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The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (Penguin History) by [James, C. L. R.]
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The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (Penguin History) Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Review

" 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

"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

From the Inside Flap

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1478 KB
  • Print Length: 383 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (31 May 2001)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9LAI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #152,752 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
This book opens with a graphic description of the horrors of the slave trade.It brings to life the terrible images from the era which i thought i comprehended in some small way. The barbarity of the times and the conditions of everyday life not only for the african victims but the vile way of life that the europeans created for themselves is shocking.The book describes a world in which life had very little value and often ended in the most awful ways-disease,murder,starvation claimed many more peope than old age. It is an amazing story of the staggering wealth the west indies brought europe and france in particular. As an insight of what lay behind the great pomp and grandeur of the french state and its betrayal and double dealing with its foriegn colonies it is af real interest.Its parralleling of the french revolution and how it played out in the colonies brings to light a lot of the underlying forces of the revolution and the politics of the new society being molded.the betrayel of the french masses and their support for the freeing of black slaves and all the oppressed reveals how the revolutionary cause was undermined by the elites with little concern for morality or human decency. It is a real shame how the great sacrifices made on both sides of the atlantic seldom benifitted those that made them.The author describes with great sympathy and understanding the central characters,introducing this reader to a cast of characters i new absolutely nothing about.. And although it does read like a book from the 30's it is rigourous in its attempt to be faithful to the past and also be relevant to our present.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Outside of Haiti, Toussaint L'Ouverture's historical exploits have largely gone unnoticed, mainly because
he stood up to Europes most formidable armies (the British, the French & the Spanish).

CLR James' excellent book tells us how this great general inspired the slaves of San Domingo to rise up in revolt against
the murderous regime of slavery. He defeated - time after time - Europe's elite armies, including standing up to Napoleon's
formidable military forces (many of L'Ouverture's military tactics were then copied throughout the century).
When the French army where about to invade the island of Haiti, L'Ouverture gave a rousing speech to his indomitable troops:

'My children, France comes to make us slaves [again]. God gave us liberty; France has no right to take
it away. Burn the cities, destroy the harvests, tear up the roads with cannon, poison the wells, show
the white man the hell he comes to make'.

L'Ouverture's tactical nous in the battle field was so good that he had to be tricked into a cowardly capture.

Like one reviewer has already mentioned, I am also surprised that no major film company hasn't made a movie about this puissant general to-date.

L'Ouverture's exploits were so good, that Europe - and to some extent America - made sure that the people of Haiti
suffered through economic sanctions, that today, they are now one of the poorest nations in the world, and will always go
cap in hand to other countries for financial help.

I would recommend 'The Black Jacobins' to anyone who wants to read about a man who had principles, and stood
his ground against the evils of bondage, and held out against all the odds ... a riveting page turning read!
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Format: Paperback
Simply, this is one of THE MOST IMPORTANT books to be written on the colonial history of the Caribbean and on the (little discussed) defeat of the most powerful European nations of the day - by Africans - in the creation of HAITI, which may be the first African state to be created outside of mainland Africa, in the modern age.

The book would appeal to any reader as it is written in a lucid and narrative style by one of the Caribbean's greatest writers and thinkers - the highly acclaimed Mr CLR James, who took great care to research the evidence contained in the book. I cannot thank and honour him enough for this achievement he left to add to our great heritage.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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