Black Spartacus

by Sudhir Hazareesingh

£10.99


Reserve a copy

×

Reserve a copy

Reserve a copy of Black Spartacus for collection at Hart's Books. If you provide your email address below, we will contact you when this item is ready for collection. For delivery by post add the address to the order notes and we will be in touch to arrange payment.

Biography; History

Paperback

9780141985060

Published by Penguin Books Ltd

Published September 2021

The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture

A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week

The definitive modern biography of the great slave leader, military genius and revolutionary hero Toussaint Louverture.

The Haitian Revolution began in the French Caribbean colony of Saint-Domingue with a slave revolt in August 1791, and culminated a dozen years later in the proclamation of the world’s first independent black state. After the abolition of slavery in 1793, Toussaint Louverture, himself a former slave, became the leader of the colony’s black population, the commander of its republican army and eventually its governor. During the course of his extraordinary life he confronted some of the dominant forces of his age – slavery, settler colonialism, imperialism and racial hierarchy. Treacherously seized by Napoleon’s invading army in 1802, this charismatic figure ended his days, in Wordsworth’s phrase, ‘the most unhappy man of men’, imprisoned in a fortress in France.

Black Spartacus draws on a wealth of archival material, much of it overlooked by previous biographers, to follow every step of Louverture’s singular journey, from his triumphs against French, Spanish and British troops to his skilful regional diplomacy, his Machiavellian dealings with successive French colonial administrators and his bold promulgation of an autonomous Constitution. Sudhir Hazareesingh shows that Louverture developed his unique vision and leadership not solely in response to imported Enlightenment ideals and revolutionary events in Europe and the Americas, but through a hybrid heritage of fraternal slave organisations, Caribbean mysticism and African political traditions. Above all, Hazareesingh retrieves Louverture’s rousing voice and force of personality, making this the most engaging, as well as the most complete, biography to date.

After his death in the French fortress, Louverture became a figure of legend, a beacon for slaves across the Atlantic and for generations of European republicans and progressive figures in the Americas. He inspired the anti-slavery campaigner Frederick Douglass, the most eminent nineteenth-century African-American; his emancipatory struggle was hailed by those who defied imperial and colonial rule well into the twentieth. In the modern era, his life informed the French poet Aime Cesaire’s seminal idea of negritude and has been celebrated in a remarkable range of plays, songs, novels and statues. Here, in all its drama, is the epic story of the world’s first black superhero.

Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given | 9781914240348

Women Don’t Owe You Pretty

Florence Given

£7.99

The Breaks by Julietta Singh | 9781914198007

The Breaks

Julietta Singh

£9.99

Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui | 9781846046605

Why We Swim

Bonnie Tsui

£9.99

No Shame by Tom Allen | 9781529348941

No Shame

Tom Allen

£9.99

The See-Through House by Shelley Klein | 9781529111545

The See-Through House

Shelley Klein

£9.99

More Than a Woman by Caitlin Moran | 9781529102772

More Than a Woman

Caitlin Moran

£8.99