A FAMILY OF ISLANDS: A History of the West Indies from 1492 to 1898, with an pilogue Sketching Events from the Spanish-American War to Castro by Alec Waugh

A FAMILY OF ISLANDS: A History of the West Indies from 1492 to 1898, with an pilogue Sketching Events from the Spanish-American War to Castro

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The roots of most contemporary Caribbean problems lie in the period embraced by this latest addition to the Mainstream of the Modern World series. With an apparent deep affection for this locale, Waugh probes into the microcosmic events of the history of each dot on the oceanic map. What were the effects of the Pax Romana? The causes of the War of Jenkins' Ear? The attitudes of the Creoles who suffered through alternating periods of relative freedom and viceregal abuses? Waugh is at ome among historical figures like Columbus, Philip II, Dumas the Elder and Dessanes, Labat, Leclerc, and even the pirates of Tortuga, the Brethren of the Coast, those interesting marriage oath he quotes at length. He reports familiarly that for a time ""Jamaica and Barbados were reproducing the atmosphere of Tom Jones and Martinique and St. Domingue that of Les Liaisons Dangereuses,"" yet he speaks with reat compassion of the history of slavery and such tragedies as the eruption of the Martinique volcano. His subtitle, unfortunately, tends to mislead: the Epilogue is devoted to Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, and the English group, with no mention of Cuba at all. The body of the book does contain a description of Cuban life at the time when it was regulated by the customs of Spain, and perhaps this does indeed offer some hint to account for the rise of both Batista and Castro. Waugh has done the job with plenty of zest and his customary fluid style.

Publisher: Doubleday