The Unfinished Revolution: Haiti, Black Sovereignty and Power in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World addresses post-revolutionary (and contemporary) sovereignty in Haiti. Working through an archive of black politics, The Unfinished Revolution examines the charged upheaval that Haiti’s arrival caused in the Atlantic world. Salt revisits this site of contestation in order to critically reflect on the ways that brokers from Haiti and across the Atlantic responded to the political existence of a nation forged from the fires of revolution and consistently racialized as black by other nation-states.
These sovereign bodies – who Salt argues took their political cues regarding who can be sovereign from the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) – struggled to accept the existence of the independent nation-state of Haiti. Examining Haiti through the lens of blackness and sovereignty, Salt produces an original and compelling account of the challenges and constraints Haiti has encountered in fighting for its continued political existence. Assembling a wide range of materials – from photographs, newspaper articles, letters, diplomatic documents, essays and objects – Salt produces a cogent and nuanced book that moves beyond the revolutionary period of Haiti’s history in order to argue that Haiti remains in the midst of an unfinished revolution over its sovereignty.