10 books like Toussaint L'Ouverture

By John Beard,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Toussaint L'Ouverture. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Finding Chika

By Mitch Albom,

Book cover of Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family

This is an incredibly touching book! Mitch Albom is the author of other excellent books, but Finding Chika has become my favorite. The story of how he and his wife brought a little Haitian child into their orphanage in Haiti, and then eventually when it was discovered she had brain cancer, into their own home, was hard to put down. As an author who has visited Haiti many times and played with children orphaned by the 2010 earthquake, I strongly empathized with this story of a suffering Haitian child. Albom’s prose is flawless, and his ability to draw in the reader is inspiring, and you will not regret checking this book out. 

Finding Chika

By Mitch Albom,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Finding Chika as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

FROM THE MASTER STORYTELLER WHOSE BOOKS HAVE TOUCHED THE HEARTS OF OVER 40 MILLION READERS

'Mitch Albom sees the magical in the ordinary' Cecilia Ahern
__________

Chika Jeune came into Mitch Albom's life by chance. Growing up in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 Haiti Earthquake, at three years old she tragically lost her mother and was brought to the orphanage run by Mitch and his wife, Janine.

Chika made a quick impression. Brave and self-assured, she delighted those around her. But everything changed when Chika was diagnosed with a terminal disease that no doctor in Haiti could treat.

This…


Mountains Beyond Mountains

By Tracy Kidder, Michael French,

Book cover of Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World

This isn’t an economic policy book per se, but I can’t resist recommending this book, as it is a page-turning and heartening account of how one person can improve the world. And improving the world, after all, is what good economic policy is all about. In this book, we track Paul Farmer as he builds the charity Partners in Health, which aims to provide healthcare to some of the poorest people in the world. The book is inspiring and compelling, and Tracy Kidder is a gifted storyteller.

Mountains Beyond Mountains

By Tracy Kidder, Michael French,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Mountains Beyond Mountains as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Tracy Kidder's critically acclaimed adult nonfiction work, Mountains Beyond Mountains has been adapted for young people by Michael French. In this young adult edition, readers are introduced to Dr. Paul Farmer, a Harvard-educated doctor with a self-proclaimed mission to transform healthcare on a global scale. Farmer focuses his attention on some of the world's most impoverished people and uses unconventional ways in which to provide healthcare, to achieve real results and save lives.


Haiti After the Earthquake

By Paul Farmer,

Book cover of Haiti After the Earthquake

If you are looking for a book on Haiti's challenges, and whether or not there is long-term hope for this country, this is the book you should choose. The late Paul Farmer was a physician who has been involved for many years in improving Haiti's healthcare system, and after the 2010 earthquake worked with people like former US President Bill Clinton in helping the country to "build back better." I read the book between my first and second trips to Haiti and found it to be a treasure-trove of information on Haiti’s background, as well as sources of hope.

Haiti After the Earthquake

By Paul Farmer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Haiti After the Earthquake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Paul Farmer, doctor and aid worker, offers an inspiring insider's view of the relief effort.", Financial Times The book's greatest strength lies in its depiction of the post-quake chaos, In the book's more analytical sections the author's diagnosis of the difficulties of reconstruction is sharp." , Economist A gripping, profoundly moving book, an urgent dispatch from the front by one of our finest warriors for social justice." ,Adam Hochschild His honest assessment of what the people trying to help Haiti did well,and where they failed,is important for anyone who cares about the country or international aid in general." , Miami…


All Souls' Rising

By Madison Smartt Bell,

Book cover of All Souls' Rising: A Novel of Haiti

As I prepared to write my own novel on Haiti, I searched for a novel of merit already written as part of my preparation. I found this work of Madison Smartt Bell, which was nominated for the National Book Award. This author proved to be a master of the language. I admired his ability to bring Toussaint alive, as well as picturing the culture of the time, and the complexities of a war that changed history.  

All Souls' Rising

By Madison Smartt Bell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All Souls' Rising as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A serious historical novel that reads like a dream." --The Washington Post Book World

"One of the most spohisticated fictional treatments of the enduring themes of class, color, and freedom." --San Francisco Chronicle

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
PEN/FAULKNER AWARD FINALIST 

This first installment of the epic Haitian trilogy brings to life a decisive moment in the history of race, class, and colonialism. The slave uprising in Haiti was a momentous contribution to the tide of revolution that swept over the Western world at the end of the 1700s. A brutal rebellion that strove to overturn a vicious system of slavery,…


Avengers of the New World

By Laurent Dubois,

Book cover of Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution

This is the best written and most easily comprehensive narrative of the Haitian Revolution. Providing helpful historical context, poignant biographical sketches, and affecting anecdotes, the book simplifies the extraordinarily complicated story of the largest and most successful slave revolt in world history. While other accounts of the Haitian Revolution are more acclaimed, none are more enlightening than this one, especially for the general reader.

Avengers of the New World

By Laurent Dubois,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Avengers of the New World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first and only successful slave revolution in the Americas began in 1791 when thousands of brutally exploited slaves rose up against their masters on Saint-Domingue, the most profitable colony in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world. Within a few years, the slave insurgents forced the French administrators of the colony to emancipate them, a decision ratified by revolutionary Paris in 1794. This victory was a stunning challenge to the order of master/slave relations throughout the Americas, including the southern United States, reinforcing the most fervent hopes of slaves and the worst fears of masters.

But, peace eluded Saint-Domingue as British and…


The Black Jacobins

By C.L.R. James,

Book cover of The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution

This work was the first work I read about the Haitian Revolution as a student, and though published in 1938, The Black Jacobins is a classic of historical literature which still remains the best starting place for understanding Toussaint Louverture as a revolutionary leader and his place in history. Born in Trinidad, a Caribbean island with a legacy of slavery and so not entirely unlike Haiti itself, James as a black anti-colonialist became inspired by the Russian Revolution which represented a massive challenge to racism and imperialism. 

The Marxist theory of permanent revolution, outlined in Leon Trotsky’s own History of the Russian Revolution, helped James understand how the Haitian Revolution and the French Revolution were intrinsically intertwined throughout, and so how Jacobinism could inspire Toussaint, just as James himself had been inspired by Bolshevism. The Black Jacobins is a brilliant model of revolutionary history at its best, panoramic in…

The Black Jacobins

By C.L.R. James,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Black Jacobins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1791, inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution, the slaves of San Domingo rose in revolt. Despite invasion by a series of British, Spanish and Napoleonic armies, their twelve-year struggle led to the creation of Haiti, the first independent black republic outside Africa. Only three years later, the British and Americans ended the Atlantic slave trade.

In this outstanding example of vivid, committed and empathetic historical analysis, C. L. R. James illuminates these epoch-making events. He explores the appalling economic realities of the Caribbean economy, the roots of the world's only successful slave revolt and the utterly extraordinary…


Black Spartacus

By Sudhir Hazareesingh,

Book cover of Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture

There have been many biographies and studies of Toussaint Louverture written in the two centuries and more since his death in a French prison in 1803, including from within Haiti itself where a rich nationalist historiography of the revolution has always existed. Sudhir Hazareesingh builds on the best of these and utilises the latest archival research in his impressive study Black Spartacus, likely to be the definitive biography of ‘the epic life of Toussaint Louverture’ for the foreseeable future. Though Hazareesingh’s focus on Toussaint as a ‘superhero’ means he inherently has little if any use for the methodology of history ‘from below’ outlined in many of the other works on the Haitian Revolution I have selected here, and he downplays the critical role of other revolutionary leaders at various points, nonetheless the work is still very valuable for helping us understand Toussaint himself.  

Hazareesingh makes powerful and sophisticated arguments…

Black Spartacus

By Sudhir Hazareesingh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Black Spartacus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

** WINNER of THE WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE, 2021 **

Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, 2020
Shortlisted for the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography, 2020
Finalist for the American Library in Paris Book Award, 2021
Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize for Biography, 2021
Shortlisted for the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize, 2020
Finalist for the Pen/Jacqueline Bogard Weld Award for Biography, 2020
Shortlisted for the Prix Chateau de Versailles du Livre d'Histoire, 2021
Shortlisted for the Prix Jean d'Ormesson, 2021

'A triumph' Financial Times
'Extraordinarily gripping ... a tour de force' Guardian

The Haitian…


The Making of Haiti

By Carolyn E. Fick,

Book cover of The Making of Haiti: The Saint Domingue Revolution from Below

Carolyn Fick was a doctoral student of C.L.R. James and George Rudé during the 1970s in Montreal, Canada, and in keeping with the turn of social history towards ‘history from below’ in that decade, produced a pioneering study in 1990 of the wider contested forms of revolutionary leadership beyond Toussaint Louverture during the Haitian Revolution, particularly in the South of what was then French colonial Saint Domingue. Carolyn remains a leading historian of the Haitian Revolution, and her work helps us better understand the class dynamics of the revolutionary process as it unfolded, and the tragedy of Toussaint as he developed into a representative of a new land-owning ruling class in Saint Domingue, even as he continued to strike powerful blows at European slave-owning colonial powers.  

The Making of Haiti

By Carolyn E. Fick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Making of Haiti as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1789 the French colony of Saint Domingue was the wealthiest and most flourishing of the Caribbean slave colonies, its economy based on the forced labor of more than half a million black slaves raided from their African homelands. The revolt of this underclass in 1791-the only successful slave rebellion in history-gained the slaves their freedom and set in motion the colony's struggle for independence as the black republic of Haiti.

In this pioneering study, Carolyn E. Fick argues that the repressed and uneducated slaves were the principal architects both of their own freedom and of the successful movement toward…


Haiti

By Laurent Dubois,

Book cover of Haiti: The Aftershocks of History

I find this book as enlightening as it is useful. In a single volume, Dubois provides a sweeping history of the Haitian Revolution and its legacy. He recounts not only how Haitians rose up against slavery to establish their own independent nation, but how that nation struggled internally to define itself while contending externally with a racist and hostile world order.

Haiti

By Laurent Dubois,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Haiti as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Even before the recent earthquake destroyed much of the country, Haiti was known as a benighted place of poverty and corruption. Maligned and misunderstood, the nation has long been blamed by many for its own wretchedness. But as acclaimed historian Laurent Dubois demonstrates, Haiti's troubles owe more to a legacy of international punishment for the original sin of staging the only successful slave revolt in the world. Dubois vividly depicts the isolation and impoverishment that followed the 1804 rebellion: the crushing indemnities imposed by the former French rulers, which initiated a cycle of debt; the multiple interventions by the U.S.…


The Kingdom of This World

By Alejo Carpentier, Pablo Medina (translator),

Book cover of The Kingdom of This World

The celebrated Cuban author employs the Latin American trope of magical realism in this novel of the Haitian Revolution that created the world’s first Black republic on New Year’s Day 1801. Through the eyes of the slave Ti Noël, readers meet some of the most celebrated figures of Haitian history: the legendary one-armed houngan (Vodou priest) Mackandal, the independence leader Boukman, and the first emperor of the North, Henri-Christophe. As a freedman, Ti Noël becomes disillusioned with the brutality under the new regime, including the conditions endured by workers building the Citadel fortress.

The Kingdom of This World

By Alejo Carpentier, Pablo Medina (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Kingdom of This World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kingdom of this World (57) by Carpentier, Alejo [Paperback (2006)]


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