Toussaint L'Ouverture had a large, albeit indirect, influence on the end of slavery in the British Empire. By forcing British troops to withdraw in 1798, L'Ouverture showed British officers what determined military opponents enslaved people fighting for their freedom could be. Of the more than 20,000 British soldiers sent to St Domingue during five years of fighting, over 60% died during the conflict. François Toussaint Louverture Biography and Profile.
At the end of the 1700s, French Saint Domingue was the richest and most brutal colony in the Western Hemisphere. A mere twelve years later, however, Haitian rebels had defeated the Spanish, British, and French and declared independence after the first--and only--successful slave revolt in history. Much of the success of the revolution must be credited to one man, Toussaint Louverture, a figure about whom surprisingly little is known.
In this fascinating biography, Madison Smartt Bell, award-winning author of a trilogy of novels that investigate Haiti's history, combines a novelist's passion with a deep knowledge of the historical milieu that produced the man labeled a saint, a martyr, or a clever opportunist who instigated one of the most violent events in modern history. The first biography in English in over sixty years of the man who led the Haitian Revolution, this is an engaging reexamination of the controversial, paradoxical leader.
About the Author
Madison Smartt Bell has published twelve novels and two collections of short stories. His novels include Soldier's Joy, Dr. Sleep, Ten Indians, and Save Me, Joe Louis. His eighth novel, All Souls' Rising, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Bell, a Professor of English and Director of the Kratz Center for Creative Writing at Goucher College, lives in Maryland with his family.
"An excellent introduction to one of the great, if elusive, personalities of history." -- The Boston Review.