The French Revolution sent waves all the way across the Atlantic, dividing the colony's white population in 1791. The elites remained royalist, while the bourgeoisie embraced the revolutionary ideals. The slaves seized the moment and in the confusion rebelled en masse against their owners. The Haitian Slave Revolt had begun. When it ended in 1803, Saint Domingue had become Haiti, the first independent nation in the Caribbean.
C.L.R. James tells the story of the revolt and the events leading up to it in his masterpiece, The Black Jacobins. James's personal beliefs infuse his narrative: in his preface to a 1962 edition of the book, he asserts that , when written in 1938, it was "intended to stimulate the coming emancipation of Africa." James writes passionately about the horrific lives of the slaves and of the man who rose up and led them--a semiliterate slave named François-Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture. As James notes, however, "Toussaint did not make the revolution. It was the revolution that made Toussaint."
With its appendix, "From Toussaint L'Ouverture to Fidel Castro," The Black Jacobins provides an excellent window into the Haitian Revolution and the worldwide repercussions it caused. --Sunny Delaney
The book contains an excellent bibliography for reference.
The Black Jacobins is an essential historical work to understanding the Haitian revolution in comparison to the French Revolution and future slave revolutions.
Highly recommended, for anyone interested in Haitian history, as well as just good solid well-written non-fiction books.
The story and the way it's told are both shocking. Black readers will look for a knife. The role of Napoleon is interesting. Of course it wasn't like that in Ole Miss'.Published 1 month ago by Bob of gulf point
i am reading this book simultaneously with a re-reading of "Tale of Two Cities." They go together so well that I wish that I were a history teacher and could use them for... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Carol Elkins
A true comprehensive history of Haiti from early colonial days to the 20th Century- very well written, excellent Job by the writer. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nicky Lindquist
CLR James wasted no time in beating around the bush , He was very precise. Its more like a horror story.Published 5 months ago by Paltoo Dass
READ THIS BOOK 25YRS AGO THIS IS THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING. PAST THIS KNOWLEDGE ON TO THE MASSESPublished 10 months ago by Benjamin A. June
James is the first to really write favorably about the Haitian revolution and speak about the blacks who fought for and won their freedom, as heroes and not as animals. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Priscilla Stilwell
I bought The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution, by C.L.R. James, for my son to read in a history course he's taking. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Constant Reader
This book had everything I needed to do part of my paper. It's now happily filled with highlighter markes, paper clips, and sticky notes,Published 15 months ago by Catherine Theriault
The complexities of the Haitian revolution, its many factions and all its twists and turns, intertwined with those of the French revolution make for a fascinating account.Published 18 months ago by Henry R. Feldman