These are some of the books on the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and Haitian Independence I really need to read. Is the Enlightenment oppressive, or not? How, and/or how not?
1. The French Revolution did not give rise to the contemporary human rights movement, and the Declaration of the Rights of Man was as puny as Oswald de Andrade said it was. Hunt pays homage to the soft power of humanity. Toussaint, for his part, found it necessary to resort to weapons.
2. Newly discovered documents provide a very detailed account of Toussaint L’Ouverture’s life before and after the Haitian revolution.
3. Leo Damrosch’s Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Restless Genius and Roger Pearson’s Voltaire Almighty: A Life in Pursuit of Freedom. David A. Bell, who does not really like these books, has a review of them entitled Profane Illuminations, so fascinating that it still convinces me I should read them.