Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution
Cambridge University Press 2015
When the Haitian Revolution abolished slavery in Haiti and established its independence from France, it affected surrounding colonies in profound and unexpected ways. Ada Ferrer‘s new book Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2015) centers on the tension between the abolition of slavery in Haiti and the coterminous intensification of slavery in nearby Cuba. Even as Cuban and Spanish officials worked to contain information circulating about the successful slave revolt just across the water, they also seized the opportunity to bring thousands of enslaved people to Cuba to expand their sugar-producing capacity. In the midst of this, people, information, ships and objects circulated within a Caribbean space in which slavery, anti-slavery, imperialism and sovereignty mirrored one another in paradoxical ways. Freedom’s Mirror immerses readers in this moment with stories of unlikely alliances, fear, greed and idealism. It is a beautifully written and really impressive example of history that shifts among sweeping geopolitical processes and gripping stories of individuals and their struggles in this transformative era.