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  • Published: 5 January 2023
  • ISBN: 9780241562079
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $27.99
Categories:

The Black Jacobins

Toussaint L'ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution




The iconic study of the Haitian revolution by one of the founding fathers of Caribbean scholarship, now in Modern Classics for the first time

In 1791, inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution, the slaves of San Domingo rose in revolt. Despite invasion by a series of British, Spanish and Napoleonic armies, their twelve-year struggle led to the creation of Haiti, the first independent black republic outside Africa. Only three years later, the British and Americans ended the Atlantic slave trade.

In this outstanding example of vivid, committed and empathetic historical analysis, C. L. R. James illuminates these epoch-making events. He explores the appalling economic realities of the Caribbean economy, the roots of the world's only successful slave revolt and the utterly extraordinary former slave - Toussaint L'Ouverture - who led them. Explicitly written as part of the fight to end colonialism in Africa, The Black Jacobins put the slaves themselves centre stage, boldly forging their own destiny against nearly impossible odds. It remains one of the essential texts for understanding the Caribbean - and the region's inextricable links with Europe, Africa and the Americas.

  • Published: 5 January 2023
  • ISBN: 9780241562079
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $27.99
Categories:

About the author

Cyril Lionel Robert James

C L R James, historian, novelist, cultural critic and political activist, was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1901. In 1932 he joined his friend Learie Constantine in Britain, where he became cricket correspondent of the Manchester Guardian. A central figure in the Pan-African movement and the struggle for colonial emancipation, he returned to Trinidad in 1958 in its run-up to independence. He later went back to London, where he died in 1989.

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Praise for The Black Jacobins

A starting point and an intellectual inspiration ... a classic of masterly historical writing.

James Walvin

The black Plato of our generation ... the founding father of African emancipation.

The Times

Contains some of the finest and most deeply felt polemical writing against slavery and racism ever to be published.

Time Out

James is, quite simply, the outstanding West Indian of the twentieth century.

Caryl Phillips

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.

New York Times

The Black Jacobins is one of the great books of the twentieth century ... one that wrote the history of a people supposedly without history.

Catherine Hall

Revolutionarily, the book abandoned the old narrative of black victimhood in favour of accenting the agency of the formerly enslaved who, fuelled by a desire for liberty, fought to achieve autonomy.

Colin Grant, Prospect

The standard and the main text through which the Haitian revolution is studied ... a book I've read back to back many times ... An incredibly brilliant book, an undeniably magnificent contribution to scholarship.

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