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A Magnificent Opus For the Times,
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This review is from: The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (Penguin History) (Paperback)
C.L.R. James' seminal work is an incredible feat of scholarship and a real labour of love. The history of the split of Hispaniola (into Dominican Republic and Haiti) and the enduring impact of the events faithfully retold in this book should be compulsory reading for all students of history, and indeed all those who wonder why Haiti is the poorest country in the world today. And in Toussaint L'Overture we have one of the greatest underappreciated historical figures - a man whose achievements in repelling waves of attempted manipulation and domination by the great powers of the day - Britain, Spain and France - despite a humble slave background and limited education, makes him all the more remarkable. As the leader of the revolution which resulted in the establishment of the first independent African Caribbean state and first black-led republic in the world as it then was, the story of Toussaint as was completed by his able and equally phenomenal lieutenant Dessalines is one for the ages, and C.L.R. James has superbly honoured their memory and achievements here.