January 2021: Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T.)
Rebel Book: #81
Book:Black Spartacus by Sudhir Hazareesingh
Action: Street Goat
What makes someone a G.O.A.T.?
Off we go into 2022! Our members met up at Huckletree Shoreditch, Ducie Street Warehouse – Manchester, Framework – Bristol, and virtually via Gatheround, a tool designed to match communities or teams in small groups to get to know each other.
We kicked off the year with the theme, The Greatest of All Time. This was an exploration into the remarkable human stories and the greats of nonfiction.
Authors with huge popularity amongst the club, ascending immediately to GOAT status were the likes of:
Malcolm Gladwell, Brene Brown, Yuval Noah Harari, Nassim Taleb, Noreena Hertz, Ryan Holiday
…to name a few!
We expanded the conversation to try to identify what are the common traits amongst GOATs and who might you have at your GOAT dinner party.
We loved getting to know our new members at this session and it turns out GOAT status is a juicy conversation starter!
Black Spartacus | A Beginner’s Guide
After winning the popular vote vs. Steve Jobs + Michelle Obama, Toussaint Louveture became our GOAT in focus. It’s fair to say this is a chunky book. It’s not for the lightweight reader, but it is a critically important story and historical character to know about.
The book, ‘Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louveture‘, is an award-winning history book by Sudhir Hazareesingh. Toussaint Louverture led a successful slave revolt and emancipated the slaves in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (Haiti). In charting his legacy, author Hazareesingh not only brings together a huge archive of international documents relating to Toussaint’s life, but he also draws attention to the problematic history of colonialism + colonial power and the pattern of erasure when recalling the key figures + moments in the Haitian revolution.
For those wanting to go deeper into the motivations of the author to write this book, or for those who were struggling with the density of Black Spartacus, we encouraged members to explore other resources. In this interview, author Dr Sudhir Hazareesingh speaks to Dr Rahul Rao, the author of Out of Time: The Queer Politics of Postcoloniality (2020) and Third World Protest: Between Home and the World (2010).
One thing you’ll take away from Black Spartacus…
"That we need to look at history in a different way and challenge ourselves with narratives like this one, and also that Toussaint Louverture was a multifaceted historical figure with many identities coalescing into one. I was very glad to learn about him." - RBC MEMBER, FLORENCE
RBC IMPACT SCORE: 6/10
RBC QUALITY SCORE: 7/10
RBC ACCESSIBILITY / READABILITY: 5/10
Thanks so much to our January hosts + partners…
Big Drop Brew is an award-winning brewery, dedicated exclusively to making the finest 0.5% ABV beer.
Dash Water makes delicious sparkling water with real, wonky fruit, helping to reduce food waste.
And thank you once more to our wonderful hosts:
If you know a brand or venue that’d like to fuel or host us in 2022, please get in touch at email@example.com.
February 2022: Solve for Happy | Mo Gawdat
It was a close race to get their take on Happiness into the hearts of Rebel Book Clubbers this month, but Mo Gawdat is our February winning read with Solve For Happy. Mo Gawdat is the former Chief Business Officer for Google [X], a serial entrepreneur and author of Solve for Happy.
Join us this month as we set a club intention to spread happiness! And you might even get an appearance by Mo himself!
Here’s one of our February shortlist interviewing another…
Our members’ meetups are on Tuesday 22nd February @ 7pm (GMT). Members will be joined in person across the UK and virtually around the world.
Our February venue partners are looking like…
- X+Y Whitechapel
- X+Y, Chiswick
- Framework, Bristol
- Ducie Street Warehouse, Manchester
- The Projects, Brighton (TBC on numbers)
That’s all for now. Sign up to become a member to join the fun!
If you’re new here, welcome!
We are Rebel Book Club, a global nonfiction book club.
We’ve been reading together for 5+ years and we exist to accelerate your reading habits, connect you with like-minded thinkers + doers and take positive action in a changing world…
We have an event at the end of each month, where we hear from experts in a relevant field to the books we’re reading – which is how this blog post came about.
We can’t wait to welcome you aboard!