labor: Slavery, Serfdom, and Free Labor. STANLEY L. ENGERMAN (ed.). Stanford CA: Stanford University Press, 1999. vi + 350 pp. (Cloth US$ 55.00)These four books explore antislavery movements in the Atlantic world, and consider some of the consequences of abolition in postemancipation societies. They are immensely rich studies which engage one of the liveliest areas of enquiry in modern historiography - the transition from slavery to freedom in New World societies - and which represent U.S. historical scholarship at its finest. Each falls into a different category of academic publication.