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Toussaint Louverture : The Story of the Only Successful Slave Revolt in History

CLR James, Sakina Karimjee, Nic Watts
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Verso Books
Published: October 10, 2023
ISBN: 9781788737906
272 pages
Country of publication: United Kingdom


When C.L.R. James’s Toussaint Louverture: The Story of the Only Successful Slave Revolt in History opened in London featuring Paul Robeson in 1936, it was the first time black actors starred on a British stage in a play written by a black playwright. But after this extraordinary play ended its run, the script was lost for almost 70 years. Then a draft copy was found among James’s archives, and now this groundbreaking drama has been turned into a graphic novel by artists Nic Watts and Sakina Karimjee.

The polymath intellectual and Trinidadian revolutionary James, who wrote many books, including analyses of world politics, novels, and a seminal cultural study of cricket, is perhaps best known as the author of the classic history of the Haitian Revolution, Black Jacobins. But James wrote this story first not as history but as theatre, and Toussaint Louverture brings his brilliant interpretation of the epic of the Revolution into rousing, dramatic form.

This book reproduces the stirring script James wrote, and which united James for at least one night with his friend Robeson on the London stage, when the playwright was forced to stand in for an absent actor.

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