The Achievements and Failures in the Post-colonial Era
The Long Road to Progress for Jamaica is a unique book that provides a broad analysis of Jamaica’s achievements and failures since becoming an independent nation on August 6, 1962. Despite some important achievements this book focuses more on the failures which have eclipsed those achievements.
Without ascribing blame for Jamaica’s postcolonial failures, The Long Road to Progress for Jamaica makes the case that these failures are the result of a flawed political system with questionable political leadership. Specifically, it addresses issues like political corruption, political tribalism, garrison constituencies, and violent crime as the core problems.🥇
One unique feature of The Long Road to Progress for Jamaica is that it divides the postcolonial era into three political periods —The Foundation Period, The Social Chaos and Political
Corruption Period, and The Maintenance of the Status Quo Period. All nine prime ministers to date are grouped in one of these periods based on their overall leadership effectiveness, accomplishments or failures.
Unlike other books that identify and discuss Jamaica’s problems, The Long Road to Progress for Jamaica provides practical solutions to reduce or eliminate the systemic problems holding the country back. Written in a style that is easy to follow and understand readers from the broad population and background of Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora will find this book appealing.
An accurate description of The Long Road to Progress for Jamaica is given by Lance Neita in this comment from his foreword to the book:
This is a book intended to turn Jamaica on edge and force a nation to look deeply into its history, examine paths taken, decisions made, options chosen, and to argue about the critical shortcomings or benefits of the economic and social experiments undertaken by successive administrations.
While this comment captures the essence of The Long Road to Progress for Jamaica, its primary objective is to inspire a transformation of Jamaica’s political system to one that is free of the systemic problems that have crippled the country. It is also a call to action for Jamaicans to become proactive to help achieve this transformation.