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Toussaint Louverture The Story of the Only Successful Slave Revolt in History; a Play in Three Acts

ISBN-10: 0822353148
ISBN-13: 9780822353140
Edition: 2013
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Description: In 1934 C.L.R. James, the widely-known Trinidadian intellectual, writer, and political activist, wrote the playToussaint Louverture: The story of the only successful slave revolt in history, which was presumed lost until its rediscovery in 2005.  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 12/31/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 6.13" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

In 1934 C.L.R. James, the widely-known Trinidadian intellectual, writer, and political activist, wrote the playToussaint Louverture: The story of the only successful slave revolt in history, which was presumed lost until its rediscovery in 2005. Performed in 1936 at London’s Westminster Theatre by a cast including the American star Paul Robeson, this production marked the first time black professional actors starred on the British stage in a play written by a black playwright. This edition includes the program, photographs, and reviews from the 1936 production, a contextual introduction and editorial notes on the play by Christian Høgsbjerg, and select essays and letters by James from this period.InToussaint LouvertureJames demonstrates the full tragedy and heroism of Louverture by showing how the Haitian revolutionary leader is caught in a dramatic conflict arising from the contradiction between the barbaric realities of New World slavery and the modern ideals of the Enlightenment. In his portrayal of the Haitian Revolution James aspired to vindicate black accomplishments in the face of racism and to support the struggle for self-government for his native Caribbean.Toussaint Louvertureis an indispensable companion work toThe Black Jacobins(1938), James’s classic account of Haiti’s revolutionary struggle for liberation.

A native of Trinidad, C. L. R. James grew up in a very respectable middle-class black family steeped in British manners and culture. Although justifiably well-known in the British world as a writer, historian, and political activist, his contributions have been underappreciated in the United States. A student of history, literature, philosophy, and culture, James thought widely and wrote provocatively. He also turned his words into deeds as a journalist, a Trotskyite, a Pan-African activist, a Trinidadian nationalist politican, a university teacher, and a government official. James was a teacher and magazine editor in Trinidad until the early 1930s, when he went to England and became a sports writer for the Manchester Guardian. While in England he became a dedicated Marxist organizer. In 1938 he moved to the United States and continued his political activities, founding an organization dedicated to the principles of Trotskyism. His politics led to his expulsion from the United States in 1953, and he returned to Trinidad, from which he was also expelled in the early 1960s. He spent the remainder of his life in England. Among James's extensive writings, the two most influential volumes are Black Jacobins (1967), a study of the anti-French Dominican (Haitian) slave rebellion of the 1790s, and Beyond a Boundary (1963), a remarkable exploration of sport, specifically cricket, as social and political history. Other important works include A History of Negro Revolt (1938) and The Life of Captain Cipriani (1932). James represents an unusual combination of activist-reformer (even revolutionary) and promoter of the best in art, culture, and gentility.

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Editorial Note
Author's Note (1936)
Toussaint Louverture: The Story of the Only Successful Slave Revolt
The Complete Playscript (1934)
Act II, Scene 1, from Toussaint Louverture (1936)
The Production and Performance of Toussaint Louverture
Notices
The Programme (1936)
Reviews
Appendix
"The Intelligence of the Negro"
"A Century of Freedom"
"Slavery Today: A Shocking Exposure"
"I Want Negro Culture"
"'Civilising' the 'Blacks': Why Britain Needs to Maintain Her African Possessions"
Letter from George Padrnore
["The Maverick Club"]
"A Unique Personality"
"Paul Robeson"

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