Bonds of Empire: West Indians and Britishness from Victoria to Decolonization

Hardcover | July 30, 2011

byAnne Spry Rush

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In the first half of the twentieth century Britishness was an integral part of the culture that pervaded life in the colonial Caribbean. Caribbean peoples were encouraged to identify with social structures and cultural values touted as intrinsically British. Many middle-class West Indians ofcolour duly adopted Britishness as part of their own identity. Yet, as Anne Spry Rush explains in Bonds of Empire, even as they re-fashioned themselves, West Indians recast Britishness in their own image, basing it on hierarchical ideas of respectability that were traditionally British, but also onmore modern expectations of racial and geographical inclusiveness. Britain became the focus of an imperial British identity, an identity which stood separate from, and yet intimately related to, their strong feelings for their tropical homelands. Moving from the heights of empire in 1900 to the independence era of the 1960s, Rush argues that middle-class West Indians used their understanding of Britishness first to establish a place for themselves in the British imperial world, and then to negotiate the challenges of decolonization. Througha focus on education, voluntary organization, the challenges of war, radio broadcasting, and British royalty, she explores how this process worked in the daily lives of West Indians in both the Caribbean and the British Isles. Bonds of Empire thus traces West Indians' participation in a complexprocess of cultural transition as they manipulated Britishness and their relationship to it not only as colonial peoples but also as Britons

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In the first half of the twentieth century Britishness was an integral part of the culture that pervaded life in the colonial Caribbean. Caribbean peoples were encouraged to identify with social structures and cultural values touted as intrinsically British. Many middle-class West Indians ofcolour duly adopted Britishness as part of th...

Anne Spry Rush's research interests include the nature of identity and culture in the modern British Empire, with an emphasis on imperial identity in the twentieth-century Caribbean and British Isles. She teaches history at the University of Maryland.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.1 inPublished:July 30, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199588554

ISBN - 13:9780199588558

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart One: Fashioning BritishnessPrelude1. Schooling Britons2. Royalty and the Bonds of EmpirePart Two: The People's Empire: Mobilizing the Power of BritishnessPrelude3. A Model for Secession? The 1936 Abdication Crisis4. Hewing to Tradition: Education Debates in the 1930s and 1940s5. Imperial Identities in Colonial Minds: The League of Coloured Peoples6. 'One United Family': The World at War7. Egalitarian Imperialism: The BBC and the West Indies 1920s-1940sPart Three: Continuity within Change: Britishness in a New WorldPrelude8. 'A Bridge Between': The BBC's Colonial Service9. Modern Raleighs in a New Elizabethan Age10. Business as Usual: Caribbean Britishness in West Indian SchoolsConclusionAppendixBibliographyIndex