From the author's Preface:
This book is an essay in the regional approach to West Indian history. In the past, the history of the Caribbean area was written mainly from the point of view of the imperial history of the various colonizing powers. In recent years, however, West Indian history has come to be studied and taught as an integral part of the West Indian educative process, and many of the of the professional historians who have merged in the area itself have taken the view that a more meaningful interpretation of the West Indian past can be presented by treating the whole region as a unit for historical investigation. Following this trend, I have tried to analyze the general historical factors that have influenced the area as a whole and to compare their impact on different places, rather than to give a systematic account of individual territories or of the possessions of each of the imperial powers. But because of my interest in the Commonwealth, the British territories have been given somewhat fuller treatment where this has been possible within the regional conception of the study.