A look at the various, sometimes conflicting, aspects of Jamaica: at once a paradise tourist island, the gangster-ridden home of the yardies, a proudly independent democracy, an island struggling with debt and its dependence on a few primary products, and a fantastically vibrant home of musical and sporting achievement. Peter Mason guides the reader through Jamaica's complex evolution and culture grown out of unique ties with Britain, with North America, and with the African slave trade diaspora. The work surveys the land and its people, the evolution of its politics and society, and the state of its economy. Music, culture and tourism are discussed in the context of Jamaica's fantastic achievements in these areas both at home and abroad. The book presents practical information for the interested traveller, on festivals such as Sunsplash and carnival, eco-adventures on Blue Mountain treks, the dancehalls and sporting grounds, and, of course, the beaches.