Stanley MirvisAug 23, 2021
The Jews of Eighteenth-Century Jamaica
Yale University Press 2020
Stanley Mirvis' The Jews of Eighteenth-Century Jamaica: A Testamentary History of a Diaspora in Transition (Yale University Press, 2020) offers an in-depth look at the Portuguese Jews of Jamaica and their connections to broader European and Atlantic trade networks. Based on last wills and testaments composed by Jamaican Jews between 1673 and 1815, this book explores the social and familial experiences of one of the most critical yet understudied nodes of the Atlantic Portuguese Jewish Diaspora. Stanley Mirvis examines how Jamaica's Jews worked as traders, planters, pen keepers, physicians, fishermen, and metalworkers, and reveals how they remained both rooted in local Jamaican contexts as well as part of the larger Atlantic Jewish Diasporic community and networks.
R. Grant Kleiser is a Ph.D. candidate in the Columbia University History Department. His dissertation researches the development of the free-port system in the eighteenth-century Caribbean, investigating the rationale for such moves towards “free trade” and the impact these policies had on subsequent philosophers, policy-makers, and revolutionaries in the Atlantic world.