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Adam Hochschild… this is the best biography of Toussaint yet, in large part because Bell does not shy away from the man’s contradictions. Although a former slave, he had owned slaves himself. Although he led a great slave revolt, he was desperate to trade export crops for defense supplies and so imposed a militarized forced labor system that was slavery in all but name. He was simultaneously a devout Catholic, a Freemason and a secret practitioner of voodoo. And although the monarchs of Europe regarded him with unalloyed horror, he in effect turned himself into one of them by fashioning a constitution making himself his country’s dictator for life, with the right to name his successor.
— The New York Times