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Guiana and the Shadows of Empire

Colonial and Cultural Negotiations at the Edge of the World

Joshua R. Hyles

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Paperback
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This book is a history of the three Guianas, now known as Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. Though histories of each of the countries exist, this is the first work in a century to consider the three countries as a group, and thus the first to present the history of all three as a comparative and overarching study. Special emphasis has been given to the story of how each colony was administered by Britain, the Netherlands, and France respectively, and how these differing colonial administrative policies have given rise to three vastly different cultures. Because the geographical area of the Guianas is relatively small, the indigenous population at the time of contact was relatively uniform across the area, and the external pressures on the three colonies over their histories exhibited significant similarities, the book presents the Guianas as an ideal laboratory in which to study the effects of imperialism and cultural assimilation practices. The book also briefly considers the present political and cultural status of the three polities and makes some projections about their possible futures. In all, the book presents a complete history from prehistory until the present day covering the entirety of the Guianas region, relating a colorful history from a little-studied corner of the world. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 202Size: 6 x 9 1/8
978-0-7391-8779-1 • Hardback • December 2013 • $84.00 • (£54.95)
978-1-4985-5719-1 • Paperback • March 2017 • $42.99 • (£29.95)
978-0-7391-8780-7 • eBook • December 2013 • $39.99 • (£24.95)
Joshua Hyles holds an MA in history from Baylor University.
Chapter One: Introduction
Chapter Two: Guianas- Prehistory-1667
Chapter Three: Guianas 1667-1814
Chapter Four: British Guiana 1814-1914
Chapter 5: Five French Guiana 1814-1914
Chapter Six: Dutch Guiana 1814-1914
Chapter Seven: Guianas 1914-1950
Chapter Eight: Guyana 1950-Present
Chapter Nine: French Guiana 1950-Present
Chapter Ten: Suriname 1950-Present
Chapter Eleven: Conclusion
Hyles offers a lucid portrait of how Dutch, English, and French empires confronted tropical nature in the strip of South America between Brazil and Venezuela, breaking it in to three polities—Guyana of the British, Suriname of the Dutch, and French Guyane—each with distinct political, economic, and cultural trajectories.
Richard Drayton, Kings College London


Joshua Hyles has chosen an unusual laboratory for his study of European imperialism: the Guianas on the northern coast of South America. His analysis of three colonies linked by geography, but shaped by the imposition of British, French, and Dutch imperial enterprises results in a masterful study of not just the various forms European imperialism took, but also the autochthonous reaction to each that explains the emergence of independent states in Guyana, Suriname, and the creation of the overseas département of French Guiana.
Joan E. Supplee, Baylor University


A boon to Caribbean scholars, this book breaks a tradition of academic isolation and integrates Cayenne and Suriname into the historiography of the region. It removes the existing veil and makes information on these two countries available to a wide range of scholars while providing an interesting perspective on the transformation of Guiana, a single geographical unit into three culturally diverse nations. This is a timely and welcome addition to the historiography of the Caribbean.
Rita Pemberton, The University of the West Indies


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