How was the character of science shaped by the colonial experience? In turn, how might we make sense of how science contributed to colonialism? Saint Domingue (now Haiti) was the world’s richest colony in the eighteenth century and home to an active society of science—one of only three in the world, at that time. In this deeply researched and pathbreaking study of the colony, James E. McClellan III first raised his incisive questions about the relationship between science and society that historians of the colonial experience are still grappling with today. Long considered rare, the book is now back in print in an English-language edition, accompanied by a new foreword by Vertus Saint-Louis, a native of Haiti and a widely-acknowledged expert on colonialism. Frequently cited as the crucial starting point in understanding the Haitian revolution, Colonialism and Science will be welcomed by students and scholars alike.
“By deftly weaving together imperialism and science in the story of French colonialism, [McClellan] . . . brings to light the history of an almost forgotten colony.”—Journal of Modern History
“McClellan has produced an impressive case study offering excellent surveys of Saint Domingue’s colonial history and its history of science.”—Isis