Toussaint L’Ouverture, A Revolutionary Life

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Although I knew the name Toussaint L’Ouverture as a leader of a successful black slave rebellion in then Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), I was not aware of his many contributions in diplomacy, governance, and political policy. Because the author is from France, the country which then controlled Saint-Domingue, he is uniquely qualified to detail L’Ouverture’s importance during the time of the struggle for the rights of men. Rather than being only an insurrectionist, L’Ouverture was concerned with controlling and building a government that would endure. In order to accomplish that aim, he had to unify the country by including literate men in his government, even though they were the same white planters who had enslaved the black population.

Consider that the United States and France had recently rebelled against their kings in order to establish human rights. By contrast, L’Ouverture did not want to break the bonds with France; however, their rule proved too constraining for him.

It is interesting to note that a man who began life as a slave became literate enough to negotiate successfully in the world arena and best those who considered him inferior by nature. He proved to be a brilliant strategist and policy framer. This is an interesting biography and well worth the read.

Reviewed By:

Author Philippe Girard
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 340 pages
Publisher Basic Books
Publish Date 2016-Nov-22
ISBN 9780465094134 Buy this Book
Issue January 2017
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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