Critical Mass

Scott McLemee on the Caribbean Review of Books, the Crisis in Haiti, and the “Economy of Attention”

By Eric Banks

At Inside Higher Ed, board member Scott McLemee recently interviewed the Trinidad-based Caribbean Review of Books editor Nicholas Laughlin about the CRB's current prospects, the coverage of the Haitian earthquake and relief efforts, and the question of the region's place in Atlantic cultural and intellectual life.

“Even among people feeling empathy and a sense of responsibility to help there is often a blindspot with regard to the Caribbean – an underestimation of its place in the history of Atlantic societies, its role in connecting Europe, Africa, and the Americas,” McLemee writes.”This was one of the points tirelessly emphasized by the late C.L.R. James, the Trinidadian historian and political theorist, whose classic book The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (1938), is being rediscovered now. Perhaps it is not too late to grasp the Caribbean as a crucial part of the process shaping global society.”

Click here to read the entire conversation. And if you're not familiar with the CRB, an excellent archive of its past issues is available here (among the frequent contributors is Marlon James, an NBCC fiction finalist this year for his novel The Book of Night Women).