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Bankers and Empire: How Wall Street Colonized the Caribbean

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Bankers And Empire: How Wall Street Colonized The Caribbean

From the end of the nineteenth century until the onset of the Great Depression, Wall Street embarked on a stunning, unprecedented, and often bloody period of international expansion in the Caribbean. The precursors to institutions like Citibank and JPMorgan Chase, as well as a host of long-gone and lesser-known financial entities, sought to push out their European rivals so that they could control banking, trade, and finance in the region. In the process, they not only trampled local sovereignty, grappled with domestic banking regulation, and backed US imperialism but they also set the model for bad behavior by banks, visible still today.

In Bankers and Empire, Peter James Hudson tells the provocative story of this period, taking a close look at both the institutions and individuals who defined this era of American capitalism in the West Indies. Whether in Wall Street minstrel shows or in dubious practices across the Caribbean, the behavior of the banks was deeply conditioned by bankers' racial views and prejudices. Drawing deeply on a broad range of sources, Hudson reveals that the banks' experimental practices and projects in the Caribbean often led to embarrassing failure, and, eventually, literal erasure from the archives. Bankers and Empire is a groundbreaking book, one which will force readers to think anew about the relationship between capitalism and race.

University Of Chicago Press

University Of Chicago Press

Peter James Hudson

Peter James Hudson

No of Pages
368
Publisher
University Of Chicago Press
ISBN-13
9780226459110
Awards
None
Book Format
Hardcover
Published Date
Apr 24, 2017

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About Peter James Hudson

Peter James Hudson is a historian who completed his Ph.D. in the American Studies Program at New York University. His research interests are at the intersection of African Diaspora and Caribbean Studies and modern United States history, with a particular focus on the intertwined histories of white supremacy, capitalism, and empire. His manuscript, "Dark Finance: Wall Street and the West Indies, 1873-1933," is under contract with the University of Chicago Press.

His essays on North American banking and the history of imperialism in the Caribbean have appeared in journals including Small Axe, Race & Class, Radical History Review, Haitï Liberté, and Stabroek News. Hudson has written on Black Canada for Transition, Chimurenga, and other venues. He is editor of North: New African Canadian Writing (a special issue of West Coast Line), and is co-editor of a forthcoming special issue of the CLR James Journal: The Journal of the Caribbean Philosophical Association on “Black Canadian Thought.” Hudson also edits the digital history resource The Public Archive: Black History in Dark Times.

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