Black Spartacus longlisted for Baillie Gifford Prize
The biography of Toussaint Louverture by Sudhir Hazareesingh is included on the longlist of 13 books for the prestigious prize which celebrates the best in non-fiction writing.
Sudhir Hazareesingh's biography of the revolutionary hero Toussaint Louverture has been longlisted for The Baillie Gifford Prize 2020. Only released in early September, Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture, has already been described as 'a triumph' in the Financial Times and 'the most complete, authoritative and persuasive biography of Toussaint that we are likely to have for a long time.' in The Guardian.
The book describes how in 1793 Toussaint Louverture, himself a former slave, became the leader of Haiti's black population, the commander of its republican army and eventually its governor. During the course of his extraordinary life he confronted some of the dominant forces of his age - slavery, settler colonialism, imperialism and racial hierarchy. Treacherously seized by Napoleon's invading army in 1802, this charismatic figure ended his days, in Wordsworth's phrase, 'the most unhappy man of men', imprisoned in a fortress in France.
Black Spartacus was selected from more than 200 books by a panel that included BBC presenters Martha Kearney and Shahidha Bari. The shortist is announced on 15 October 2020 and the winner in November.