THE BLACK NAPOLEON relates, in fast-paced storytelling, racial conflicts caused by unbending political and social attitudes meeting head-on with strong and determined black efforts to establish a free society. Color lines are crossed and re-crossed as the passions of the many-tiered society explode. The coals of the revolution of 1795-1803 that overturned the Bourbon dynasty of the French royal house ignited a fire on the island of Haiti in the Caribbean more than two thousand miles west of France and light years distant in human affairs. French Colonists had established paradise for the'selves and a living hell for five hundred thousand black slaves. A parade of memorable giants live within these pages: Toussaint L'Ouverture, Napoleon, Christophe, Leclerc, Dessalines, Rochambeau, Hardy, Rigaud, Jeannot, planter Henri Julian, Neville, Rubidoux, Susan L'Ouverture, Count de Noe, Minister Talleyrand and Pauline Leclerc, Napoleon's sibling who brought an unprecedented level of social behavior to that licentious society. Fifty years a slave, Toussaint L'Ouverture, liberator of Haiti, was a legend in his time. His passionate belief that the enslavement of his people must end carried through the terror and bloodshed that destroyed Napoleon's legions and dispossessed the French colonists. Four words tell the'story, 'war of the'skin,' as the parade of monumental historical characters intrigue and deceive in that garden spot of the Caribbean.
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April 26, 2000
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