In Building a Nation, Eric D. Duke sets out to explore the connections between West Indian federation and the larger black diaspora. As he points out in his introduction, the somewhat extensive literature about the federation experiment does little to examine the broader black diasporic interest in, and support for, the idea of Anglophone Caribbean federation. It likewise falls short of showing how twentieth‐century black diaspora activists envisioned West Indians. He does so admirably in this work, complicating our understanding of the relationships between West Indian nation building and the black diaspora's broader global context, particularly regarding various nationalisms, regionalism, and race. Through an extensive examination of the secondary literature, international newspapers and periodicals, and a multitude of archival collections, Duke also effectively expands the discussion temporally, including the generally neglected early decades of the twentieth century.From the beginning, the author's goals are clearly stated and admirably achieved and his conclusions and contributions consistently situated within the wider literature. Through careful analysis of a wide variety of voices from the West Indies, the United States, and London, Building a Nation shows the evolving and often‐conflicting relationships between black diaspora activists and the creation of a West Indian federation. Duke
Journal of Latin American & Caribbean Anthropology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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