Studies on the Haitian Revolution

The Haitian Revolution occurred between 1791-1804, lead by Haiti’s foremost general, Toussaint Louverture. On January 1, 1804, Haiti’s chief general, Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared the independence of Haiti, thus indicating the genesis of the first black independent state in the history of Western Hemisphere by virtue of its only successful slave revolution. The Haitian Revolution of 1804 was undoubtedly the only triumphant slave revolution in the world, and has become a symbol of anticolonial revolt and universal emancipation. For notable and historical works on the Haitian Revolution I list the following studies:

 C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint Louverture and the Santo Domingo Revolution. New York: Random House, 1938, 1963, 1989.

 Michel Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Boston: Beacon Press, 1995 .

 Thomas Ott, The Haitian Revolution, 1789-1804.  Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1973 .

Susan Buck-Morss, Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009.  

Sibylle Fischer, Modernity Disavodwed Haiti and the Cultures of Slavery in the Age of Revolution. Durham: Duke UP, 2004.  

Carolyn Fick, The Making of Haiti: The Haitian Revolution from Below. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1990.

David Geggus, Haitian Revolutionary Studies.Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2002. 

Laurent Dubois, Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2004.

Laurent Dubois and John D. Garrigus, Slave Revolution in the Caribbean 1789-1804:A Brief History with Documents. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006.;

 Jeremy D. Popkin, Facing Revolution: Eyewitness Accounts of the Haitian Insurrection. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2007.

 Nick Nesbitt, Universal Emanticipation: The Haitian Revolution and the Radical Enlightenment. Charlottesville and London: University of Virginia Press, 2008.;

Doris L. Garraway (ed), Tree of Liberty: Cultural Legacies of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World. Charlottesville: The University of Virginia Press, 2008.

For the impact of the Haitian Revolution, see the following studies:

 David Geggus, The Impact of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2001.

Robin Blackburn, The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, 1776-1848. London: Verso, 1988.

Eugene D. Genovese, From Rebellion to Revolution: Afro-American Slave Revolts in the Making of the Modern World. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979.

David Patrick Geggus & Norman Fiering (eds), The World of the Haitian Revolution. Bloomington and Indianpolis: Indiana UP, 2009.

For key studies written in French, consult the following:

 Yves Benot, La Révolution française et la fin des colonies 1789-1794. Paris: La Découverte, 1992.

Yves Bénot and Marcel Dorigny (eds). Rétablissement de l’esclavage dans les colonies françaises. Aux origines d’Haïti. Paris: Maisonneuve et Larose, 2003 .

 Marcel Dorigny, “Aux origines: l’independence d’Haïti et son occultation,” in La Fracture coloniale : La société française au prisme de l’héritage colonial edited  by Nicolas BancelPascal Blanchard , and Sandrine Lemaire. Paris : La Découverte, 2005.

Aime Césaire, Toussaint Louverture : La Révolution française et le problème colonial. Paris : Présence Africaine, 1981;   Pierre Pluchon, Toussaint Louverture: De L’esclavage au pouvoir. Paris : Editions de l’Ecole, 1979. 

Pierre Pluchon, Toussaint Louverture : Un révolutionnaire noir d’Ancien régime. Paris: Fayard, 1989.


2 Responses

  1. Of historical interest — You can see a clip of Toussaint’s last moments in prison from the award-winning new short film “The Last Days of Toussaint L’Ouverture” at This film is the basis for a new feature (not with Danny Glover) that is in development.

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