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11 April 2013
Chocolate Islands: Cocoa, Slavery and Colonial Africa 
by Catherine Higgs.
Ohio, 230 pp., £24.95, June 2012, 978 0 8214 2006 5
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... that his company’s profits were supported by slavery: and yet supported by slavery they were, as Catherine Higgs shows. The paradox for European imperialisms in Africa was that while the nature of imperialism is to exploit the labour of the colonised, the ideological foundation of empire was that only imperial rule could end the evils of slavery and ...

A Dreadful Drumming

Theo Tait: Ghosts

6 June 2013
The Undiscovered Country: Journeys among the Dead 
by Carl Watkins.
Bodley Head, 318 pp., £20, January 2012, 978 1 84792 140 6
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A Natural History of Ghosts: 500 Years of Hunting for Proof 
by Roger Clarke.
Particular, 360 pp., £20, November 2012, 978 1 84614 333 5
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... America, and much lower in France.) Why is this – when science can explain everything from the Higgs boson to the birth of the continents? I suppose you could turn the question round, and point out that these are world-historically low levels of ghost belief. From the beginning of human culture, the dead were buried with food and other ...

Goings-on in the Tivoli Gardens

Christopher Tayler: Marlon James

5 November 2015
A Brief History of Seven Killings 
by Marlon James.
Oneworld, 688 pp., £8.99, June 2015, 978 1 78074 635 7
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... had produced a few ska recordings in West Kingston, some of them featuring Marley’s mentor Joe Higgs. Manley, not to be outdone, had visited Ethiopia and returned with – in White’s words – ‘an elaborate miniature walking stick’, a gift from Haile Selassie, to show Rasta voters. Back in 1971 he had also pressed Marley into joining an explicitly ...

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