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Caribbean Labor and Politics

Legacies of Cheddi Jagan and Michael Manley

edited by Alma H. Young and Perry Mars

African American Studies, African Diaspora, By WSU Faculty, Labor Studies, Political Science

Published: May 2004
ISBN: 9780814332115
Pages: 312 Size: 6 x 9
Illustrations: 5 b&w illus.

Having more in common than their deaths on the same day in 1997, the late Cheddi Jagan of Guyana and Michael Manley of Jamaica both represented a radical perspective in modern Caribbean politics. Jagan and Manley each had a bold and creative ability to connect labor and politics and made it their priority to minimize poverty and inequality and to enhance the welfare of the Caribbean’s disadvantaged and dispossessed. Caribbean Labor and Politics looks closely at the legacies of Jagan and Manley and their ramifications for the political and economic struggles of the Caribbean region and the world.

This edited volume brings together a variety of studies on the lives, works, and intellectual and practical contributions of these two stalwart political leaders. The chapters focus primarily on Jagan’s and Manley’s years as heads of state of their respective countries and also encapsulate their pre-political years—mainly their growing-up experiences and their organizational work in the labor movement. The core contributions of these men are characterized in terms of their pivotal struggles towards the realization of what we term the "working class project."

Perry Mars is professor of Africana studies at Wayne State University and author of Ideology and Change: The Transformation of the Caribbean Left (Wayne State University Press, 1998).Alma H. Young is Coleman A. Young professor of urban affairs at Wayne State University and co-editor of Gendering the City: Women, Boundaries, and Visions of Urban Life (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000).

Contributors Include:
Brindley H. Benn, Anthony Bogues, A Lynn Bolles, Ella Davis, Norman Girvan, Monica H. Gordon, Ivelaw L. Griffith, Joan Mars, Perry Mars, Kristine B. Miranne, Maurice St Pierre, Clive Thomas, Hilbourne Watson, Alma H. Young

The coincidence of the deaths of Cheddi Jagan of Guyana and Michael Manley of Jamaica on March 6, 1977, prompted the organization of a conference the next year at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, analyze and compare their lives and contributions. This, book, consisting of the editors' introductions, twelve essays, and a selected bibliography, stems from that conference. The comparisons and insights offered in this volume contribute to our understanding of these men and the contemporary dilemmas created by structural policies for working people and their organizations and leaders. These essays should constitute part of a larger project to analyze the problems and possibilities facing small, impoverished nations in orbit around the new U.S. empire.

– New West Indian Guide

The great advantage of this volume is that it is a critical assessment and appraisal of two of the Commonwealth Caribbean's most outstanding politicians in the second half of the twentieth century, Cheddi Jagan of Guyana and Michael Manley of Jamaica. Moreover, the contributions are by scholars and policy advisors who knew both men from the inside of the political process which they moulded."

– Harry Goulbourne, London South Bank University