The Loss of El Dorado (Paperback)
A Colonial History
Vintage, 9781400030767, 400pp.
Publication Date: April 8, 2003
Amid massacres and poisonings, plunder and multinational intrigue, two themes emerge: the grinding down of the Aborigines during the long rivalries of the El Dorado quest and, two hundred years later, the man-made horror of slavery. An accumulation of casual, awful detail takes us as close as we can get to day-to-day life in the slave colony, where, in spite of various titles of nobility, only an opportunistic, near-lawless community exists, always fearful of slave suicide or poison, of African sorcery and revolt. Naipaul tells this labyrinthine story with assurance, withering irony, and lively sympathy. The result is historical writing at its highest level.
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Praise For The Loss of El Dorado: A Colonial History…
“History as literature, meticulously researched and masterfully written.” –The New York Times Book Review
“A formidable achievement. . . . No historian has attempted to weave together in so subtle a manner the threads of the most complex and turbulent period of Caribbean history.” –The Times Literary Supplement
“Brilliant. . . . Startling.” –New Statesman
“A remarkable book. . . . Intelligent, humane, brilliantly written.” –Book World