SHOULDERING ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA The Life of V.C. BirdProduct no.: HP126
As its charismatic labour leader, its first Chief Minister, its first Premier and first Prime Minister, V.C. Bird dominated the political life of Antigua and Barbuda for the 55 years between 1939 and 1994.
This is the first full-length biography of this great Antiguan and Barbudan political leader. It begins with a close look at the path of Bird’s development as a man and as a politician. Following this introduction to the man, it examines the major achievements and failures of Bird’s rule, the contours that these positives and negatives outlined, and the indelible traces they have left on the path of Antiguan and Barbudan history.
V.C. Bird’s achievements included political independence for Antigua and Barbuda from Britain. His failures included the creating by default of a tourist-based postcolonial state capitalist society as an alternative to the colonial sugar plantation order. This default capitalist order came instead of the Black democratic socialist society that he had promised and ideologically projected. These are the positive and negative poles between which Prof. Paget Henry frames his narrative of the life and political times of V.C. Bird.
The book concludes with some reflections on the meaning of Bird’s successes and failures for postcolonial transformation not only in Antigua and Barbuda but also for the wider Caribbean.