Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Hero and the Crowd in a Colonial Polity

Singham, A. W., The Hero and the Crowd in a Colonial Polity, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968.

Reviewed in Social and Economic Studies © 1970.

Reviewed in the Caribbean Studies © 1970.

Reviewed in Caribbean Quarterly © 1969.

Reviewed in the Political Science Quarterly © 1971.

Reviewed in the The Hispanic American Historical Review © 1969.

From the inner sleeve:
The unusual relationships that develop in a colony from rivalry among the traditional, the charismatic, and the legal domination systems are examined in this study of a political leader – the “hero” – who emerges during the stage of terminal colonial rule. Mr. Singham believes that the political conflict which results from the three systems’ rival claims to legitimacy cannot be resolved because of fundamental contradictions within the colonial polity. Thus the crisis phenomenon is inherent in the colonial situation, and the political system is bound to be unstable. These theoretical propositions are weighed against the career of E.M. Gairy, a central figure in the 1962 crisis of Grenada, the smallest of the Windward Islands in the Caribbean.

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