Free and French in the Caribbean
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Free and French in the Caribbean : Toussaint Louverture, Aime Cesaire, and Narratives of Loyal Opposition

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In Free and French in the Caribbean, John Patrick Walsh studies the writings of Toussaint Louverture and Aime Cesaire to examine how they conceived of and narrated two defining events in the decolonializing of the French Caribbean: the revolution that freed the French colony of Saint-Domingue in 1803 and the departmentalization of Martinique and other French colonies in 1946. Walsh emphasizes the connections between these events and the distinct legacies of emancipation in the narratives of revolution and nationhood passed on to successive generations. By reexamining Louverture and Cesaire in light of their multilayered narratives, the book offers a deeper understanding of the historical and contemporary phenomenon of "free and French" in the Caribbean.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 206 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 15.24mm | 340.19g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 7 b&w illus.
  • 0253006309
  • 9780253006301

Review quote

"A fruitful intervention in a growing body of literature and increasingly lively debate on the Haitian Revolution and the figure of Toussaint Louverture, the book also contributes to the emerging scholarship on Cesaire, Francophone literature, and postcolonial theory... Walsh reveals how these texts [by Louverture and Cesaire] are structured, how they function, and what dynamics they contain-and what they have to show us about politics and history." -Gary Wilder, CUNY Graduate Center "Contains all the ingredients to become the next important book in the field of postcolonial studies with the emphasis on French Caribbean culture and literature." -Daniel Desormeaux, University of Chicago "Walsh... has opened a fascinating and fruitful line of study, not only of the writings of these two leaders, but also of the ambiguous colonial and postcolonial relationship between the French Republic and the French Caribbean... Highly recommended." -Choice "Free and French in the Caribbean is... a valuable contribution to both the rapidly proliferating literature on the Haitian Revolution and the emerging revisionist appreciation of Cesaire's intellectual and political project." -Small Axe "[This] book... is a wealth of information for researchers looking for a way to connect the contributions of several contemporary scholars in the field of postcolonial studies. Students and scholars of French Caribbean studies will find Free and French an incredibly valuable addition to their libraries." -Journal of Haitian Studies "J.P.Walsh has produced for the nonspecialist reader an excellent analysis of the historiographical discourse on Toussaint Louverture and Aime Cesaire with a focus on the meaning(s) of decolonization in the late eighteenth and mid-twentieth centuries." -New West Indian Guide "[T]hat Free and French inspires so many questions is testament to its ambition, the provocative parallel at its heart, and the richness of Walsh's analysis. The book is another important reminder not only that the Haitian Revolution proved powerful inspiration for the rest of the Caribbean, even centuries later, but also that perhaps its most significant ideological victory was exposing a fundamental truth: the colonies could never be free while French." -H-Empireshow more

About John Patrick Walsh

John Patrick Walsh is Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.show more

Table of contents

IntroductionI. Toussaint Louverture1. Toussaint Louverture and the Family of Saint-Domingue2. Under the Stick of Maitre Toussaint3. "Free and French": La Constitution de la colonie francaise de Saint-Domingue4. Toussaint at a Crossroads: The Memoire of the "First Soldier of the Republic of Saint Domingue"II. Aime Cesaire5. Cesaire Reads Toussaint: The Haitian Revolution and the Problem of Departmentalization6. Haitian Building: La Tragedie du Roi ChristopheConclusion: Artisans of Free and FrenchNotesWorks CitedIndexshow more

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