Sudhir Hazareesingh

Black Spartacus
  • Black Spartacus

  • The Haitian revolution began in the French colony of Saint-Domingue with a slave revolt in November 1791, and culminated a dozen years later in the proclamation of the world's first independent black republic. After the abolition of slavery in 1793, Toussaint Louverture became the leader of the colony's black population, commander of its republican army and eventually its governor. Treacherously captured by Napoleon's invading army a year later and imprisoned, he ended his days as the revolution's most eminent martyr. Louverture confronted the mighty forces of his age - slavery, settler colonialism, imperial domination, racial hierarchy and European cultural supremacy - and bent them to his will.

    Sudhir Hazareesingh draws on a wealth of archival material, much of it overlooked by previous biographers, to follow every step in Louverture's singular career, to capture his voice and the force of his personality. To a greater extent than any previous biography, Black Spartacus understands Louverture's vision and leadership not solely in the context of events in Europe and imported Enlightenment ideals, but in a world of hybrid slave culture and African and Caribbean influences.

RELEASED 02/07/2020

Sudhir Hazareesingh was born in Mauritius. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and has been a Fellow and Tutor in Politics at Balliol College, Oxford, since 1990. Among his books are The Legend of Napoleon, Le Mythe Gaullien and How the French Think. He won the Prix du Mémorial d'Ajaccio and the Prix de la Fondation Napoléon for the first of these, and a Prix d'Histoire du Sénat for the second.