Cover: The Confounding Island: Jamaica and the Postcolonial Predicament, from Harvard University PressCover: The Confounding Island in HARDCOVER

The Confounding Island

Jamaica and the Postcolonial Predicament

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Product Details


$36.00 • £28.95 • €32.50

ISBN 9780674988057

Publication Date: 11/12/2019

Academic Trade

432 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

14 illus., 8 tables

Belknap Press


  • Introduction
  • I. Explaining Postcolonial Failure
    • 1. Why Has Jamaica Trailed Barbados on the Path to Sustained Growth?
      The Role of Institutions, Colonialism, and Cultural Appropriation
    • 2. Why Is Democratic Jamaica So Violent?
      Revisiting the “Democratic Peace” Thesis
    • 3. Were Female Workers Preferred in Jamaica’s Early Economic Development?
      Employment, Urbanization, and Gender among the Postcolonial Proletariat
  • II. Three Cultural Puzzles
    • 4. Why Are Jamaicans the Fastest Runners in the World?
      The Institutionalization of Athletic Prowess
    • 5. Why Did Jamaicans Riot at a Cricket Match against Britain?
      The Ritual of Cricket in West Indian Societies
    • 6. Why Does Globalization Not Produce Cultural Homogenization?
      The Example of Jamaican Reggae Music
  • III. The Failures of Policy and Politicians
    • 7. Why Do Policies to Help the Poor So Often Fail?
      A Jamaican Case Study
    • 8. Sad about Manley
      Portrait of a Flawed Charisma
  • Epilogue
  • Notes
  • Works Cited
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

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