A biography of Toussaint Louverture that seems an inspired recreation of the man, the turbulence that produced him, and the tragedy that was his downfall. Colorfully and with the exactitude of a good reporter, the author gives us the view of mid-18th century Haiti- the atmosphere of hatred, corruption and smoldering rebellion in tropical beauty. Going deeper, she gives the social reasons behind it and the frustrating vicious circle of degradation it caused. Born on one of the rare peaceful plantations himself-Toussaint had more of a chance for education than he might have otherwise and was revered before he was called on to lead the rebellion. The ins and outs of what followed are remarkably well described. There is the ten year period of progress- shot through with dissent, and thorly crowned with betrayal in Napoleon's time, but betrayal that left the seeds of future democracy. A serious study, both this and Genghis Kahn seem older than the 8-. 11 group but should be read at the level of interest.