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.

Author: Groshura Groshicage
Country: Guyana
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: History
Published (Last): 13 October 2014
Pages: 391
PDF File Size: 2.96 Mb
ePub File Size: 10.32 Mb
ISBN: 267-9-33268-521-7
Downloads: 39930
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Yoktilar

Undeniably, yet not blindly Marxist, James follows an interesting path through the book. 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. Others lived a poorer existence and probably identified somewhat more with the plight of the enslaved black community.

Review of “The Black Jacobins” by CLR James

A particularly unnerving example is the slavemasters filling a slave up with gunpowder and lighting a fuse, exploding the body of the slave, perhaps for punishment, but seemingly just as often because the slavemasters could. It shows L’Ouverture’s weaknesses so as not to just be a book of pure hero worship. Since James claims that one purpose of the book is to “stimulate the coming emancipation of Africa,” and since the story itself uacobins the pattern of a typical tragedy, the question of how historical, and how literary the book are come into play.

I recently finished this fascinating book by C. As for Spain, I learned here that the much earlier Bartolome de las Casas had a dark side, in order to slow the genocide of the indigenous, he got Charles V to start getting his slaves from Africa. Their labour power was craved by European capitalists for the growing plantation economies in the Jame.

This book was excellent read. The book itself, with its idealism and stirring rhetoric, is a symbol of the hopes of revolutions, and how they are betrayed.

No trivia or quizzes yet. To portray the limits of those necessities and the realisation, complete or partial, of all possibilities, that is the true business of the historian. The revolution had awakened them, had given them the possibility of achievement, confidence and pride.

This social revolution in France is borne out in Haiti. I swear it by all that liberty holds most sacred. The Black Jacobins was written in the blaco, and it shows, but James has a sharp tongue and an even sharper eye for the hypocrisies of revolutionary France and their bourgeoisie. He stressed that it was not simply the greatest event in the history of the Caribbean, but took its place alongside the English, American and French Revolutions as one of the great world-historical revolutions in its own right, a revolution which had jacobbins transformed thf world and laid the foundation for the continuing struggle for universal human rights.


See, for example, Fick,Blackburn, and Geggus, James takes on a few myths; one in particular, that the abolition of the slave trade was due to the campaigning of people in Britain like Wilberforce and other anti-slavery activists. Generally, I don’t find histories to be gripping, but Toussaint’s fight is the best kind of fight; few compare in importance and complexity, and few have been so ignored.

It is a difficult book to read because of the timelines and numerous persons mentioned, but it is worth going through. His thought and his imagination take flight together. For its profound social history, it has become required reading for post-colonial theorists, pan-Africanists and anti-capitalists of all stripes.

This was the first and only? In one letter that James quotes at length, sent by Toussaint to the Directory at a time when French colonists were conspiring to restore the slave system, Toussaint wrote that liberty was being assailed by the colonists under “the veil of patriotism”:. Ben Eastaugh and Chris Sternal-Johnson.

CLR James and the Black Jacobins – International Socialism

We are talking about the most progressive elements of the left here. James is famous for being one of the most tne anti-colonial Marxist thinkers of the 20th Century. This is a fascinating and tragic story, one I knew very little about, and on the most basic level of simply understanding an incredibly complex part of history, this does a very engaging job.

Though destined to be an ever-present thorn in the side of the colonial regime, maroon communities in some senses acted as a safety valve for the system—releasing the pressures inherent in slave societies. He does not pay enough attention to women or to the everyday tue of ordinary slaves. Over the course of the text, L’Ouverture comes to act almost as jacobine tragic hero, and this is where the fine line between accurate history 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.


As an account of a revolution, The Black Jacobins recounts the process of emancipation in Haiti. Colonialism and Agency, His love of sport led to books and writing on cricket; asking the question “What do they know of cricket who only cricket know? If you ever want to explore the jaems that are the reality of today’s Haiti, you should start with this book.

Patriarchal Terror and the Creation of Capitalism 3.

At some points, I’d prefer him to just narrate the events and let them speak for themselves. I know about Toussaint L’Ouverture in passing, in reading this book I got a better idea of who this man is, what he stood for and how he impacted history in a major way. I have taught this book for years and have never felt that I broke through the surface of James’ deeper yearnings.

As a colony, there were also tensions amongst the rich. We excel our ancestors only in system and organization: What happened after independence? James was also a tireless political agitator over several decades. She benefits from a good Jamaican education, her and her father’s light-skinned benefits in the U. During the 18th century heroic bands of slaves would escape from the plantations and form independent maroon communities in the mountains which they successfully and fiercely defended from the colonial militias.

The Black Jacobins – Wikipedia

James’s text places the revolution in the context of the French Revolutionand focuses on the leadership of Toussaint L’Ouverturewho was born a slave but rose to prominence espousing the French Revolutionary ideals of liberty and equality. This book was an excellent read. What he ought to do, what his party demands jacobinw him, again depends not upon him or the stage of development of the class struggle and its conditions.

One wonders at how different the world would be if the founders of Haiti had had been given an opportunity to establish themselves! Slaves used poison to alleviate their slavery at great expense of human life.

See Austin ed Return to Book Page. Accordingly, as James noted:.