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Open Access The legacy of George L. Beckford’s plantation economy thesis in Jamaica

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The legacy of George L. Beckford’s plantation economy thesis in Jamaica

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[First paragraph]Plantation Economy, Land Reform and the Peasantry in a Historical Perspective: Jamaica 1838-1980. CLAUS STOLBERG & SWITHIN WILMOT(eds.)- Kingston: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, 1992. 145 pp. (Paper n.p.)This interdisciplinary collection focuses on the integration of Jamaica's classical plantation economy with the world economy, and the impact of the plantation economy on the peasantry, land reform, and agrarian modemization in Jamaica from emancipation in 1838 up to 1980. The eight papers comprising the volume were, as a one-page editorial "Introduction" outlines, presented at a symposium at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and are dedicated to the late Professor George Beckford whose work on persistent poverty in plantation economies championed the Jamaican peasantry. As such, the book is a welcome addition to the literature on the Caribbean plantation-peasant interface. However, the chapters are uneven in quality, with some reflecting analytical weaknesses and a lack of historical depth. Typographical errors, grammatical mistakes, and poor documentation are also noticeable. In addition, contrasting perspectives emerge among the contributors and this is not addressed by the editors.

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