What would have happened if the Irish had conquered and controlled a vast empire? Would they have been more humane rulers than the English? Using the Caribbean island of Montserrat as a case study of Irish imperialism, Donald Akenson addresses these questions and provides a detailed history of the island during its first century as a European colony. Akenson reveals that the Irish proved to be as effective and as unfeeling colonists as the English and the Scottish, despite the long history of oppression in Ireland. He debunks the myth of the nice slave holder and the view that indentured labour prevailed in the West Indies in the seventeenth century. He also shows that the long-held habit of ignoring ethnic strife within the white ruling classes in the West Indies is misconceived.