I have had an experience too amazing not to share! During this past festival we were treated to two truly admirable and important African leaders from the Caribbean: Tousaint L’ouverture and Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges. And now a book has been written about a third such personage – General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas. All three were born in the Caribbean of African mothers who were enslaved; both St. Georges and Dumas became generals in the French revolutionary army, and L’Ouverture became general of the victorious Haitian revolution. And one by one all three were crushed by Napoleon’s race hatred and jealousy. In fact Napoleon did everything he could to have these heroes memories erased from history.
Tom Reiss’ book on Alexandre Dumas is called The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo. It is amazing! See the review by Leo Damrosch in The New York Times.
On August 14, 2013, The Black Count was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Biography and the 2013 Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography by the PEN Literary Awards.