New Book—”Unpacked: A History of Caribbean Tourism”

Blake C. Scott’s Unpacked: A History of Caribbean Tourism is a new publication from Cornell University Press (October 2022). Tore Olsson (The University of Tennessee, author of Agrarian Crossings) observes, “Blake C. Scott sheds much-needed light on the contemporary Caribbean tourism industry, describing it as a deeply human creation, not the inevitable product of faceless or timeless forces. Unpacked is engaging, sophisticated, and richly populated by a procession of flesh-and-blood protagonists who created and maintained the industry’s institutions.”

Description: Unpacked offers a critical, novel perspective on the Caribbean’s now taken-for-granted desirability as a tourist’s paradise. Dreams of a tropical vacation have become a quintessential aspect of the modern Caribbean, as millions of tourists travel to the region and spend extravagantly to pursue vacation fantasies. At the beginning of the twentieth century, however, travelers from North America and Europe thought of the Caribbean as diseased, dangerous, and, according to many observers, “the white man’s graveyard.” How then did a trip to the Caribbean become a supposedly fun and safe experience?

Unpacked examines the historical roots of the region’s tourism industry by following a well-traveled sea route linking the US East Coast with the island of Cuba and the Isthmus of Panama. Blake C. Scott describes how the cultural and material history of US imperialism became the heart of modern Caribbean tourism. In addition, he explores how advances in tropical medicine, perceptions of the tropical environment, and development of infrastructure and transportation networks opened a new playground for visitors.

Blake C. Scott is assistant professor of International Studies at the College of Charleston.

For more information, see

For a 20% discount online with code CSLF2022 (Valid until 11:59 GMT, 30th June 2023; discount only applies to CAP website) see

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