Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture
by Sudhir Hazareesingh
***Winner of the 2021 Wolfson History Prize***
Black Spartacus tells the extraordinary story of Toussaint Louverture, general and leader of a successful slave revolt in what is now Haiti. He was fighting—at various times—the Spanish, the British and the French. But beyond that, the book goes into detail about his worldview and how he drew on European Enlightenment ideas, but was also strongly influenced by Christianity and beliefs and cultural practices from Africa.
Recommendations from our site
“This book is not hagiography at all. It’s very easy to look for a great liberation hero. But this book shows a deeply flawed man who clearly didn’t make the lives of those who became free, all that much freer. He wanted hard work. There’s a certain ‘Animal Farm-ness’ about the story. And yet, what an achievement it was for this little island to stand up to one of the great powers of 18th century Europe and create the first predominantly Black-run republic in the world. It’s extraordinary.” Read more...
The Best History Books: The 2021 Wolfson Prize Shortlist
Diarmaid MacCulloch, Theologians & Historians of Religion