This is the definitive account of the Haitian Revolution (1791-1803) and its brilliant military and political leader, Touissant L’Ouverture. Inspired by the French Revolution of 1789, the revolt of free blacks and slaves on the island of San Domingo in 1791 initiated a complicated struggle that eventually produced the first independent Caribbean republic, now known as Haiti.
C.L.R. James, a Marxist historian who was associated with the Trotskyist movement for a time, writes passionately about the horrific lives of the slaves and of the man who rose up and led them–a semiliterate slave named François-Dominique Toussaint L’Ouverture. As James notes, however, “Toussaint did not make the revolution. It was the revolution that made Toussaint.”