A classic and impassioned account of the first revolution in the Third World. This powerful, intensely dramatic book is the definitive account of. Jacobins. TOUSSAINT L’OUVERTURE AND. THE SAN DOMINGO REVOLUTION . SECOND EDITION, llEVISED c. L. R. JAMES. VINTAGE BOOKS. A Division of. The Black Jacobins has ratings and reviews. by Amy Wilentz The Big Truck That Went By by Jonathan M. Katz The Black Jacobins by C.L.R. James.

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The Black Jacobins – Wikipedia

Jan 25, A. But there it is, an ambition for us all. It is also overshadowed by Haiti’s underdevelopment, decades of US supported dictatorships, underdevelopment of Haiti by imperialism. James asserts g the actual concern of the British was strategic, and that their “humanitarian interest” in abolition was in actuality a pragmatic interest, in that it undermined rival France by crippling access to slave labour for France’s most lucrative colony.

Over the course of the text, L’Ouverture comes to act almost as a jacpbins hero, and this is where the fine line between accurate blqck and historical literature is blurred, because although The Black Jacobins is probably the best account of the revolution that exists, it can seem idealistic at times.

And it was to his brilliant maneuvers on the battlefield that we credit the freedom of the Haitian black slaves, and the creation of the first black ex-colonial republic on the planet, and the second republic in the Western Hemisphere.

Enter your email address and subscribe to get the latest End of Capitalism news right in your inbox. Jan 18, Andrea rated it it was amazing Shelves: I was dazzled by haunting images of the oppressed Haitians finding their revenge. Because, for James, class distinctions are stressed over those of race, he sees the French Revolution as not only a background, but a heavy influence on the Haitian Revolution as well.

Retrieved from ” https: Generals like Toussaint tend to want to appeal to authority, whether Napoleon or the bourgeois Jacobins in Paris. One example of this is the leaning of the mulattos towards whoever presently holds the power. Undeniably, yet not blindly Marxist, James follows an interesting path through the book.

He stated that he hoped others would elaborate on his research. Prometheus, Hamlet, Lear, Phedre, Ahab, assert what may be the permanent impulses of the human condition against the claims of organised society.


I think I must have a co After the earthquake in Haiti, all books about Haiti in the Pittsburgh library system were checked out. As they devastated an area they moved westward and then south, decade after decade, past the Niger, down the Congo coast, past Loango and Angola, round the Cape of Good Hope, and, byeven as far as Mozambique on the eastern side of Africa.

The weaknesses in the book come from self-defeating politics of discipline for the sake of discipline, rr the heart-rending compromises that Toussaint L’Overture makes with people who see him and the republic he created as nothing more than slaves to be punished for their insubordination. The history of a most significant revolution brought to light by C L R James.

Spain had the best offer on the table, so the Haitian slaves fought both the French and the English. It was the people. There was much colonial political intrigue that I wasn’t expecting. L’Ouverture had the privilege to be raised as a house servant whose workload was much less than, and whose “benefits” were much more than, those of the field servants.

The last chapter, on the War of Independence, is a whopper and a half, and I frequently felt like throwing the book across the room and clawing at my own face because European politicians are BASTARDS, but in the end, I prevailed and didn’t commit manslaughter, so bravo for me.

This might have seemed practical at the time, but does not make for exciting reading, and is certainly not good revolutionary policy. Ben Eastaugh and Chris Sternal-Johnson. He charged at [the French] head, passing unscathed through the bullets and the grape-shot.

And in one respect he excelled them all.

To the right, dress! Black Masses and Tragic Heroes in C. The people of Haiti fought fiercely, not just with their lives, but with their deaths for freedom. Toussaint could defend the freedom of the blacks without reservation. Renda, Uames A,Taking Haiti: How much a postcolonial subject assimilates to the colonial culture is always a confusing subject.

Review of “The Black Jacobins” by CLR James

It is worth considering just how good James is, since I remain just slightly suspicious of some of the descriptions, which make of Toussaint a more than human character.

They are not potatoes, he says, jaems are stones. This page was last edited on 22 Decemberat James is not afraid to touch his pen with the flame of ardent personal feeling — a sense of justice, love of kames, admiration for heroism, hatred for tyranny — and his detailed, richly documented and dramatically written book holds a deep and lasting interest. The alignment with power was important throughout the revolution.


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

It is impossible for a colonized person to preserve only his culture. He set out to describe the revolting slaves as people worthy of esteem and awe, and wow, was he successful. From the Baroque to the Modern— Verso.

It has become a touch jacboins for thinking about the decolonization struggle. R James did an exceptional job of putting a lot things in context and revealing the things that shaped this country into what it is today.

Just a couple more choice quotes to end with, not because I necessarily agree with them, but because they are both punchy and provocative, and a final rumination on the character of Toussaint that I’m not quite sure I understand and am still pondering: He distinguishes the house-servants who “gave themselves airs and despised the slaves in the fields” as the “upper servants.

They were to learn their lesson, but not until decades had passes and thousands perished needlessly. But Napoleon had no use for a colony without slavery, and Toussaint’s slave army was forced to negotiate secretly with the English and fight off the French again, while the Spanish eagerly looked for a chance to take over.

A final quote on race and revolution: That James succeeded in writing a sweeping epic narrative of great names power and dramatic quality is not in doubt. Nor is James shy about exposing the violence committed by the former slaves against the white and mixed armies. Whereas Marx towers above the disciple in the power of his abstract thought and gothic imagination, the disciple is superior as epic artist, especially as master of the thd portrayal of masses and individuals in action.

He went to Paris to research this work, where he met Haitian military historian Alfred Auguste Nemours.