Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture
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Plutarch. Fall of the Roman Republic. Translated by R. Warner. (London: Penguin Books, 1972), with special emphasis placed on "The Life of Crassus" and "The Life of Pompey". DC's Legends of Tomorrow: Shawn Roberts in an unexpected guest appearance". Prime News. Virtual Press Sp. z o.o. 7 May 2021 . Retrieved 7 May 2021. Well... certainly very, very well researched, but terribly dull to read. Compared to another biography I just finished, of Louis Vuitton by Caroline Bongrand, this was a real bore.
Every judge of book prizes will have their own views, and, in offering mine, I am not implying that they are definitive; but, in over three decades of judging, I have never tried to prejudge the issues of our town time, or to award prizes at least in part accordingly. Let us first turn to Toussaint, then consider the Wolfson Prize, and then look at wider issues. Variety (1958). Variety (May 1958). Media History Digital Library. New York, NY: Variety Publishing Company. Toussaint’s legacy is in the fact that the French were able to reimpose slavery in Guadeloupe and Martinique, but when they tried it in Saint Domingue, there was a repeat of the levee en masse of 1791, and the French armies were defeated by generals who had gained their military experience under Toussaint Louverture.Pink Floyd's Roger Waters on rebuilding The Wall". Business Live. May 30, 2013 . Retrieved July 10, 2023. Phantom Regiment's show, "Spartacus", was the championship show of the 2008 Drum Corps International season. Stanley Kauffmann writing for The New Republic said of Spartacus, "entertaining if mindless show, with many well-done scenes, intimate and panoramic." 
Toussaint’s previous biographers have drawn on the surviving shards of information to produce wildly different portraits. For the great Trinidadian intellectual CLR James, Toussaint was an anti-imperialist freedom fighter avant la lettre. The conservative French diplomat Pierre Pluchon cast him, much less convincingly, as an acquisitive aspiring landowner interested in exploiting the plantation system for his own benefit. Most recently, the French-American historian Philippe Girard has emphasised Toussaint’s ruthlessness and tendencies towards dictatorship. Toussaint, who up to that point had been a loyal French citizen and a determined republican, led the resistance from the moment that Leclerc and his army arrived. The expedition was a disaster. The French army, being from Europe, had no immunity to yellow fever, and thousands fell ill. Meanwhile Toussaint inflicted several defeats on the French army. His mistake was to trust Leclerc’s honour. He went to a parlay, was kidnapped and sent to France, where he died in a prison in the Jura mountains. Spartacus". Warner Bros. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014 . Retrieved September 2, 2013.Link, Tom (1991). Universal City-North Hollywood: A Centennial Portrait. Chatsworth, CA: Windsor Publications. p.87. ISBN 0-89781-393-6. The answer may lie in two facts that the author mentions in passing. First, more than half the population of Saint Domingue (Haiti) was born in Africa. That the French had to import slaves in such numbers speaks volumes about the way in which the Ancien Regime colons treated their slaves. Importing new slaves from Africa must have been cheaper than providing decent living conditions, including medicines. The second fact is that the largest linguistic group amongst the slaves imported from Africa were the KiKongo from the Kingdom of Kongo in northern Angola. The Kingdom of Kongo had not yet been conquered by the Portuguese colonialists, and had been at war with them, intermittently, since 1622. It is therefore possible that many of these slaves were prisoners of war, soldiers, capturing during the fighting with the Portuguese. They would have been skilled in the use of muskets and artillery which were supplied to the Kingdom of Kongo by the Dutch, who were at war with the Portuguese for a considerable period of the seventeenth century, and then by other European powers competing with the Portuguese for control of the slave markets. I can only wonder why the Portuguese preferred to sell KiKongo speakers to the French colons in Saint Domingue, rather than sell them in their own colony of Brazil, which was only a third of the distance across the Atlantic. It does suggest that they knew they would be troublesome, and offloaded them at a profit on another colonial empire. There is no documentary evidence to prove any of this. I just have a suspicious mind. The film was first released on VHS in 1985 by MCA Home Video  in a reconstructed version that reinstated most of the footage cut from subsequent reissues.  The restored version was released on VHS by MCA/Universal in November 1991,  and was subsequently released on LaserDisc by The Criterion Collection the following year.  Criterion would later release the movie on DVD in 2001.