The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution by C. L. R. James is a classical study of the only successful slave revolt in history. Its a masterpiece of historical scholarship, astute political analysis and narrative excitement. In 1791 the Caribbean Island of San Domingo, France’s most profitable colony and the greatest single market for the European slave trade, found itself in the grip of a revolution. The island’s slaves rebelled, embarking on a twelve-year struggle against their slave masters and successive invading armies of French, Spanish and British troops. The final defeat of Bonaparte’s 1803 expedition resulted in the establishment of the Black state of Haiti.
The leader of this unique achievement was himself a slave until the age of forty five, Toussaint L’Ouverture. Why and how it created this brilliant leader and how he in turn brought it to its triumphant conclusion are the themes of this remarkable book.
Praise for The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution
“His detailed, richly documented and dramatically written book holds a deep and lasting interest.” –New York Times
“Contains some of the finest and most deeply felt polemical writing against slavery and racism ever to be published, and it locates the Caribbean and Caribbean society firmly on the world stage.” –Time Out
“He is quite simply, the outstanding West Indian of the century.” -Caryl Phillips, author of Crossing the River
“The Black Plato of our generation…the founding father of African emancipation.” –The Times
“The Black Jacobins dramatically and powerfully recounts the events that led up to the bloody and history-altering Haitian revolution of 1791-1803.” Sacred Fire: The QBR 100 Essential Black Books