President for London Launch of Williams Book
Wednesday, November 2nd 2005
The Majority Press in London has announced the rescheduled launch of the book The Economic Future of the Caribbean on November 7 at the Trinidad and Tobago High Commission in London.
The previous launch date was postponed because of the tragic London bombings on July 7.
Presented under the auspices of High Commissioner Glenda Morean Phillip SC, distinguished guests are expected to include President George Maxwell Richards, Sir Trevor McDonald, Prof. Tony Martin, Wellesley College, Massachusetts and Erica Williams Connell, daughter of Dr Eric Williams.
Edited in 1944 by Dr Williams, Trinidad and Tobago's first prime minister, and E Franklin Frazier, one of African America's most distinguished sociologists, the book comprises the proceedings of a conference of the same name organised by Williams, then a 31-year-old assistant professor of Political and Social Science at Howard University and a rising star in intellectual and activist circles.
Williams brought together an eclectic and influential group of experts on the Caribbean to debate the conference theme.
Speakers included advocates of independence for Puerto Rico, leaders of the pro-democracy movement among Caribbean Americans, scholars, diplomats and the top brass of the British and United States sections of the newly-formed Anglo-American Caribbean Commission.
Participants discussed the dominance of sugar throughout the region, the need for agricultural diversification, the fisheries industry and the media.
They also examined race relations, the future of colonialism and the prospects for Caribbean Federation.
Out of print and almost forgotten, the book is being republished for the first time in some 60 years by the Majority Press (www.themajoritypress.com) with the cooperation of The Eric Williams Memorial Collection at The University of the West Indies.
With a foreword by Erica Williams Connell and a new introduction by Tony Martin, Professor of Africana Studies.
Martin speculates on Williams' use of the conference as a major component of his strategy to gain employment in the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission.
He contends that Williams already saw his scholarship as a prelude to his political career and the Commission presented an unprecedented opportunity for him to make his much-desired transition from academia to policy making.
Revealed here for the first time also is Williams' employment as a researcher with the Office of Strategic Services, immediate forerunner of the United States Central Intelligence Agency.
Williams was awarded a Trinidad and Tobago Island Scholarship, graduated at the top of his undergraduate class at Oxford University and obtained a D. Phil. from Oxford in 1938.
He was successively the first chief minister, premier and prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago from 1956 until his death in 1981. In academic circles, he is best known as the author of Capitalism and Slavery, translated into eight languages (Russian, Japanese, Chinese and this year, Korean among them) and one of the outstanding historical works of the twentieth century.
E Franklin Frazier was chairman of Howard University's Division of Social Sciences, which sponsored Williams' 1943 conference.
His several books include Black Bourgeoisie and The Negro Family in the United States.