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Dr. Michael O’Neal, Senior Research Fellow , Publishes Book on BVI Social History

Posted on June 27, 2012

Dr. Michael O'Neal, IRF Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Michael O’Neal, IRF Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Michael O’Neal is Senior Research Fellow at Island Resources Foundation and former President of H. Lavity Stoutt Community College at in the British Virgin Islands. Dr. O’Neal’s monograph on Virgin Islands social history, entitled Slavery, Smallholding and Tourism: Social Transformations in the British Virgin Islands, has just been published and is available online now from Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both paperback and hardcover print editions, as well as in eBook format on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook and Apple iBook/iTunes readers.

The URL to order soft or hardcopy versions of the book are:

at Amazon, or the following to order from Barnes and Noble on line:

Dr. O’Neal’s book is published by Quid Pro Books, an independent academic imprint, Alan Childress, Conrad Meyer III Professor of Law at Tulane University, publisher.

The publisher’s webpage says, “Slavery, Smallholding and Tourism explores the political economy of development in the British Virgin Islands­­—from plantations, through the evolution of a smallholding economy, to the rise of tourism.”

“The study argues that the demise of plantation economy in the BVI ushered in a century of imperial disinterest persisting until recently, when a new ‘monocrop’—tourism—became ascendant.

“Using an historical and anthropological approach, O’Neal shows how the trend toward reliance on tourism and other dependent industries affects many BVIslanders—called the ‘Belongers’—in ways that echo their historical and economic heritage,” continues the webpage.

Quid Pro Books (QP) are the publishers of the digital editions of Harvard Law Review, Stanford Law Review and Yale Law Journal and specialize in the publication of books on law, legal history, and law and society. Dr. O’Neal’s volume articulated with their publishing interests in part because of the extensive use of court trial records in his treatment of the plantation era.

Part of the Classic Dissertation Series from Quid Pro, the book adds a new Foreword by Vassar College’s Prof. Colleen Ballerino Cohen, who describes Dr. O’Neal’s work as a “pioneering and important book”, and additional commentary by University of California-Irvine’s Prof. Bill Maurer, who shows how even the emergence of a financial services industry may be understood through the insights that Dr. O’Neal presents in his study.

The former HLSCC president is currently Senior Research Fellow at Island Resources Foundation, an organization with offices in Washington, D.C. and the Caribbean, whose central mission is to assist small islands to meet the challenges of social, economic and institutional growth while protecting and enhancing their environments

Dr. O’Neal is also a director of JOMA Ltd., a family-owned real estate management and development company in the British Virgin Islands.

Further details on the book may be found at the publisher’s website ( A book launch will be held at the College in due course and further information will be provided when a date has been set.

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