RaveThe Financial Times (UK)A difficult task indeed — which makes Sudhir Hazareesingh’s Black Spartacus all the more remarkable. The Oxford academic deftly tells the byzantine and fragmented history to paint perhaps the sharpest portrait yet of Louverture ... While previous attempts have often misinterpreted Louverture’s deep relationships with the Europeans as some kind of racial or revolutionary betrayal, Hazareesingh illuminates his subject’s ability to incorporate political and military strategies from various cultures and recast them in a more powerful form. This insight provides a road map to understanding why the actions for which Louverture has been most criticised are what made him so effective ... provides new and important insights into seminal events such as the initial insurrection of 1791 ... If one were to quibble with Hazareesingh, it might be with the light attention paid to some of the other central characters such as Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the Haitian general and later ruler, as we never fully understand his motivations or the reason behind his ultimate betrayal of Louverture. Ultimately, however, Black Spartacus is a triumph. It takes a nearly impossibly complex history and weaves it into a compelling and accurate narrative that reads like fiction.