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Beyond the Slave NarrativePolitics, Sex, and Manuscripts in the Haitian Revolution$
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Deborah Jenson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781846314971

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846316517

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Toussaint Louverture, “Spin Doctor”? Launching the Haitian Revolution in the Media Sphere

Toussaint Louverture, “Spin Doctor”? Launching the Haitian Revolution in the Media Sphere

Chapter:
(p.45) 1 Toussaint Louverture, “Spin Doctor”? Launching the Haitian Revolution in the Media Sphere
Source:
Beyond the Slave Narrative
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846316517.002

In ‘Hegel and Haiti’, Susan Buck-Morss argued that Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's dialectic of master and slave was considerably informed by his reading of news stories about the slave revolution in Saint-Domingue during his time in Jena. This chapter examines the Haitian Revolution as public relations, focusing on how Toussaint Louverture entered the media sphere and the French reception of Haitian correspondence and proclamations. It discusses the ‘politics’ of a decolonisation discourse articulated in French, Toussaint's legacies primarily in texts in the Ancien moniteur and the Gazette de France between 1797 and 1802, and his use of French rather than Creole. The chapter also shows how Toussaint established a field of sympathy in order to navigate around the racism inherent to the metropolitan tolerance of colonialism and slavery, and concludes by looking at Léger Félicité Sonthonax's access to the press after his return to France.

Keywords:   Susan Buck-Morss, Hegel, Haitian Revolution, Toussaint Louverture, public relations, correspondence, sympathy, Léger Félicité Sonthonax, media, Creole

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