Toussaint Louverture: A Revolutionary Life

Written by Philippe Girard | Basic Books | November 22, 2016

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."

Philippe Girard is a professor of history at McNeese State in Louisiana and the author of four books on Haitian history. A native of the Caribbean, he studied in France and the United States. In 2014, he was a research fellow at the DuBois Institute at Harvard University. He lives in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

More information is available on the publisher's website.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
Sign in or register to post comments.

More new titles

new titles

The 6:41 to Paris

“Clever and gripping, The 6:41 to Paris offers an intimate look at what happens when, during a fateful meeting, two old flames are unexpectedly forced to face their lives and the choices they’ve made in the past. Through his masterful use of a dual narrative, Blondel takes the reader on an intense emotional journey, and, as the train rumbles down the tracks, the suspense builds. Unputdownable.” —Samantha Vérant, author of Seven Letters from Paris: A Memoir
new titles

A Roll of the Dice

"A Roll of the Dice" is one of symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé’s best-known and most visually complex works. Wave Books presents an edition with refined type and photographs that both honor the original and make it an object of delight.
new titles

Good Night!

“Good night, my jewel . . . Good night, my shrimp!” When it’s time for baby to close her eyes and go to sleep, say good night with this winsome board book, published first in France as Bonne Nuit! A board book by Benoit Marchon, illustrated by Soledad Bravi.