Baron de Vastey and the Origins of Black Atlantic Humanism
New Books in Caribbean StudiesNew Books in French StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Intellectual HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network February 6, 2018 Dan Livesay
In Baron de Vastey and the Origins of Black Atlantic Humanism (Palgrave, 2017), Marlene Daut helps to resurrect the life and writings of one of Haiti’s most influential thinkers. Baron de Vastey is perhaps best known as Henri Christophe’s secretary in the years after Haitian independence. Within that position, Vastey wrote extensively on the new Haitian state, the indescribable horrors of slavery and colonization, and the fallacy of racial prejudice. As Daut explains, Vastey was at the vanguard of black intellectual expression in the Americas, particularly in his deconstruction of colonial oppression. Her book helps to situate Vastey within the complex historical and literary world of post-independence Haiti, and offers a fresh take on the intellectual contributions of the Caribbean’s first black state.