Loss of el Dorado A Colonial History

ISBN-10: 1400030765
ISBN-13: 9781400030767
Edition: 2003
List price: $17.00 Buy it from $2.05
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Description: The history of Trinidad begins with a delusion: the belief that somewhere nearby on the South American mainland lay El Dorado, the mythical kingdom of gold. In this extraordinary and often gripping book, V. S. Naipaul–himself a native of  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.00
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 4/8/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 400
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

The history of Trinidad begins with a delusion: the belief that somewhere nearby on the South American mainland lay El Dorado, the mythical kingdom of gold. In this extraordinary and often gripping book, V. S. Naipaul–himself a native of Trinidad–shows how that delusion drew a small island into the vortex of world events, making it the object of Spanish and English colonial designs and a mecca for treasure-seekers, slave-traders, and revolutionaries. Amid massacres and poisonings, plunder and multinational intrigue, two themes emerge: the grinding down of the Aborigines during the long rivalries of the El Dorado quest and, two hundred years later, the man-made horror of slavery. An accumulation of casual, awful detail takes us as close as we can get to day-to-day life in the slave colony, where, in spite of various titles of nobility, only an opportunistic, near-lawless community exists, always fearful of slave suicide or poison, of African sorcery and revolt. Naipaul tells this labyrinthine story with assurance, withering irony, and lively sympathy. The result is historical writing at its highest level.

Vidiadhar Surajprasad (V. S.) Naipaul was born on August 17, 1932. He was born of Hindu parents in Trinidad. V. S. Naipaul was educated at Oxford University and has lived in Great Britain since 1950. With an exile's sensibility, Naipaul's writing is concerned with both the West Indies of his childhood and his strong identification with India. A House for Mr. Biswas (1961), his most well-known work, solidified his reputation as a novelist. It tells the tragicomic story of the search for independence and identity of a Brahmin Indian living in Trinidad. Naipaul's work, even when he appears to be analyzing a picturesque character, is really an analysis of the entire society of Trinidad. The Middle Passage (1962) extends this analysis of the social order to other areas of the West Indies. His novel, A Bend in the River (1979) set in a new African nation, depicts the difficulties ordinary people face during times of political upheaval. A Turn in the South (1989) is a sensitive portrayal of the American South. Naipaul is regarded by many as one of the best writers of our time, and he is a perennial nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature, which he finally won on October 11, 2001.

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