Black Spartacus

“With a message that resonates strongly in our own time.” Well at least the Wolfson History Prize judges were clear in awarding their 2021 prize to Sudhir Hazareesingh’s Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture. The reason they offered is one criterion of course, but it invites a number of questions, not least concerning how we determine what is the message of a book that supposedly resonates, which are the issues of our own time, and whether this is an appropriate measure of the quality of books.

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