Friday, October 3, 2008

Military History Reading Challenge: Book Review 3

I have just finished reading my last book for the Military History reading challenge, and as a side note, I will be posting the list of the books I read with links to the reviews. The book I chose for my last choice was Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution by Laurent Dubois (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2004).

Why did I choose this book? Well, this one of the books I am supposed to read for one of the two history classes I'm taking this semester. I could have chosen to read another book for this challenge, but since I enjoyed reading this book, I thought I would write a brief review about it. In addition, I do not believe many Americans know much about the Haitian Revolution, so I thought this would be excellent book for those who do not much about the revolution in Haiti. (Before I read this, book I hardly knew anything about the Haitian Revolution outside of the fact that the slaves in Haiti revolted against their masters around the same time as the French Revolution.)

Laurent Dubois' book gives background into what society on the French colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) was like prior to the revolution, and he especially highlights the racial character of the society's hierarchy. In addition he explains that the white landowners' push for autonomy from France and denial of political rights to the free, colored landowners was the foundation for the Haitian Revolution. (The fight for legal rights created tensions between both sides.) In addition, the French Revolution's ideals would also began to feed into the problems in Saint-Domingue, but as the revolution in Haiti continued, it would also influence the path of the French Revolution.

In short, I thought it was an excellent book, and I liked how the author put the revolution in context with what was going on outside of Haiti at that time. Additionally, I felt the author's explanation of the social conditions in Haiti was excellent, and I felt that his description of Saint-Domingue's society gave me a better understanding of why events in Saint-Domingue and France occurred as they did. If a person wants to read about the Haitian Revolution, this is one book that should be read.

1 comment:

jmnlman said...

I'll be looking for a copy of that.:)