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The Black Jacobins

448 pages, 1989

economics & politics

economics & politics

987 books


999 books

This book takes readers places they have never been before—a world where people from the African diaspora fought to free themselves from the bonds of slavery. It is the story — in all its complexity and ambiguity — of one of the great revolutions in modern history, when blacks rose up against their masters and forged a new society in their own image. It tells how Toussaint L’Ouverture, an illiterate ex-slave on a plantation in San Domingue (now Haiti), led an army of African Americans and Indians against French colonial forces that sought to reestablish slavery on their colony. In this epic struggle for liberation and self-determination, slave armies fought pitched battles with British troops as well as French forces from neighboring islands, who sought to invade San Domingo and restore slavery there. Ultimately, it was Napoleon himself who finally brought about Haiti’s independence. For years afterward, many Haitians looked back at this revolution as a time when black people were free; today, the memory of what happened during those years continue to serve as a reminder for peoples everywhere who seek liberation from oppression.

The Power of Revolution

The Black Jacobins by C.L.R. James explores the Haitian Revolution, showing us the power of a united people fighting for their freedom. It's a reminder that change is possible when people stand together against oppression.

Understanding Slavery's Impact

James digs deep into the brutal realities of slavery and its impact on society. He doesn't shy away from the harsh truths, giving us a clear picture of the atrocities and their long-lasting effects.

The Role of Leadership

The book highlights the importance of strong leadership in a revolution. It takes a close look at Toussaint L'Ouverture, a former slave who became a key leader in the Haitian Revolution. His story is a testament to the power of determination and vision.

The Intersection of Race and Class

C.L.R. James explores the complex relationship between race and class during the Haitian Revolution. He shows how these two factors played a crucial role in the struggle for freedom and equality.

The Influence of External Forces

The Black Jacobins also examines the influence of external forces on the revolution. James shows how international politics and economic interests can shape the course of a nation's struggle for independence.

Quotes 3

The Black Jacobins is a brilliant, panoramic recounting of the Haitian Revolution, a revolution that has been kept hidden from the narrative of world history.

Robin D.G. KelleyRobin D.G. Kelley - Historian, Author

The Black Jacobins is a foundational text in the historiography of the Atlantic world. It remains as relevant and influential as when it was first published.

Mike DavisMike Davis - Scholar, Urban Theorist

The Black Jacobins is a classic and enduring work, a product of profound creative thinking that continues to shape our understanding of colonial and post-colonial history.

Stuart HallStuart Hall - Cultural Theorist
Robin D.G. KelleyMike DavisStuart Hall


authorBen Horowitz

Ben Horowitz

technologyventure capitalistauthor

The Black Jacobins found in libraries

372 books

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