"Eric Williams: The Myth and the Man" seeks to illuminate the political career of one of the Caribbean's most elusive figures, Eric Williams, the first prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago. Selwyn Ryan uses a wide array of primary sources, letters, interviews, material from the Public Records Office in the United Kingdom, the State Department Records in the United State of America and the Eric Williams Memorial Collection in Trinidad and Tobago, and demonstrates a strong mastery of secondary sources to provide a sophisticated political analysis of Williams' role in Trinidadian and Caribbean politics. The manuscript focuses on Williams' entry into politics and his tenure as prime minister from 1956 until his death in 1981. Ryan also provides an interesting analysis of Williams' seminal work Capitalism and Slavery and his role as a scholar.The book is a distillation of research and writings that have spanned two decades. The author brings a unique perspective to the work as both a scholar and one who has studied, criticized and been active in Trinidad politics as chairman of the Public Utilities Commission, Trinidad and Tobago.
Selwyn Ryan is Professor Emeritus and former Director, Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago. He also taught at Cornell University, York University and Makere University, Uganda. He is the author of more than fifty articles and several books, including The Disillusioned Electorate: The Politics of Succession in Trinidad and Tobago; Race and Nationalism in Trinidad and Tobago, 1995-2002; Winner Takes All: The Westminster Experience in the Caribbean; and Pathways to Power: Indians and the Politics of National Unity in Trinidad and Tobago.