A Concise History of the Haitian Revolution

Viewpoints / Puntos de Vista

Book 20
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This book offers students a concise and clearly written overview of the events of the Haitian Revolution, from the slave uprising in the French colony of Saint-Domingue in 1791 to the declaration of Haiti’s independence in 1804.

  • Draws on the latest scholarship in the field as well as the author’s original research
  • Offers a valuable resource for those studying independence movements in Latin America, the history of the Atlantic World, the history of the African diaspora, and the age of the American and French revolutions
  • Written by an expert on both the French and Haitian revolutions to offer a balanced view
  • Presents a chronological, yet thematic, account of the complex historical contexts that produced and shaped the Haitian Revolution
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About the author

Jeremy D. Popkin is T. Marshall Hahn Jr. Professor of History at the University of Kentucky, and is the author of You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery (2010) and Facing Racial Revolution: Eyewitness Accounts of the Haitian Uprising (2008).
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Additional Information

John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Nov 28, 2011
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History / General
History / Latin America / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The only truly successful slave uprising in the Atlantic world, the Haitian Revolution gave birth to the first independent black republic of the modern era. Inspired by the revolution that had recently roiled their French rulers, black slaves and people of mixed race alike rose up against their oppressors in a bloody insurrection that led to the burning of the colony’s largest city, a bitter struggle against Napoleon’s troops, and in 1804, the founding of a free nation.

Numerous firsthand narratives of these events survived, but their invaluable insights into the period have long languished in obscurity—until now. In Facing Racial Revolution, Jeremy D. Popkin unearths these documents and presents excerpts from more than a dozen accounts written by white colonists trying to come to grips with a world that had suddenly disintegrated. These dramatic writings give us our most direct portrayal of the actions of the revolutionaries, vividly depicting encounters with the uprising’s leaders—Toussaint Louverture, Boukman, and Jean-Jacques Dessalines—as well as putting faces on many of the anonymous participants in this epochal moment. Popkin’s expert commentary on each selection provides the necessary background about the authors and the incidents they describe, while also addressing the complex question of the witnesses’ reliability and urging the reader to consider the implications of the narrators’ perspectives.

Along with the American and French revolutions, the birth of Haiti helped shape the modern world. The powerful, moving, and sometimes troubling testimonies collected in Facing Racial Revolution significantly expand our understanding of this momentous event.
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