Tracing a nation's history along the terrain of war and politics is classic. This is how our so-called historical sensibility has been molded and oriented through the ages, both academically and otherwise. We have gotten used to the notion that the centerpiece of history is violent conflicts in varying proportions as well as the political underpinnings that triggered such conflicts. This traditional approach makes history exciting to the point that in certain instances a blurring of the factual and the legendary becomes an inevitable consequence. Authentic history is thus embellished and fictionalized. The process creates larger-than-life cults within the framework of narratives that are uncritically and hence readily accepted by virtue of their triumphalist overtone.

Chris Pforr's Dangerous Waters, like the author is maverick. This is history carefully laid out in the landscape of economics and the unilateral political climate that has sustained it through the successive eras of colonial and neo-colonial domination. Dangerous Waters is a rehearsal of a nation's history in the light of certain economic factors whose fundamental impact has led to a people's impoverishment, political disempowerment and cultural weakening. Reading and examining history within the economic framework is not an unusual project but an all-encompassing foundational enterprise that spontaneously engages the critical mind to explore the lateral regions of society, politics and culture. Over and beyond the frontiers of conventional thinking, it guides the scholar to a wider vista of global events that signficantly connect with local and domestic states of affairs.

Dangerous Waters is a tour de force of high scholarship aimed to generate among its readers--both academic and non-academic--an unconventional way of looking at history. Traditional histories privileging class interests and class personalities are a thing of the past. History entwined with the complex measure of the mechanics and dynamics of a nation's economic topography is history at its best.

-- R. F. Pepa
Author and retired academic
Madrid, Spain
June 2015