The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution

The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution

by C. L. R. James
     
 

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A classic and impassioned account of the first revolution in the Third World.

This powerful, intensely dramatic book is the definitive account of the Haitian Revolution of 1794-1803, a revolution that began in the wake of the Bastille but became the model for the Third World liberation movements from Africa to Cuba. It is the story of the French colony of San

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Overview

A classic and impassioned account of the first revolution in the Third World.

This powerful, intensely dramatic book is the definitive account of the Haitian Revolution of 1794-1803, a revolution that began in the wake of the Bastille but became the model for the Third World liberation movements from Africa to Cuba. It is the story of the French colony of San Domingo, a place where the brutality of master toward slave was commonplace and ingeniously refined. And it is the story of a barely literate slave named Toussaint L'Ouverture, who led the black people of San Domingo in a successful struggle against successive invasions by overwhelming French, Spanish, and English forces and in the process helped form the first independent nation in the Caribbean.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Brilliantly conceived and executed...The absorbing narrative never departs from its rigid faithfulness to method and documentation."

— Books

"Mr. James is not afraid to touch his pen with the flame of ardent personal feeling — a sense of justice, love of freedom, admiration for heroism, hatred for tyranny — and his detailed, richly documented and dramatically written book holds a deep and lasting interest."

— The New York Times

Sacred Fire
Haiti's revolution has always been a point of pride for people of African descent around the world. It was in Haiti that slaveholding European colonizers were finally driven away at the hands of the island's black population. The Black Jacobins dramatically and powerfully recounts the events that led up to the bloody and history-altering Haitian revolution of 1791-1803.

The revolution began in the wake of the Bastille and ended in the French colony of Santo Domingo, one of the wealthiest colonies in the world due to its rich natural resources and its importing of cotton, indigo, and coffee. Forever tied with the revolution is Toussaint-Louverture, a barely literate slave who united the slaves and mulattos of Santo Domingo and led them against the ruling population of the colony, as well as French, Spanish, and English forces, to alter the fate of millions of people and shift the economic currents of three continents.

"In 1789 the French West Indian colony of Santo Domingo supplied two-thirds of the overseas trade of France and was the greatest individual market for the European slave-trade.... The whole structure rested on the labour of half-a-million slaves." In 1791, after decades of inhumane and savage treatment by their "masters," the slaves revolted-led by one man, Toussaint-Louverture. "One of the most remarkable men of a period rich in remarkable men. The history of the Santo Domingo revolution will therefore largely be a record of his achievements and his political personality.... Between 1789-1815, with the single exception of Bonaparte himself, no single figure appeared on the historical stage more greatly gifted than this Negro, a slave till he was 45 [sic]. Yet Toussaint did not make the revolution. It was the revolution that made Toussaint."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679724674
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/28/1989
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
156,104
Product dimensions:
5.14(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.79(d)

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