A REVIEW OF
November 26, 2001
"RITUALS of POWER and REBELLION"
A masterpiece of social history, Dr.Liverpool's book, "Rituals of Power & Rebellion -The Carnival Tradition in Trinidad & Tobago 1763-1962" is an invaluable addition to the scattered body of literature available on this topic. Hollis "Chalkie" Liverpool has successfully managed to put into context, the social, political, economic and cultural forces which inadvertently came together to create the greatest show on earth. Rituals of Power & Rebellion is an in-depth study of the development of Trinidad carnival. It reveals that what appeared to be simply a musical bacchanal, was in fact the struggle of an oppressed people to maintain their cultural identity in a land of foreign domination, class struggle, economic deprivation and political strife, Here, the Trinidad carnival provided an outlet for the maintenance of sanity and a powerful weapon to resist oppression & injustice.
Dr. Liverpool has done the people of Trinidad and Tobago a tremendous favour by making this book available for posterity. He has set a standard in a West Indian context, that is rivaled only by Dr. Williams' "Capitalism & Slavery" and Walter Rodney's "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa" in terms of his documentation of historical events. The extensive research that went into the writing of this book is beyond impressive and the fact that is was written by a son with the caliber of "Chalkie" as opposed to a foreign observer is a credit to West Indian scholarship.
This book should be read by anyone interested in the history of Trinidad and should be compulsory reading for students of West Indian history at the University level. To a griot and historian, I say Chuba Dubai.
J. Michael De Gale
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