From the Editorial Preface:
Dom Basil in the present work scrutinises the growth of the Trinidad family under slavery, through the free rural community up to the present stage of rapid change under urban conditions. In doing so he makes use of historical documentary sources and contemporary data collected by means of quantitative and descriptive surveys. In addition he is able to draw heavily on many tongued oral tradition which has surrounded him since his early years when he was growing up in the house of his father, a school-master, in a remote village in Trinidad, his native land. His own experience not only adds to the richness of the picture drawn, but gives to the readers a sense that the writer is identifying himself with the life of the folk, so that he has thus been able to see the creative aspect of the struggle by the folk for a self-respecting way of life, in circumstances which could hardly have been more challenging.