Review of “The Black Jacobins” by CLR James


The End of Capitalism

I recently finished this fascinating book by C.L.R. James, detailing the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803. This was the first (and only?) time in history that an entire colony of African slaves revolted against their masters and succeeded in establishing independence.  The magnitude of such a feat, considering all the European backlash and repression, from no less than Napoleon, is shocking to this day.

C.L.R. James is famous for being one of the most outspoken anti-colonial Marxist thinkers of the 20th Century.  His political career started in his native Trinidad, took him through Trotskyism to the Johnson-Forest Tendency, which defined the Soviet Union as state capitalist. After being deported from the US, he spent his final years living in London and married to Selma James, the influential Marxist feminist and founder of the Wages for Housework campaign.

The merits of this book are obvious, it is a blow-by-blow account…

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