The Black Jacobins Reader

The Black Jacobins Reader

The Black Jacobins Reader provides a comprehensive analysis of C. L. R. James's classic history of the Haitian Revolution.

"This is the most authoritative confirmation to date of the intellectual stature of C. L. R. James and the prophetic grandeur of his great classic, The Black Jacobins. Some eighty years after its first publication, readers of different generations and across a diversity of national origins document their admiration of the depth and spontaneity of James's analytical interpretation of the Haitian Revolution. It was the first and only example in modern history of a successful slave revolt when a population of enslaved Africans defeated three European armies and converted a slave plantation into the Independent Republic of Haiti. The nineteenth century had judged it inconceivable; and ever since it has survived a universal silence." - George Lamming

"The Black Jacobins, with its unforgettable story of Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution, is one of the great books of the twentieth century. The Black Jacobins Reader provides us with a rich selection of reflections on C. L. R. James's achievement and his own rethinkings over time. Whether understood as a cultural history of revolution before cultural history; a classic text for revolutionaries; a meditation on universal history; a pioneering Marxist analysis of the slave trade, slavery, and modern capitalism; an inspiration for generations of historians; an exploration of what it means to be 'West Indian'; a disruption of orthodox notions of historical temporality or a provocation to think about the relation between the past and the present; or indeed any combination of these; it is undoubtedly a book that continues to inspire many. Black activists in U.S. prisons, writers, and historians are amongst those who remind us, in different ways, of the power of a text such as this—one that wrote the history of a people supposedly without history." - Catherine Hall

Foreword by Robert A. Hill
Haiti by David M. Rudder

Introduction: Rethinking The Black Jacobins by Charles Forsdick and Christian Høgsbjerg

Part I. Personal Reflections

1 The Black Jacobins in Detroit: 1963 by Dan Georgakas
2 The Impact of C. L. R. James’s The Black Jacobins by Mumia Abu-Jamal
3 C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins, and The Making of Haiti by Carolyn E. Fick
4 The Black Jacobins, Education, and Redemption by Russell Maroon Shoatz
5 The Black Jacobins, Past and Present by Selma James
Part II. The Haitian Revolution: Histories and Philosophies
6 Reading The Black Jacobins: Historical Perspectives by Laurent Dubois
7 Haiti and Historical Time by Bill Schwarz
8 The Theory of Haiti: The Black Jacobins and the Poetics of Universal History by David Scott
9 Fragments of a Universal History: Global Capital, Mass Revolution, and the Idea of Equality in The Black Jacobins by Nick Nesbitt
10 “We Are Slaves and Slaves Believe in Freedom”: The Problematizing of Revolutionary Emancipationism in The Black Jacobins by Claudius Fergus
11 “To Place Ourselves in History”: The Haitian Revolution in British West Indian Thought before The Black Jacobins by Matthew J. Smith

Part III. The Black Jacobins: Texts and Contexts

12 The Black Jacobins and the Long Haitian Revolution: Archives, History, and the Writing of Revolution by Anthony Bogues
13 Refiguring Resistance: Historiography, Fiction, and the Afterlives of Toussaint Louverture by Charles Forsdick
14 On “Both Sides” of the Haitian Revolution? Rethinking Direct Democracy and National Liberation in The Black Jacobins by Matthew Quest
15 The Black Jacobins: A Revolutionary Study of Revolution, and of a Caribbean Revolution by David Austin
16 Making Drama out of the Haitian Revolution from Below: C. L. R. James’s The Black Jacobins Play by Rachel Douglas
17 “On the Wings of Atalanta” by Aldon Lynn Nielsen

Part IV. Final Reflections

18 Afterword to The Black Jacobins’s Italian Edition by Madison Smartt Bell
19 Introduction to the Cuban Edition of The Black Jacobins by John H. Bracey
Appendix 1. C. L. R. James and Studs Terkel Discuss The Black Jacobins on WFMT Radio (Chicago), 1970
Appendix 2. The Revolution in Theory by C. L. R. James
Appendix 3. Translator’s Foreword by Pierre Naville to the 1949 / 1983 French Editions

The Black Jacobins Reader3.61 MB