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Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution

4.6 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0674018266
ISBN-10: 0674018265
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: The Belknap Press (October 31, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674018265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674018266
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dennis R. Hidalgo on May 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
It was about time that a book like this would appear. In this book Dubois masterfully walked a fine line between several traditional approaches to the Haitian Revolution. While avoiding the extremes of old racists' historians that have blamed slaves for bringing chaos to the island of Hispaniola, he also avoids the hero-making excess of CLR James. Dubois also appropriated lots from Carolyn E. Fick's valuable approach of the revolution from below while still on the sobering side of David P. Geggus.

With the exception of James', there is no work on the Haitian Revolution that is more readable and engaging than this book. Dubois' prose is crisp and vivid-the perfect writing for such a colorful story. The book is not short. But each chapter is full with interesting stories that you can hardly notice you are reading a scholarly history book.

However, there are three issues you should be aware of while reading it. Probably due to the large amount of information and the inclusion of many little stories, the reader can easily lose track of the chronology. So, having besides you a chronology of the events can help you follow each one without problems. Also, because of the scholarly practice of the use of evidence, Dubois habit of story-telling, and his efforts to avoid being judgmental, at first impression the reader may feel that the author is siding with evil. But Dubois evaluation is subtle, and yet very powerful and accurate. And finally, a few typos, responsibilities of the publishing house and not of the author, should not affect the reader's enjoyment of a good and important reading.
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Format: Paperback
A very well written narrative of the Haitian Revolution. As Dubois points out, this was the only successful slave revolt in human history, with its success brought about by a unique convergence of turmoil in Haiti and the collapse of the French government associated with French Revolution. While Dubois focuses on events in Haiti, he does very in relating the relevant developments in French politics crucial to understanding events in Haiti. Dubois starts by describing the complex situation in Haiti on the eve of the revolution. The most productive colony of the French empire, the population of Haiti was dominated by slaves, most recently or relatively recently arrived from Africa. In addition to the small white planter class, Haiti also contained small by significant populations of free blacks, mixed raced people of color, some of them affluent plantation owners and merchants, and landless whites. In the second half of the 18th century, increasing hardening of social and racial barriers and efforts of the French government to extend control produced significant strains in Haiti. At the same time, the penetration of Enlightenment ideas of rights provided an intellectual framework for alternative ways to organize society. The collapse of the French government and the French Revolution with its attachment to relatively radical ideas of human rights and equality produced an opportunity for groups within Haiti to take control of the colony. White plantars struggled to impose their own oligarchy on the island, free people of color struggled to achieve social and political equality, and the slaves would seize the opportunity to overturn any form of the existing order.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This book definitely deserves the prestigious prize it won. It masterfully blends detailed research with a superb writing style that made it a pleasure to read. I would recommend it both to someone who wanted to learn about the Haitian Revolution for the first time and to experts who wanted to compare different historiographical interpretations.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is the best document I have had about Espaniola, The information about the revolution is priceless, the slavery description is also most informative. The writer's approach to inform about the Dominican Republic and Haiti actions provides an unusual lot of information in one text and gives a better than most, interresting and complete view of the situation at one time. It is a very well explained situation of the French military involvment and of the action/reaction of the slave element within the then white society. The emergence of Haiti is well covered in this book.
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Format: Paperback
This is the best one-volume history of the Haitian Revolution in English (previous ones, by Thomas Ott and CLR James, are getting old). It is generally well written and up to date. One problem is that chapters often start with little vignettes then go back in time, which can be confusing (the revolution was confusing enough as it was!). And the author hasn't made much primary research in comparison with his previous work on Guadeloupe (A Colony of Citizens).
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Format: Paperback
This book was a true pleasure to read. DuBois is the kind of historian who deserves to be teaching high school students (I mean this as a compliment) because while makes sure to include all relevant details about the Haitain revolution, he makes this book read like a fascinating story. This is a wonderful and well developed book, suitable for both laymen and scholars.

I am pleased that DuBois kept his editorializing to a minimum and described the events of the Haitian revolution in a very much nuanced manner. I recommend this this book to anyone looking for a detailed, but surprisingly easy to read discussion of that famous "first successful slave rebellion."
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