Hegel and Dessalines: Philosophy and the African Diaspora
[First paragraph]Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History. Susan Buck-Morss. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009. xii + 164 pp. (Paper US$ 16.95)Universal Emancipation: The Haitian Revolution and the Radical Enlightenment. Nick Nesbitt. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008. x + 261 pp. (Paper US$ 22.50)These two books have relaunched universal history – not without controversy– as a dominant trope in the fields of colonial history and postcolonial theory. They have also highlighted tensions around the application of a Hegelian philosophical genealogy to Haiti, the first self-emancipated black postcolony, the state ghettoized as “the poorest country in the Western hemisphere,” and now the embattled zone of recovery from the catastrophic earthquake of January 2010.
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