Racial and Social Justice Book Club

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 7:00pm

Join the Racial and Social Justice Book Clun January 18 at 7pm on Zoom to discuss Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture by Sudhir Hazareesingh.

Join the meeting. here: 



About the Book:


Review Quotes:

"Black Spartacus is a tour de force: by far the most complete, authoritative and persuasive biography of Toussaint that we are likely to have for a long time . . . An extraordinarily gripping read." --David A. Bell, The Guardian


[A] superbly researched book . . . This reconstruction gives [Toussaint's] political, military and intellectual accomplishments their due. --The Economist


[Hazareesingh's] way into the story is through Toussaint's military adventures and, more importantly, through his catlike politics . . . Lustrous pearls . . ., scattered throughout Black Spartacus, turn this detailed, blow-by-blow account of Toussaint's military exploits into a dazzling, complicated narrative. They add romance and family intrigue to a plot that is also dotted with Toussaint's own writing, which will be appreciated by those who have never heard his worldly, arrogant and eloquent voice. --Amy Wilentz, Spectator


Remarkable . . . [Sudhir Hazareesingh] deftly tells the byzantine and fragmented history to paint perhaps the sharpest portrait yet of Louverture . . . The book also provides new and important insights into seminal events such as the initial insurrection of 1791 . . . Black Spartacus is a triumph. It takes a nearly impossibly complex history and weaves it into a compelling and accurate narrative that reads like fiction. --Ben Horowitz, Financial Times


A mesmerizing biography . . . Hazareesingh writes beautifully about why Toussaint fought for three different sides: rebellious slaves Jean-François and Biassou; the Spanish; and then the French . . . As Haitian poet Jeudinema writes, ochan pou laverite ki pa gen klaksonn, which translates to: "Praise be to truth that has no honk." Ochan for Sudhir Hazareesingh's Black Spartacus--Adolf Alzuphar, Los Angeles Review of Books


Sudhir Hazareesingh's engrossing [ Black Spartacus] tells the story of how the enigmatic, deeply religious boy from Bréda came to be one of the most celebrated, feared and consequential political leaders of his generation . . . Hazareesingh brings to the task a voracious appetite for original sources and a discerning ear for those which have the ring of truth. He also has a gift for tracing those threads that reveal a previously unrecognized pattern in the fabric of a life. --Nathan Perl-Rosenthal, The Wall Street Journal


Hazareesingh presents a deeply researched, energetic, and comprehensively reenvisioned study of the extraordinary life and still-growing influence of Haiti's liberator and founding father . . . From daring military maneuvers to innovations in governing, dignity in his tragic fall, and galvanizing impact as 'the first Black superhero of the modern age, ' here, vividly and invaluably, is Toussaint Louverture in full. --Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)


With Black Spartacus, Sudhir Hazareesingh has produced the fourth - and best - biography of Toussaint Louverture since the bicentenary of Haitian independence ... The book deftly tackles the early stages of the slave uprising and gives one of the most convincing accounts yet of Toussaint's likely role in its opening moves. The use of non-traditional archives is particularly refreshing and allows Hazareesingh to frequently foreground the importance of Vodou to the revolutionaries. --Paul Clammer, History Today


Tracing the growth of Louverture from revolutionary leader to mythic figure, this engrossing read reveals and recovers the historic place both he and the country of Haiti deserve to occupy in the story of the Atlantic world's creation and re-creation. --Thomas J. Davis, Library Journal (starred review)


"An ideas-rich biography shows why Toussaint Louverture matters more than ever . . . an outstanding biography that breaks fresh ground and scrapes the crust of folklore, and cliché, from the Toussaint story . . . Hazareesingh smartly balances a twisty narrative with wider analysis of the forces and ideas at work. His scrupulous and absorbing biography not only portrays Toussaint the swashbuckling hero. It celebrates the philosopher . . . After the summer of 2020, there could hardly be a more urgent and valuable book." --Boyd Tonkin, The Arts Desk


If anyone lived an epic life, it is [Louverture], and Hazareesingh captures it perfectly in his new book . . . This book is for absolutely anyone that loves history . . . Louverture's story will move you and make you think differently at the same time. --Jason Park, Medium


A thorough reconsideration of the legendary Haitian leader, whose deployment of republican ideals of racial equality were radical and transformative--and still resonate today . . . [ Black Spartacus] closely examines the many contradictory accounts of Toussaint's dealings before and after [the start of the Haitian Revolution] . . . A knowledgeable biography that carefully considers the nuances of Toussaint's character and the legends that surround him. --Kirkus Reviews

Event address: 
623 Cookman Ave
Asbury Park, NJ 07712
Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250800053
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - September 7th, 2021