Paul Foot on Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution

This is out in October 2021 – I have had the honour and privilege of editing these two talks by the late great socialist journalist Paul Foot which are now available in print for the first time:

The Haitian Revolution, which erupted in 1791 was, Paul Foot once declared, ‘perhaps the most glorious victory of the oppressed over their oppressors in all history’.    It was a world-historic event, an epic twelve year long black liberation struggle which abolished slavery for good in what was then the prized French sugar plantation colony of Saint Domingue.  In 1804, the new nation of Haiti was born, the second post-colonial nation ever and the first independent black republic outside of Africa.   

In two characteristically brilliant lectures, delivered in 1978 and 1991 and published here for the first time, Paul Foot made an impassioned and compelling attempt to bring home to his audience some sense of the richness of the ‘hidden history’ of the Haitian Revolution.   Through an inspired popularisation of C.L.R. James’s classic work, The Black Jacobins, the lectures showed the emancipation of the enslaved was fought for and won by the enslaved themselves.   Yet the lectures also outline the importance of the outstanding revolutionary leadership represented by Toussaint Louverture.   There are few better possible introductions to the Haitian Revolution for anti-racists and anti-imperialists today than this powerful retelling of the story of the only successful slave revolt in history. 

Cost £8, ISBN  9781914143311, published by Redwords, and available from Bookmarks the Socialist Bookshop, here:


”I was delighted to find Redwords have also unearthed two talks Paul Foot gave on the black slave revolt of 1791. Turned into a book by that fine scholar of the history of the Caribbean and revolution Christian Høgsbjerg, this is a book to give hope and substance as the year #BlackLivesMatter erupted.”

Mark Perryman, Culture Matters