GRENADA: ISLAND OF CONFLICT From Amerindians to People’s Revolution, 1498-1979Product no.: RD002
[Back cover synopsis & Author biography]
Grenada: Island of Conflict is the history of a small Caribbean people who suddenly attracted world attention following their Revolution in March 1979 led by Maurice Bishop's New Jewel Movement. Covering five centuries of oppression and conflict, the author - himself a Grenadian historian - tells a story that is typical of many Caribbean islands, but also one that highlights the Grenadian people's long tradition of resistance, as well as the legacy of economic dependence and exploitation.
Starting with the life of the first known inhabitants of the island, George Brizan then analyses the French invasion which led to the extermination of the Grenada Caribs and a century of French colonial rule. The British, who replaced the French in 1763, firmly installed a plantation economy, and the inevitable conflicts between slaves and plantation owners culminated in the courageous Fedon Rebellion of 1795. The genesis of Creole society after the emancipation of the slaves in the 19th Century is then dealt with. The author examines the continued growth of the peasantry in this century, and the development of a strong trade union movement which led to a veritable social revolution under its leader, Eric Gairy, in 1951. Gairy's transformation from a champion of the working class, into an authoritarian ruler who virtually reduced Grenada to a single estate, is traced and the roots of his overthrow in 1979 made clear.
Throughout this book, the author stresses the harsh experiences of Grenadian working people under the various forms of subjugation they have endured, and their persistent attempts to determine their own destiny. Always relating events in Grenada to developments in the wider Caribbean and the world, he shows how the mercantilist and colonial economic structure has continued almost unchanged into the 1970s.
George Brizan is a Grenadian who was educated at Grenada Teachers College, the University of Calgary and Carleton University in Canada. An educationist all his life, he has taught economics and history. In 1980 he became Acting Principal of the Institute for Further Education at Tanteen, Grenada. He has also acted as consultant to various Grenadian trade unions and published a number of historical papers. In January 1984 he was made Chief Education Officer.
[Published by Zed Books in 1984, first edition. Unused (no creasing to spine) but yellowed through open shelf storage since 1984]