Sweetening "bitter Sugar": Jock Campbell, the Booker Reformer in British Guiana, 1934-1966

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Ian Randle Publishers, 2005 - Guyana - 675 pages
This book is about Jock Campbell's role in the shaping of British Guiana (Guyana) towards the end of Empire. Campbell, the head of the Booker Company which owned most of the sugar plantations in colonial Guyana was a reformer whose Fabian socialist beliefs drove him to secure major benefits for sugar workers in the 1950s?'60s.

Clem Seecharan explores the fascinating interplay between Campbell's programme of reforms and the doctrinaire Marxism of Guyana's charismatic politician, Cheddi Jagan. Fed by his notion of 'bitter sugar' and an unrelenting hostility to Booker, Jagan exploited the loyalty of Indian sugar workers to foment instability on the plantations and thus undermined Campbell's mission to alleviate the colony's bitter plantation legacy.

Seecharan provides a rigorous analysis of Campbell - a complex, progressive contradictory and passionate man - and his work in turbulent British Guiana, marked by nationalist stirrings, mobilisation doe decolonisation, the fragmenting of Jagan's nationalist coalition and descent into racial hatred and violence.

Sweetening Bitter Sugar is part biography, part history and politics. It also encompasses ethnicity, trade unionism, agricultural and technological innovation and health, housing and social welfare reforms. It is an outstanding, elegantly written study in modern Caribbean historiography.

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Prologue From Cheddi Jagans Bitter Sugar 1953
Jock Campbells Antecedents
The Impact of the Other

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