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Publisher's Summary

Toussaint Louverture's life was one of hardship, triumph, and contradiction. He was born a slave on Saint-Domingue, yet earned his freedom and established himself as a small-scale planter. He even purchased slaves of his own.

Philippe Girard shows how Louverture transformed himself from lowly freedman into revolutionary hero as the mastermind of the bloody slave revolt of 1791. By 1801, Louverture was governor of the colony where he had once been a slave. But his lifelong quest to be accepted as a member of the colonial elite ended in despair: he spent the last year of his life in a French prison cell. His example nevertheless inspired anticolonial and black nationalist movements well into the 20th century.

Based on voluminous primary-source research, conducted in archives across the world and in multiple languages, Toussaint Louverture is the definitive biography of one of the most influential men in history.

©2016 Philippe Girard (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A compelling look at an extraordinary historical figure." ( Library Journal)

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Louverture The Great

I've always wanted to learn more about Louverture and understand what it was like to have been a slave and to have risen to such incredible heights as he did. This book did exactly that, it vividly described scenes which painted an impressive image of a man destined for greatness. As a lover of history it's almost difficult to believe he actually existed. The book accurately described Louverture as he was in all of his complexities within the backdrop of the very complicated issues he dealt with. He had to navigate slavery,monarchy, religion, politics and a slew of other issues of his day and the book did an outstanding job of doing so. Although the writer didn't spend enough time contrasting him with leaders like Washington and Napoleon a listener can easily see how Louverture embodied many of the ideals of each while in many way outshining them as well. This book should be made into a movie without a doubt.

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The complexity of abolition

The early fights for freedom from slavery was turbulent, complex and full of opposition, just like the character Toussaint L’ouverture himself. However you twist and turn and maybe even criticize his attempt to end slavery, this book illustrates so well how complicated it was to achieve his goal. Nobody had done it before and as so well described, the forces and tug of war of economy, freedom and energy needed at the fields wasn’t simple to gain. Just like now, slavery in the agriculture is still used and the economy is still demanding it in some way or another, maybe there are some hints to freedom in his achievements? This book also made me want to go visit all the historic sites of Toussaint including Haiti, as well as motivated me to continue to raise awareness about how slavery officially ended yet is still continuing. I’d read this again!

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Interesting book, fascinating facets of this mans life.

Louverture had to compromise so many ideals to get his end result. He had to be so many different people, frustrated with others lack of vision. In spite of his faith he shed so much blood... all I can say is power corrupts absolute. Over and over the lessons of history shine through.

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very powerful story

this is information that anyone studying Napoleon and the French revolution should learn. Absolutely wonderful

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • 07-14-17

A must read.

This book does the topic justice; this is about a complexed and extraordinary man, this is commincated to the audience perfectly in a thoroughly entertaining and informative manner.
Highly recommended.