[A few years back, I stopped doing my monthly book reviews. I’m going to try and get back into that as well as maybe doing some film and documentary reviews. Rather than doing formal reviews, I’m mostly going to use these texts or films as springboards for thought so I won’t always be providing very detailed analyses of whatever title happens to be under discussion. I’m sure google can lead to any number of more traditional reviews. Also, I’m happy to hear in the comments about what other people are reading or watching and enjoying!]
1. A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James.
Jamaica is more than Bob Marley as the CIA knew full well in 1976 when the Rasta who sang against downpression and isms was shot. Although Papa Doc Duvalier was firmly established by violence and terror and money in Haiti, the Cuban revolution had succeeded against all odds. Granted, Che was already dead for nine years but his witness and words — ¡hasta la victoria siempre! — lived on. In the mid- to late twentieth century much of the Caribbean was in flux and it was hard to know where the cards would fall. Would the the people manage to shake off the yoke of colonial imperialism, foreign powers, and client rulers willing to betray their own people for personal profit, or would those powers triumph and beat the people down in order to maintain ever growing disparities between the rich and the poor?