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Toussaint Louverture: A Revolutionary Life


Toussaint Louverture: A Revolutionary Life

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    Available in PDF Format | Toussaint Louverture: A Revolutionary Life.pdf | English
    Philippe Girard(Author) Paul Woodson(Narrator)
Toussaint Louverture's life was one of hardship, triumph, and contradiction. Born into bondage in Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti), the richest colony in the Western Hemisphere, he witnessed first-hand the torture of the enslaved population. Yet he managed to secure his freedom and establish himself as a small-scale planter. He even purchased slaves of his own.In Toussaint Louverture , Philippe Girard reveals the dramatic story of how Louverture transformed himself from lowly freedman to revolutionary hero. In 1791, the unassuming Louverture masterminded the only successful slave revolt in history. By 1801, he was general and governor of Saint-Domingue, and an international statesman who forged treaties with Britain, France, Spain, and the United States,empires that feared the effect his example would have on their slave regimes. Louveture's ascendency was short-lived, however. In 1802, he was exiled to France, dying soon after as one of the most famous men in the world, variously feared and celebrated as the Black Napoleon."As Girard shows, in life Louverture was not an idealist, but an ambitious pragmatist. He strove not only for abolition and independence, but to build Saint-Domingue's economic might and elevate his own social standing. He helped free Saint-Domingue's slaves yet immediately restricted their rights in the interests of protecting the island's sugar production. He warded off French invasions but embraced the cultural model of the French gentility.In death, Louverture quickly passed into legend, his memory inspiring abolitionist, black nationalist, and anti-colonialist movements well into the 20th century. Deeply researched and bracingly original, Toussaint Louverture is the definitive biography of one of the most influential people of his era, or any other.

PRAISE FOR TOUSSAINT LOUVERTUREGirard has certainly come to his task well prepared. He knows the scattered, difficult sources well, citing documents from several dozen archives across five countries. The book draws on the most recent scholarship, including fascinating new revelations about its protagonist's family life a useful guide to the Haitian Revolution's fearsome complexities. The NationA compelling look at an extraordinary historical figure. Library JournalA groundbreaking biography that underscores the difficulties of leading slaves to freedom and avoiding violent extremes. Kirkus ReviewsPhilippe Girard's Toussaint Louverture is an unusually compelling combination of painstaking research using original archival sources, with a mastery of riveting storytelling. Girard's depiction of the life of perhaps the most famous revolutionary in the history of slavery is refreshingly original, and fearless, as it draws a portrait of the complex life of its subject without regard for conventional interpretations and political correctness. This book is destined to be debated, just as it is destined to be hailed as a major work of biography. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University""Any number of books have been written over the centuries about the leader of the Haitian slave revolution, but Toussaint Louverture, by Philippe Girard, is only the second in English to draw deeply on the original documents. The book is superb... the greatest of its virtues is to stand knowledgeably and disputatiously in the shadow of its predecessor, the first of the extensively researched books in English, which was 'The Black Jacobins, ' from 1938, by C.L.R. James, the West Indian Marxist...[Toussaint gap." --New York Times Book Review

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