Cape pre-empts Umoren's history of relationship between Britain and Caribbean

Cape pre-empts Umoren's history of relationship between Britain and Caribbean

Jonathan Cape has pre-empted a “ground-breaking” history of the relationship between Britain and the Caribbean by Imaobong Umoren.

Publishing director Michal Shavit bought UK and Commonwealth rights to Empire Without End: A New History of Britain and the Caribbean from Chris Wellbelove at Aitken Alexander Associates. It is set for release in spring 2023. 

The synopsis explains: “Empire Without End is a ground-breaking and comprehensive new history of the relationship between Britain and the Caribbean, and a radical investigation into the roots of systemic racism in our lives today. Looking first at the early period of the British West Indies four centuries ago, historian Imaobong Umoren demonstrates how a racial-caste order was established in the Caribbean. She then shows how this racial hierarchy was exported back to Britain, and how it has continued to dominate social, political and economic life in both territories up to the 21st century.

"Ultimately, Empire Without End proves why empire in the Caribbean did not end with independence and how insidious neo-colonialism has come to define modern life.”

Umoren is assistant professor of international history at the London School of Economics, where her research and teaching focuses on the Caribbean. Her first academic title, Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom Struggles (University of California Press), won the 2019 Women’s History Network Book Prize for best first book.

She said: “I am thrilled Empire Without End will be published with Jonathan Cape. I am excited to tell the full interconnected history of Britain and the Caribbean and couldn't have imagined a more perfect home for the book”.

Shavit added: “Umoren’s powerful and important book demands a reckoning with our imperial legacy and asks how Britain can atone for it in the context of contemporary systemic racism. We are very proud to be publishing this brilliant young academic and thinker at Jonathan Cape and Vintage.”