Originally written by Armand Corre in 1889, Crime in Creole Countries: Sketch of Criminal Ethnography establishes a natural history of crime as it has been observed in countries of old French tradition where racial divides are present and fueled by differences in tendencies, interests, and aptitudes, despite the apparent unitary formula of metropolitan assimilation. This firsthand account of the time in which the French colonies within the West Indies were transitioning from slavery to emancipation was originally intended for magistrates and doctors of the colonies, showing them under what conditions, and under what motives (those being sometimes obscured or concealed) the crimes under their appraisal occurred. Scholars of criminology, race studies, Francophone studies, and history will find this book particularly useful.
Stephen M. Marson is professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Quentin Bouvier is PhD student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
List of Tables
List of Figures
Chapter 1: General Evolution of Crime in the Creole Countries
Chapter 2: General Factors of Local Criminality
Chapter 3: Forms of Creole Crime Itself
Chapter 4: Forms of the Criminality of Importation or Indian
About the Translators
Crime in Creole Countries is a complex yet inviting work, made all the more so by the current social upheavel in the United States that is largely centerd on calls for racial and social justice. Significantly, any historical work needs to be understood within the social and cultural context of where (and when) it was written — and that is where Dr. Marson and Mr. Bouvier excel. The insights and commentary that they provide into early efforts at constructing a criminology of relevance are what make this book stand out from others that take an historical approach to the field.
The work of A. Corre, originally published in 1889, offers to the researcher a unique snapshot of how crimes in the colonies were understood, represented, and explained by French officials sent to the colonies. It palliates to a certain extent to missing archives, by providing detailed statistics of crimes, which could be useful to researchers in Caribbean and Colonial Studies. More importantly, this translation of Corre’s book into English comes in a timely manner: it gives the opportunity for more scholars to decipher the historical construction of a biased and racist relational system between French citizens who, in theory, should have been equal before the law.