'In overthrowing me, you have done no more than cut down the trunk of the tree of liberty - it will spring back from the roots, for they are numerous and deep.'
- Toussaint Louverture
The leader of the only successful slave revolt in history, Toussaint Louverture is seen by many to be one of the greatest anti-imperialist fighters who ever lived. Born into slavery on a Caribbean plantation, he was able to break from his bondage to lead an army of freed African slaves to victory against the professional armies of France, Spain and Britain in the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804.
In this biography, Louverture's fascinating life is explored through the prism of his radical politics. It champions this 'black Robespierre' whose revolutionary legacy had inspired people and movements in the two centuries since his death.
For anyone interested in the roots of modern-day resistance movements and black political radicalism, Louverture's extraordinary life provides the perfect starting point.
Charles Forsdick is James Barrow Professor of French, University of Liverpool. He is author of Toussaint Louverture (Pluto, 2017), Victor Segalen and the Aesthetics of Diversity and Travel in Twentieth-Century French and Francophone Cultures (Oxford University Press 2005) and co-editor of The Black Jacobins Reader (Duke University Press, 2016). Christian Hogsbjerg is a historian who works for the Centre for African Studies at the University of Leeds. He is author of C.L.R. James in Imperial Britain (Duke University Press, 2014), co-author of Toussaint Louverture, editor of Toussaint Louverture: A Black Jacobin in the Age of Revolutions, James's 1934 play about the Haitian Revolution, and World Revolution 1917-1936, James's 1937 history of the Communist International and co-editor of The Black Jacobins Reader (Duke University Press, 2017).
Acknowledgements Introduction 1. Toussaint Unchained: c. 1743-1791 2. Making an Opening to Liberty: 1791-1793 3. Black Jacobin Ascending: 1793-1798 4. The Black Robespierre: 1798-1802 5. The Harder They Come, The Harder They Fall...: 1801-1803 6. One and All: 1804- Notes Index