In a recent article in The History Teacher, Dr Erica Johnson Edwards argued that the Haitian Revolution should be taught not simply as an extension of the French Revolution or as a part of the revolutionary Atlantic World, but as a world historical event in its own right. The article contains a useful review of the literature regarding teaching the Haitian Revolution, and clearly explains the pitfalls and benefits of different approaches. The History Teacher is an open-access journal – I recommend the article to anyone interested in thinking about what the Haitian Revolution can teach us.
The Cuban Revolution receives as much media and popular attention as any event in Latin American history. Yet as Jennifer Lambe and I argue in a forthcoming essay, the field of Cuban revolutionary history is at once saturated and, paradoxically, “underdeveloped.” Friends, critics, and academic observers of the Cuban “process” have churned out decades’ worth of analyses. Still, fifty-eight years after the barbudos triumphantly entered Havana, our understanding of what actually transpired over the following decades continues to be limited by the vagaries of archival access, a predominant focus on high politics and international relations, and enduring political polarization.
There is little agreement, even, on when the timeline of inquiry should start and end. For supporters, the Cuban Revolution is ongoing and eternal, dating as far back to Cuba’s independence movement in the nineteenth century. For opponents, the Revolution’s hopes proved terminal long ago. 1959, 1961…
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