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Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution
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Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  282 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The first and only successful slave revolution in the Americas began in 1791 when thousands of brutally exploited slaves rose up against their masters on Saint-Domingue, the most profitable colony in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world. Within a few years, the slave insurgents forced the French administrators of the colony to emancipate them, a decision ratified by revol ...more
Hardcover, 357 pages
Published March 29th 2004 by Belknap Press (first published 2004)
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The Haitian Revolution is extremely complex, and I have never fully understood it. Why was Toussaint Louverture fighting with the Spanish for a while before flipping back to the French? What were the British doing there? Where did Dessalines come from, and how did he get to be in charge? Why did Napoleon seem to back Toussaint, only to turn on him and send an army to reimpose slavery in St. Domingue? I had heard bits and pieces from around the edges, which basically always simplify it into a big ...more
Hispaniola was the first island in the New World discovered by Columbus; Spanish settlers soon slaughtered all the indigenous inhabitants, who called the island Ayiti, and imported Africans to be their slaves instead. After Louis XIV of France won a war with Spain and her allies, Spain ceded the western half of the island to France. In the 18th century the half-island became the most profitable colony in the New World, called Saint-Domingue, producing as much sugar as Cuba, Jamaica and Brazil co ...more
Purple Iris
more like 3.5, but I'm feeling generous. Also, I'm probably not the target audience in that some of the details just seemed unnecessary to me, but I'm thinking it's probably important for the historians.

This book was really a fascinating read. I started reading it at the same time as Ti dife boule sou istwa Ayiti and Dubois helped me better understand certain aspects of the Revolution I was still confused about after reading Trouillot.

I know there are many novels about the Revolution, some bet
David Bates
Laurent DuBois’s Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution provides a careful synthesis detailing the causes, personalities and events of the Haitian Revolution. Unfolding his story, DuBois tells us that French Saint Domingue was the “most brilliant” of the colonies of the Caribbean, a jewel of the shrunken empire which remained to France after the peace of 1763. Its rich soil supported the most productive sugar cane plantations in the Americas, where European and mixed race ...more
This book achieves exactly what its subtitle says: It outlines the "True Story of the Haitian Revolution" with just enough information about France's colonization of Hispaniola as is absolutely needed to understand the events that transpired between 1791 and 1804 and only a few broad comments about the impact the slave revolt and eventual revolution would have on the international community for the duration of the nineteenth century. Dubois aims, apparently, to create a popular history of the re ...more
Beautifully written, Dubois tells the background and story of the Haitian revolution with great detail. This revolution is incredibly complex, with many moving parts and characters. It's cause and effect is multi-dimensional, and it can be a complicated revolution to teach. Dubois makes the revolution easy to understand, and places it in an Atlantic context, which is greatly appreciated. I would say that this is probably the best book on the Haitian Revolution that I've read to date.
Choice quote from this fantastic book:
“The impact of the Haitian Revolution was enormous. As a unique example of successful black revolution, it became a crucial part of the political, philosophical, and cultural currenst of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By creating a society in which all people, of all colors, were granted freedom and citizenship, the Haitian Revolution forever transformed the world. It was a central part of the destruction of slavery in the Americas, and therefore a
Roy White
Not a pretty story, but a fascinating and important one.
I never thought about the potential for a book's (already mediocre) quality being diminished by a shitty citation system. And then I read this and thought about it for 300 pages.
Kim Elena
I don't read many histories and when I do, it tends to take me a while to get through them. That said, after finishing a history book, I'm always glad that I persevered! I enjoyed learning more about the details of the Haitian Revolution, which I studied superficially in college as part of a wonderful class on Haitian literature, and found this history engagingly written and clear.
Dec 12, 2013 Matt rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: school
This is arguably the most important tale told in the history of America. And he does it magnificently. Yes, Monsieur Dubois is an academic, and this is - and quite rightly - excellently researched. But he is also an outstanding storyteller, and the reason people gush about this is because he gets on and tells his tale. The moral doesn't need hammering home.
Kevin Todd du baldwin
Probably my favorite book of 2013, Historical and action pack ed and on top of it all it's all true.. The sheer insight into Haitian Revolution that never has before been too well known to those lame man outside of academia is astounding. A true must read for all History buffs!!!
As a fan of popular history: this book is readable and engaging.

As a historian: Dubois' use of sources is masterful and his prose is engaging. I'm using this in a course and it remains to be seen how students will respond. However, I LOVED this book!

Highly recommend.
As a result of this book being so dense and "text booky", I could not get into or finish it, which is rare for me. I appreciate the subject but not the way in which it was was hard to follow & make sense of things because it wasn't written in chronological order.
I had high hopes for this book, however, it proved to be a dissapointment. I feel as though the author spends too much time on items which I found to be superficial, and then glosses over and rushes through items which I thought would have been of more relevance.
The Haitian Revolution is one of the most significant events in a period full of them. Dubois crafts an absorbing introduction to the complexities of this upheaval and makes a number of its issues feel quite contemporary.
Monique Bos
Valuable insights into the Haitian Revolution, its dominant personalities, and the social and economic forces that shaped the revolution and its aftermath. Well written and comprehensively researched.
For school, but an interesting read about a successful slave revolution.
A very readable and in-depth study of the Haitian revolution.
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Laurent Dubois (PhD. University of Michigan) is associate professor of history at Michigan State University. His book A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787–1804 won the American Historical Association Prize in Atlantic History and the John Edwin Fagg Award. He is also the author of Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution, which ...more
More about Laurent Dubois...
Haiti: The Aftershocks of History Slave Revolution in the Caribbean, 1789-1804: A Brief History with Documents Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France A Colony of Citizens: Revolution & Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804 Avenging America: The Politics of Violence in the Haitian Revolution

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“By creating a society in which all people, of all colors, were granted freedom and citizenship, the Haitian Revolution forever transformed the world. It was a central part of the destruction of slavery in the Americas, and therefore a crucial moment in the history of democracy, one that laid the foundation for the continuing struggles for human rights everywhere. In this sense we are all descendents of the Haitain Revolution, and responsible to these ancestors.” 2 likes
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