These papers explore the history of the tropical regions of the Atlantic basin, sometimes focused on the Caribbean, sometimes on Africa, but always with a comparative dimension. The Atlantic basin is central to most of these comparisons, but they are a part of an even broader effort to capture the perspective of world history. Some deal with the shores of the Atlantic in the framework of economic history, but the author's concern is most particularly with the role of the environment in history, especially the disease environment. Disease was particularly important for migrants who moved from one disease environment to another. In the tropical Atlantic, disease was a crucial factor in the formation of the slave trade, affecting both the involuntary passengers and those who came out from Europe to manage the trade.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Caribbean History: The declaration of the Rights of Man in Saint-Domingue, 1788-1791; The British sugar duties and West Indian prosperity; African History: Jihad in West Africa: early phases and inter-relations in Mauritania and Senegal; The lure of Bambuk gold; Africa in the wider monetary world, 1250-1850; Africa and global patterns of migration; Historical Epidemiology: ’The white man's grave’: image and reality, 1780-1850; Epidemiology and the slave trade; Medical knowledge and urban planning in tropical Africa; African health at home and abroad; The end of the ’White man’s grave’? 19th-century mortality in West Africa; Disease exchange across the Tropical Atlantic; Environmental History: The environment beyond Europe and the European theory of empire; Location in history: Argentina and South Africa in the 19th century; Index.
'... provides a valuable opportunity to access easily a group of articles from one of the foremost contributors to the field... Curtin is a formidable historian. The content of this collection is sound and incontestably interesting... a valuable resource. It is a treat to have things made so easily accessible for scholars in the field.' Medical History '... Philip D. Curtin has contributed mightily to the literature of a broad variety of fields... His contributions span both the established fields of economic and intellectual history and new fields... one ought to welcome a collection of Curtin's shorter writings that reflect his broad interests.' The Historian