cover of book

Myths and Realities of Caribbean History
by Basil A. Reid
University of Alabama Press, 2009
eISBN: 978-0-8173-8316-9 | Paper: 978-0-8173-5534-0
Library of Congress Classification F2176.R43 2009
Dewey Decimal Classification 972.901


This book seeks to debunk eleven popular and prevalent myths about Caribbean history. Using archaeological evidence, it corrects many previous misconceptions promulgated by history books and oral tradition as they specifically relate to the pre-Colonial and European-contact periods. It informs popular audiences, as well as scholars, about the current state of archaeological/historical research in the Caribbean Basin and asserts the value of that research in fostering a better understanding of the region’s past.


Contrary to popular belief, the history of the Caribbean did not begin with the arrival of Europeans in 1492. It actually started 7,000 years ago with the infusion of Archaic groups from South America and the successive migrations of other peoples from Central America for about 2,000 years thereafter. In addition to discussing this rich cultural diversity of the Antillean past, Myths and Realities of Caribbean History debates the misuse of terms such as “Arawak” and “Ciboneys,” and the validity of Carib cannibalism allegations.

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